How to Fix WordPress Failed to load resource 404 status error

I’m back with another weird WordPress fix for likely a problem encountered by many, whether you ever admit to it or not. 😜

At the request of a customer that’s been with us 10 years and counting now, I’m working to update and fix a few aged items relating to their website’s user experience.

Everything was going well until I attempted to upgrade the website to use a more lightweight and intuitive plugin to create a “before and after” slideshow of their project work. 🤨

To complicate things a bit, I unknowingly experimented with a few discontinued WordPress plugins no longer supported.

So wish WordPress developers would update their plugins more often with discontinued support messages. 😤  But I digress.

Each time I would install, activate, configure, and implement a image gallery or slideshow plugin for WordPress, I encountered the same error:

Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 404 (Not Found)

Using Chrome Developer Tools, I discovered the message above listed for a variety of image, javascript, and css files supposedly related to the newly active WordPress plugin.

What could be the issue? 🤔 I initially thought the plugin was to blame. So, I proceeded to deactivate and delete each WordPress plugin in search and hope of a another plugin to use without error.

Slow learner I may be, but it wasn’t until the 4th or 5th WordPress plugin that my light bulb came on, especially witnessing the plugin working without error in a localhost environment operating on my MAC and on a few other customer websites.

But what could be the issue causing 404 status errors popping up when I know and can see with my own eyes that the file path exists? 🤔

First things first, check the spelling of the path. Well, fortunately I could spell well this day and all checked out well. 🤣

Next, permissions. When it doubt, the first place I should have looked with installation and configuration of the initial WordPress plugin was the permissions of the /wp-content/plugins folder.

Sure enough, that was the very culprit causing the 404 status error issue: WRONG FILE PERMISSIONS. 🤯

I don’t know how it happened, but the directory permissions for the “plugin” directory were incorrect. I changed the directory to both “755” (recommended) and “777”, and both worked like a charm.  But I settled for using “755” permissions.  🙌👏

And now my customer is happy, and I am too, having solved yet another “Failed to load resource” error message.

I hope this helps you! Do feel free to drop a question or comment should you need further assistance.

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Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.