How to add pagination for pages or cpt using WP_Query()

WordPress is designed so that you can paginate any query for posts from the database using WP_Query(), because the necessary 'paged' and 'posts_per_page' arguments are already present in the query.

By pagination we mean page navigation. For example, if we specify the output of 10 posts per page and the WP_Query() response returns information about 32 posts, pagination will show us links to page 2, 3 and 4.

And lastly – if you are in any archive template, e.g. archive.php, category.php, index.php etc., then there is already a main loop and there is no need to re-request it, in this article we are also discussing pagination for arbitrary query on the example of page type pages.

Let’s look at the code as an example:

// Get the page number of the pagination.
$current = absint( max( 1, get_query_var( 'paged' ) ? get_query_var( 'paged' ) : get_query_var( 'page' ) ) );

// Argument for the request
$args = array(
	'post_type'      => 'page',
	'posts_per_page' => 10,
	'paged'          => $current,

$query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $query->have_posts() ) {

	echo '<ul class="posts-list">';

	// Main query.
	while ( $query->have_posts() ) {

		echo '<li class="posts-list__item">';
			echo '<a href="' . esc_url( get_the_permalink() ) . '">' . get_the_title() . '</a>';
		echo '</li>';

	echo '</ul>';

	wp_reset_postdata(); // Return the global loop.

	// Output the pagination.
	echo wp_kses_post(
				'total'   => $query->max_num_pages, // The number is taken from the default query option.
				'current' => $current, // Current page.
} else {
	// Output a "no content" pattern if there are no posts in the query.
	get_template_part( 'templates/content', 'none' );

First we collect variables for the query. Here we have two mandatory arguments: 'posts_per_page' (number of posts on the page) and 'paged' (pagination page X), the rest are specified depending on the query.

Then we make a WP_Query() query, collect the data in a variable and output it, reset the custom loop and output the pagination.

In case there is no data, output templates/content-none.php.

Problem with redirect in pagination

If the pagination is rendered correctly, but when you click on a link in the pagination you get a redirect to the first page you need to disable redirect in the entries.

In WordPress, redirect is always enabled by default, but in the case of custom pagination you need to disable it.

// Turn off redirect for pages, because at /page/2 redirects to /
add_filter( 'redirect_canonical', 'disable_page_redirect' );
function disable_page_redirect( $redirect_url ) {
	if( is_page() ) {
		$redirect_url = false;
		return $redirect_url;

Problem with 404 in the pagination

If everything is displaying correctly, but you’re catching a 404 error when you click on a post, you need to reset the link cache. Go to Settings -> Permalinks and click “Save”

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