How to Remove Index.php From WordPress Permalink

Having “/index.php” in your WordPress permalink is not a good idea for it will not help you improve your chances with regard to search engines. If you do have it, the chances are that like everyone else you would be looking for a way to take /index.php out of your permalink structure.

  • Never thought about removing it? Well, the right time is now. Go ahead and make the change and you’ll soon know that you’re better off without it. I will tell you how to do it, but first I will explain the reasons you have to make the change.
  • Having an index.php in the WordPress permalink structure does not make it more valuable for search engines or for your readers.
    Since it isn’t to search engine friendly it’s you who will miss out on the chance to get higher ranking in the search engine.

A blog reader of mine to whom, I was assisting with WordPress SEO, recently sent me a screenshot in which the index.php in the permalink is prominently displayed. Here it is:

the index.php in the permalink

To cut a lengthy story short, I would recommend you to have a post name as WordPress permalink to get maximum SEO benefit.

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Generally, users hosting their websites on Windows based hosting use index.php. So if you are on Windows hosting, move your WordPress blog to Linux based hosting. WordPress works nicely on a server that’s Linux based. These are some fine Linux based hosting for WordPress: 1) In Motion Hosting. 2) Bluehost.

When you have moved to Linux based hosting, the simple steps listed below will change your WordPress permalink and take away that useless index.php from your permalink.

How to Remove /Index.php & Make WordPress Permalink Search Engine Friendly

The first step in this makeover you should take before making any changes is to get a backup of your WordPress. In this particular case, only your database’s backup won’t suffice. You could use any one of the popular plugins like DB manager or WP DB backup to take your WordPress database backup.

After you have done that, go to settings → Permalink and your existing screen could be seen as something like this:

Remove Index.php via Permalink

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All you have to do now is click on Post name and save the permalink structure.

Remove Index with permalink

WordPress will here on automatically look after redirection. Your links that were old will be redirected to new ones. This is 301 perma-redirection – in other words, your search engine traffic will not get affected.

  • There are some other things you must do.
  • Regenerate your sitemap
  • Resubmit sitemap to Bing
  • Resubmit sitemap to Google search console
  • Use Broken Link Checker Plugin to fix redirected internal links.


It will take several days before you will be able to see new links indexed in the search engine while old links with index.php are removed. A resubmitting sitemap will hasten the process. You could look out for 404 errors to make sure nothing wrong has taken place.

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