I've changed my permalinks to Custom: /%category%/%postname%/, and that (I suppose) caused my category archive pages to have two URLs. For example, category SPORT is available on /sport and /category/sport. I would like to keep only one. For some reason, pagination on /sport does not work. How do I fix this?

When I use one of the default permalinks options, it's ok and only /category/sport is available.

I've disabled all the plugins and activated the default theme, and still get this issue.


1 Answer 1


For example, category SPORT is available on /sport and /category/sport. I would like to keep only one.

I tried to reproduce that issue and I could confirm it's true, at least in WordPress v6.0.1 with the default setup, where WordPress is adding a rewrite rule (which is put at the very bottom in the rewrite rules array/list) with (.+?)/?$ being the regex (regular expression pattern) and index.php?category_name=$1 being the query.

And it's probably a core bug, or limitation in the WordPress rewriting system, but for now, you can fix the issue using the rewrite_rules_array filter like so:

add_filter( 'rewrite_rules_array', 'wpse_408488' );
function wpse_408488( $rules ) {
    $permalink_structure = get_option( 'permalink_structure' );
    if ( '%category%/%postname%' === trim( $permalink_structure, '/' ) ) {
        unset( $rules['(.+?)/?$'] ); // remove the conflicting rewrite rule

    return $rules;

So that code will remove the additional rewrite rule (/sport), which means the category archive would only be accessible at /category/<slug>, e.g. example.com/category/sport.

And you can add that to your theme functions file, and remember to flush the rewrite rules — just visit the Permalink Settings admin page without having to do anything.

  • 1
    This works! Thanks! I've discovered in the meantime that using Yoast SEO (as I already do) can leave you with only /sport, if you prefer it that way. You can go to Yoast SEO / Search Appearance / Taxonomies / Category URLs (at the bottom) and set Remove the categories prefix? to Remove. Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 9:56
  • 1
    I'm glad my answer helped, and I don't use Yoast SEO, but thanks for sharing that info :) Cheers!
    – Sally CJ
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 13:49

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