I have searched the net with no success on what should be an easy thing.

I have a highly customized blog with pages, sub pages and posts. While I rely heavily on the use of categories and tags I don't want them to be viewable in a url. The same goes for authors and date categories. Basically I wan't to throw a 404 error if someone tries to access these pages. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks!

The following should not be accessible:

  • example.com/category/books/
  • example.com/tag/ebooks/
  • example.com/author/dickens/
  • example.com/2012/10/

2 Answers 2


building on chrisguitarguy's answer here is a quick snippet you can drop in your theme's functions.php file to do job

add_action('template_redirect', 'wpse69948_archive_disabler');
function wpse69948_archive_disabler()
    if(is_tag() || is_category() || is_date() || is_author())
        global $wp_query;

I wrote a plugin for this -- that needs some updating, but it should still work fine.

Essentially you hook in some place late after WordPress knows what page is requested (like template_redirect), use one of the conditional functions and either use $wp_query->set_404() or just redirect the user to a page of your choice.

To disable categories, tags, author and date archives:

add_action('template_redirect', 'wpse69948_tag_disabler');
function wpse69948_tag_disabler()
    if(is_tag() || is_category() || is_date() || is_author())
        global $wp_query;
  • Does the job perfectly! Thanks a lot, also for providing the useful link to the conditional functions!
    – psot
    Oct 20, 2012 at 23:56
  • Seems kinda overkill to have this as a standalone plugin. Seems like most theme authors ought to be able to do this in functions.php or a custom plugin of their own.
    – serraosays
    Oct 24, 2016 at 15:19
  • @chrisguitarguy, this stops the option to search by category e.g. &category_name. Is there a way around it?
    – Motivated
    Jul 16, 2023 at 20:25

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