I've created a template redirect for a given url, ex.: test.com/test

Test is page is not exists, i'm just checking the url from query_vars, if its match, i load the template with


The page loads and show what i expect, but the title is Page not found. I solve this with a filter, but i saw that the whole page comes with a 404 status. Btw i saw that the builtin multisite activation message also has a 404 header. (I'm working on localhost.)

How can i solve this without creating the page itself in wp?


You are essentially trying to create a "fake" page without having to create a physical page in the WordPress database and for that, you will need custom re-write rules.

For more details see my answer here: Setting a custom sub-path for blog without using pages?

Quick overview:

step 1: setup your custom rewrite rules

add_action('init', 'fake_page_rewrite');

function fake_page_rewrite(){

    global $wp_rewrite;
    //set up our query variable %test% which equates to index.php?test= 
    add_rewrite_tag( '%test%', '([^&]+)'); 
    //add rewrite rule that matches /test
    //add endpoint, in this case 'test' to satisfy our rewrite rule /test
    add_rewrite_endpoint( 'test', EP_PERMALINK | EP_PAGES );
    //flush rules to get this to work properly (do this once, then comment out)


Step 2: properly include a template file on matching your query variable,

add_action('template_redirect', 'fake_page_redirect');

function fake_page_redirect(){

    global $wp;

    //retrieve the query vars and store as variable $template 
    $template = $wp->query_vars;

    //pass the $template variable into the conditional statement and
    //check if the key 'test' is one of the query_vars held in the $template array
    //and that 'test' is equal to the value of the key which is set
    if ( array_key_exists( 'test', $template ) && 'test' == $template['test'] ) {

        //if the key 'test' exists and 'test' matches the value of that key
        //then return the template specified below to handle presentation
        include( get_template_directory().'/your-template-name-here.php' );
  • 1
    +1 but I guess you can simply check against the return value of get_query_var( 'test' ). Another thing you could do is to check for the template using locate_template(). – kaiser Jun 14 '13 at 14:53
  • Mod answer mate :) – Adam Jun 14 '13 at 14:56
  • No time for this - need to save the world first :) – kaiser Jun 14 '13 at 14:58
  • A few years late but just wanted to chime in here. While you can use the template_redirect action it can cause problems for any other WP functionality that needs to run after that hook. It is better to use template_include filter and swap out the page template using that filter instead. – bgallagh3r Jan 24 '19 at 17:04
  • @bgallagh3r better late than never... This can be true in some instances. If you have a specific example however, where a known conflict may arise that cannot be sorted out by hook priority alone, feel free to suggest an edit so we can include some additional context for all to see. – Adam Jan 25 '19 at 3:15

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