This is really weird. In attempting to solve this problem i ended up with an almost perfect use of paginate_links() instead of a custom pagination function:

$myquery = new WP_Query($args);

$paged = get_query_var('page');
($paged == 0 ? $paged = 1 : $paged = $paged);

    $pagination = paginate_links(array(

    'total'     => $myquery->max_num_pages,
    'current'   => $paged,
    'show_all'  => true,
    'type'      => 'list',

This seemed to work fine. Until i found out that no matter what i do, whenever i'm after page 1, the function prints an empty href="" on my first links.

So i get these markups:

<!-- base page - example.com/parent-page/child-page/ -->
<!-- same for page 1 - example.com/parent-page/child-page/?page=1 -->
<ul class="page-numbers">
<li><span class="page-numbers current">1</span></li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=2">2</li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=3">3</li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=4">4</li>
<li><a class="next page-numbers" href="?page=2">Next</li>

<!-- page 2 - example.com/parent-page/child-page/?page=2 -->
<ul class="page-numbers">
<li><a class="prev page-numbers" href="">Previous</a></li> <!-- empty href="" -->
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="">1</li><!-- empty href="" -->
<li><span class="page-numbers current">2</span></li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=3">3</li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=4">4</li>
<li><a class="next page-numbers" href="?page=2">Next</li>

<!-- page 3 and onwards - example.com/parent-page/child-page/?page=3 -->
<ul class="page-numbers">
<li><a class="prev page-numbers" href="?page=2">Previous</a></li> <!-- correct -->
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="">1</li><!-- empty href="" -->    
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=2">2</li>
<li><span class="page-numbers current">3</span></li>
<li><a class="page-numbers" href="?page=4">4</li>
<li><a class="next page-numbers" href="?page=2"></li>

Digging into paginate_links() on wp-includes/general-template.php (circa line 1954) i found that for some reason it explicitly passes empty link arguments to the Previous link when on page 2:

if ( $prev_next && $current && 1 < $current ) :
        $link = str_replace('%_%', 2 == $current ? '' : $format, $base);

and to the first link (line 1968)

if ( $show_all || ( $n <= $end_size || ( $current && $n >= $current - $mid_size && $n <= $current + $mid_size ) || $n > $total - $end_size ) ) :
                $link = str_replace('%_%', 1 == $n ? '' : $format, $base);

any thoughts on why that would be, and if it's possible to avoid it w/o creating yet another pagination function?

  • On a URL like /blog/ the link to page 2 would be '/blog/?page=2', but the "href" generated by Wordpress would just be '?page=2', which all works fine. However, the page querystring is left off for page 1 (instead of doing ?page=1). Subsequently, the "href" ends up as "". The given answers force base to include the current page in the href, so even without a querystring it still points to a page.
    – Khan
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 17:36

3 Answers 3


Have you tried specifying the base and format arguments for paginate_links()? It assumes the default values of:

    'base' => '%_%',  
    'format' => '?page=%#%',  

Your base should be something like /parent-page/child-page/%_%; then the first page link will be to /parent-page/child-page/, and subsequent links will follow the format /parent-page/child-page/?page=3 (example for page 3).

In the base, the %_% is replaced by the format argument.
In the format, the %#% is replaced by the page number.


  • you just made my day. :) I had tried using other values on baseand format but never did it occur to me that my current URL would be useful there. I owe you a beer.
    – moraleida
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 17:22

For anyone else interested, here is the code that worked for me:

 echo paginate_links( array(
    'current' => max(1, get_query_var('paged')),
    'total' => $wp_query->max_num_pages,
    'base' => get_pagenum_link(1) . '%_%',  
        'format' => 'page/%#%',
) );

Hideously out of date, but I've been having trouble with this and I got the following to work -

echo paginate_links(array(
    'base'      => remove_query_arg('page', get_pagenum_link(1)).'%_%',
    'current'   => max(1, get_query_var('page')),
    'end_size'  => 2,
    'total'     => $this->items->max_num_pages,

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