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How to update permalinks with MainWP

I decided to create this brief tutorial on using the Bulk Settings Manager to update your Permalinks when I received a support ticket from a user who needed a way to updated them on 200 of his WordPress sites.

Required Extension: Bulk Settings Manager
Required Plugin: MainWP Key Maker

Note: These 13 steps may seem long but I broke everything out as much as I could the actual process probably would take no more than 2-3 minutes from start to finish.

This is especially helpful if you use the same permalink structure on all your sites. You will need to create different keys for each structure you use.

From one of your Child sites

Step 1. Install and Activate the MainWP Key Maker on one child site.
Step 2. Go to the Permalinks configuration page on your child site and make the selections you want. In my example I’m going to use the common Post name structure.
If you have custom Category base or Tag base for your Child sites you will need to create separate keys for them.
Step 3. Save Changes

Step 4. Still in your child site locate and click “MainWP Key Maker” in your WordPress header

Step 5. You will see a large set of code, you want to focus on Post-submission Request and select “Copy to Clipboard”

From your MainWP Dashboard

Step 6. Go to your MainWP Dashboard → Extensions → Bulk Settings Manager Extension
Step 7. Click the green “Import Keys from Key Maker” button

Step 8. Paste the Code you copied into the “Key Code Field” and give it a “Name” (something you will remember). Mine will be named “Permalinks – Post Name”.  Press Make Key

Step 9. This brings you to a breakdown of the Key that was just made so you can verify the fields look correct before using. If you’re following my steps you will see the “/wp-admin/options-permalink.php” and “/%postname%/” listed there.

Very Important Step!

Step 10: The Key Maker adds 2 nonce fields to the permalinks form that do not belong. You will want to delete them or they WILL mess up your Category Base and Tag Base.  This also brings me to a point we will address again later, Always your Keys on 1 site first! 

Step 11. Press “Save Key”, the Key you just made will now be listed in your “Single Keys” section.

Step 12. From “Single Keys” page select your new key and then from the right select the site you want to use your Key on.

Remember to always test your key on 1 site first!  
Step 13. Select “Save Key to Selected Child sites” and verify that you want to continue from the pop up.

You will then see a green progress bar as Bulk Settings Manager goes through your sites and makes the changes for you.
You can verify the change was successful by clicking “Review Changes” once the process completes.

If you find an issue you can go back to Step 9 and review your form settings.

Once you have this setup correctly you can re-run it every-time you need to update your permalink settings.  It should save our user who has to do this each WordPress update to over 200 site quite a bit of time.

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Dennis Dornon on Twitter
Dennis Dornon
Co-founder at MainWP
I am neither a coder nor a designer. My coding confession.

2 thoughts on “How to update permalinks with MainWP

  1. Dennis,
    Brilliant. Thank you.
    I also needed to remove an Options field below the “Text Field Save Changes” field.
    Worked like a charm on my test site. Then ran on a large batch of sites. Most permalink updates were successful. A few gave the error message…
    “ERROR: wp_remote_post error: cURL error 28: Operation timed out after 5000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received”
    The process is still running, updating one site after another. When it completes, I’ll attempt to rerun on those sites that timed out with a follow up on any lingering errors.
    You’re the best.

    1. The error that you are getting usually indicates that there is some security rule that blocks requests. It would be good to check if the mod_secuirty is blocking this.

      If you want us to take a closer look, please feel free to open a helpdesk ticket at

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