WordPress Broken Link Checker

24 Lug/09

Broken links on websites and blogs can have several negative side effects. This includes visitor frustration as broken links waste their time and can change the perception of the website the link was posted on but also the perception of search engines, other web services and reviewers that crawl and visit the website. Google for instance states in their webmaster guidelines that webmasters should make sure to check for broken links while other services such as DMOZ that also mention in their guidelines that broken links do reduce the chance of a website being included in the web directory.

It is therefor essential for webmasters to regularly check the links that are posted on their websites and blogs to make sure that they are still pointing to the initial resource and do not return a 404 not found instead.

One of the best ways for WordPress webmasters is to install the WordPress plugin Broken Link Checker which will automatically check all posted links in all blog posts regularly to ensure that the links are valid. The initial lookup can take between a few minutes to several hours depending on the amount of posts and links on the blog. It took about 10 hours to find and check all links that have been posted at Ghacks.

broken link checker

The broken link count will be updated all the time and it is possible to deal with those links right away even if the plugin is still having links in the work queue. A click on the broken link count will open a table that displays 20 broken links per page.

broken links

The webmaster can display details about the link which will list the date of the link check and the error code that was returned. It is possible to delink right from the table which will remove the a tag from the link and keep the anchor name. Other possibilities are to exclude the link from future checks (good for false positives), to edit the url or to edit the post itself.

The plugin will automatically line-through broken links that have not been dealt with by the webmaster to inform visitors that the links are not working. The Broken Link Checker plugin is an excellent way of finding and removing broken links from a WordPress blog.

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