WordPress Permalink Stops Working

I recently migrated to a new Linux server with a different version of Apache, and for a while I could not get the WordPress permalinks to work. After a lot of trial and error, I figured out what the problem was, and I hope the information I share here will help someone in the future.

Below are the relevant system information:
OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Web Server: Apache 2.4.18

What was the initial symptom?

The home page of the blog loaded OK. However, when I clicked on any link to go into any post, category, or month, I got a 404 error.

For those of you who wants to know the answer right away without reading through my journey of getting there, go to the Fix section.

Things I tried

I tried a number of ways to resolve this issue. They were as follows:

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How to add Title Tags and Meta Descriptions to Tag/Category/Archive pages in a WordPress Blog

After setting up the tagging functinoality in WordPress using Jerome’s Keywords, I noticed some issues with how the page titles and the meta descriptions are displayed in several page types:

Category pages: <title> only showed the name of the category, and there was no meta description.

Tag pages: <title> was empty, and there was no meta description.

Monthly archive pages: <title> only showed the name of the month, and there was no meta description.

As we all know, for SEO, title tags and meta descriptions are what the users will see in the search results pages. With these types of setup, there is no way I can hope to generate any traffic into my category pages, tag pages, or monthly archive pages. I browsed the web hoping to find a solution on this (especially on setting up the title tag and meta description for the tag pages), but I had no success. I also browsed many blogs, and none of the tag pages I saw had a satisfactory implementation of title tag and meta description.

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