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On my site, all top-level pages (i.e. mydomain.com/example-page as opposed to mydomain.com/parent/example-page) will only use index.php as their template. They won't use page.php, they won't use custom selected templates; only index.php

This only applies with I use %postname% as the permalink type.

I've tried re-saving the permalinks to flush them, but to no avail.

Any ideas?

UPDATE: It appears that if I change the permalink to: mysite.com/1/%postname% (rather than /%postname%), it works--and pages still actually use their default /%postname% format.

It appears that all pages are expected--by the system--to be posts. When the post is not found, it shows the index.php page. When I add the /1/ (or any number/string) to the front of the permalink, it helps the system to know that if that isn't there, the pages are actually pages, and they work.

Why is that the case?!

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I had the same issue and your fix helped me a lot.

After I fixed the issue with your solution I figured out that I had used a permalink in one custom post type that caused the issue.

I used years / year and I think because wordpress uses something like this in its archive pages it broke the site.

Probably this helps you also.

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