Have you ever come across the famous 404 error, while clicking on of your WordPress web page links? If yes, you should replace or remove the link immediately with valid content. Broken links alias dead links can ruin the ultimate virtual image of your website. You should make sure your website has very few or no broken links at all.
In the following simple tutorial, we will learn together how to find, fix and remove broken links – also, why and how you should handle broken links.
What are Broken Links?
As mentioned previously, broken links result in the 404 error. This is where web users are directed when they select a missing page or a virtual resource that does not exist. There are many reasons behind the presence of broken links.
In most cases, 404 errors would occur when the domain that is pointed by an URL is closed or deleted. Even if the domain comprises of rare firewall settings or is hacked or hosted improperly, the 404 error would occur. In some cases, changes in permalink structure can result in broken links.
Why Should You Check Broken Links?
Luckily, there are several ways by which you can spot and fix broken links in WordPress. Once you identify a broken link, it should be deleted or modified appropriately. The task might sound easy; however, it is a tacky one that should be handled carefully.
Here is why you MUST find, fix and remove broken links:-
- Hurt user experience (Your visitors won’t be happy)
- Lose your customers (Because no-one like broken dead end links)
- Negative impact on your website’s ranking (Your precious SEO will be lost)
- Reduce Google carwl rate (carwl rate will be postponed if you have a huge number of broken links)
- Damage your website reputation (Most of visitors consider broken links as no respect to them from you)
What are The Best Broken Links Checker WordPress Plugin?
As suggested by its name, the broken link checker is used to identify broken links in WordPress sites. It is a well-regarded and widely used plugin. The plugin is designed to scan for any broken links in a website.
Also, it is capable of organizing broken links into a comprehensive table. Broken link Checker identifies missing YouTube videos and third-party images too. The Broken Link Checker might sound amazing; unfortunately, it doesn’t play nice at all times. This is because more than 400,000 websites use it and this results in load lag.
Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin
Broken Link Checker plugin (by ManageWP and Vladimir Prelovac) is one of the best plugins in this field. This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
Once the plugin is installed and activated, it will start automatically scanning everything on your site to give you a detailed report for broken links on your site. It has many advanced tools like Edit URL, Recheck, Mark as not broken, Unlink, Move sources to the trash and Notify you by e-mail for newly detected broken links.
Once you identify a deleted or missing link, you should fix it. To perform the fix, you must navigate to Settings and select the link checker. If a broken link is found, you can edit its URL. Plenty of information can be obtained from this powerful plugin. For instance, you can check if the link is dismissed, find links that are not broken, and unlink working URLs.
What are The Best Online Tools to Check Broken Links for Your Site?
One of the toughest parts of handling broken links is the process of spotting them. The method used to identify broken links will depend on the kind of content and density at which you post them.
In case you have a small website with few links, you will be able to spot broken links through manual testing. However, can you imagine tracing through a massive website with more than a dozen links on each page? This is when the broken links checker becomes useful.
Broken Link Checker
Online Broken Link Checker Tool is one of my favorites tools to check broken links, because it can analyse unlimited number of pages, Checks both internal and external URLs and reports dead link’s location in your HTML code.
All you have to do is type your website URL link and it will do all the job for you, keep in mind – these tools consider the www version and non-www version to be different websites, so add your main URL only.
W3C Link Checker
W3C Link Checker is one of the best free tools provided by the mighty W3C Consortium that always help all webmasters to optimize their websites to maximum value. This great tool allows you to check links and anchors in your website, it search all your entire site for any issues like CSS files, anchors and links.
LinkChecker is not online tool but it’s a desktop application for validating websites. It has many great features like proxy support, Cookie support, HTML5 support and honors robots.txt exclusion protocol.
Google Webmaster Tools: Broken Link Checker
Who can forget about Big G, Google never ever forget anything. If you didn’t join Google webmaster tools, then you lose a huge useful information about your site that definitely help you to analyzing your website correctly.
Under the crawl tab, the crawl errors page will give a detailed report about all dead and broken links on your website that return with a 404 error page. Once you fix it, just check it and click the “Mark as Fixed” red button to notify Google spiders about your update.
Key of Concepts
- Broken Link SEO Strategies are critical for online success.
- Websites that have no broken links will receive better credibility.
- The usability of your website depends on how many links are active and alive in your site.