WordPress, GoDaddy, and the invisible web.config file…

Permalinks…what a difficult concept when you’re new to all this. It seems simple enough, just select the option you’d like, and click Save Changes. But then comes there error:

If your web.config file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn’t so this is the url rewrite rule you should have in your web.config file. Click in the field and press CTRL + a to select all. Then insert this rule inside of the /<configuration>/<system.webServer>/<rewrite>/<rules> element in web.config file.

<rule name=”wordpress” patternSyntax=”Wildcard”>

<match url=”*” />


<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsFile” negate=”true” />

<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsDirectory” negate=”true” />


<action type=”Rewrite” url=”index.php” />


If you temporarily make your web.config file writable for us to generate rewrite rules automatically, do not forget to revert the permissions after rule has been saved.

So I look for the web.config file via my FTP application, but there’s nothing there. I start a search, and still nothing. So I search on Google, and this is the first result I find: [resolved] No web.config File? (24 posts) I found my answer! But as I read on, the person has the exact same issues I’m having and is hosting on GoDaddy, and no one has a solution.

I continue my search, and decide to search the GoDaddy network. It seems several are having the same issue with no solution in sight. At this point my mind is exhausted and I decide to step away from my PC. My father calls at exactly that moment, and asks how I’m doing. I explain my situation, and he explains GoDaddy does hide certain files and how to make them visible. I followed his instructions, made the files visible, and went back to the Permalink page, and clicked the Save Changes button. It worked!!

This is what I did:

  • Log in to your GoDaddy account, and get to the Hosting Control Center
  • Click on the Content tab
  • Click on File Manager
  • Check the “wordpress” folder (or whichever folder you copied your WordPress files to)
godaddy hosting - wordpress folder

godaddy hosting – wordpress folder

  • Click on the Permission folder (at the top, second to the last on the right)
godaddy advanced permissions

godaddy advanced permissions

  • Uncheck the Inherit box, and check the Write box
godaddy set permissions

godaddy set permissions

  • Click the OK button, and go to your Permalinks page. Select the option you want, and click Save Changes
permalink settings page

permalink settings page

Your changes should be accepted. Once they are go back to the Hosting Control Center and uncheck the Write box, and check the Inherit box. Do NOT forget to do this or you give anyone Read/Write options to your blog.

You should be all set! I hope this solves your GoDaddy, WordPress, web.config, and Permalink problem.

Til next time!


This post is from 2009, it may not work with the current GoDaddy set-up. Please call GoDaddy for assistance. Thank you.

  • Keith Kreider

    When I go into my GoDaddy account I do not have the ability to click on the Permissions folder.  It is ghosted out.  I tried to set write permissions using Filezilla and even went as far as completely removing my .htaccess file from the root directory and nothign fixes my permalinks issue.  I have been battling this since October.

    • http://kmburck.com/ Kathy

      Keith, give GoDaddy a call, they’ll walk you through on how to access your Permissions folder or give you rights. Let me know how it turns out after your call. :)

  • ganesh tripathi

    Thank you very much for this post, I am facing this problem for several days.


    • http://kmburck.com/ Kat

      You’re very welcome Ganesh. Glad I could help. :)

  • messi1987

    bro thanks for the post but my permissions folder is not visible it’s stone. so what should i do. reply

    • Kathy

      Please contact GoDaddy to have them make it visible for you.

      Thank you

  • Garrai


    I’m running WP 3.8.1 on a hosted IIS7 account with Godaddy. The WP install is at the root level. I installed Buddypress and followed these directions to edit permissions and allow Buddypress to modify the permalinks. Then I reset the permissions to their original state

    My site is now totally, 100% broken, not a single link is active anymore. (yes I did back it up)

    I’ve come to the conclusion that installing BP is not worth the effort if it screws around with WP at a level where a simple error can take down the whole website. Moot here I come…

    • Kathy

      Sorry to hear that. I’m not familiar with BuddyPress, so I suggest contacting them directly. I’m sure they can help.

      Best of luck!