What are broken links?
Prior to discussing the broken link checker tool, it is important to comprehend what broken links are. Broken links are hyperlinks on a website that lead to pages that no longer exist or have been moved to a different URL. When a user clicks on a broken link, they will typically see an error message or a blank page, which can be frustrating and negatively impact their experience on the website. Broken links can occur for a variety of reasons, such as website redesigns, changes in content management systems, or external websites that have removed or relocated their pages.
Broken links can also harm a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Search engines like Google use links as a way to determine the relevance and authority of a website and broken links can signal to search engines that a website is outdated or poorly maintained. This can result in lower search engine rankings and less traffic to the website.
It is important for website owners to regularly check for broken links on their websites and fix them as soon as possible. A broken link checker tool, such as the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin, can make this process easier and more efficient.
Broken Link Checker plugin
A strong WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker will periodically crawl your website and check each link to make sure they are all working properly.
It is designed as a SaaS service, so it never overtaxes or slows down your WordPress hosting server.
The same group that created the top WordPress SEO plugin, AIOSEO (All in One SEO), also created the Broken Link Checker plugin.
The plugin makes it simple for you to fix broken links directly from within the plugin, without even having to go to the specific pages where those links were added.
Why Is a Broken Link Checker Necessary?
Visitors to your website may become irritated by broken links and leave. They may even lower sales, conversions, and SEO for your website.
Broken links on WordPress sites typically appear when a site is transferred to a new domain name or when a post or page is deleted without proper redirection.
Typographical errors can occasionally result in broken links that go unnoticed for months or even years. Even worse, your website will have broken links if you ever link to an external website that isn’t yours and that website later changes, deletes, or shuts down.
For this reason, it’s crucial to regularly check your WordPress website for broken links.
There are SaaS broken link checkers available, but the majority are either exorbitantly expensive or weren’t created with WordPress websites in mind.
You can use Broken Link Checker to…
- Every 3 days, scan all links on your website.
- Identify working and broken links as well as redirects
- select the post types (posts, pages, or custom post types) and statuses that you want to use.
- (published, draught, etc.) to keep track of
- exclude some URLs from the check
- … and a tonne more.
Offering a seamless website browsing experience to your visitors is crucial if you take your website seriously and want to expand your online business.
How to use the WordPress Broken Link Checker
The first step is to install and enable Broken Link Checker on your website.
The plugin must then be linked to your Broken Link Checker account.
You can enable the toggle to prevent search engines from following broken links after logging in with your account and connecting the plugin. Even better, you can choose to have the plugin not update a page’s or post’s modified date whenever a link is changed.
The plugin has automatically scanned the entire site, and when you click the Broken Links tab, you can see that links have been classified as broken, redirects, and dismissed.
With the Broken Link Checker plugin, you can quickly and easily fix broken links inside of your plugin. Click Edit URL to replace a broken link immediately.
Alternatively, you can unlink the link by clicking on it; this will take the link off the page.
By selecting the Recheck option after updating the link, you can determine whether it is still inoperable. You may even choose to ignore the plugin’s message.
Obtain More Information About Each Link
Broken Link Checker provides additional information for each link, such as the duration of the broken link, response header details, the HTTP Status code, and more.
Manage the types of pages that are scanned
Broken Link Checker’s advanced settings, which give you complete control over which pages get scanned, are another crucial feature. You can configure the plugin to track specific post types (posts, pages, or custom post types) and statuses (published, draught, etc.).
You can also choose not to check a specific set of pages.
This enables you to more effectively manage the crawl budget and avoid wasting your link scan credits.
Scan Your Website Correctly
Broken Link Checker scans both internal (links from one page of your website to another page) and external (links from your website to other websites) links on your website.
Broken Link Checker scans (or, in other words, pings) your website for broken links in contrast to other WordPress plugins. Because pinging external sites from your servers repeatedly can make your website appear suspicious to internet service providers, increasing the likelihood that your sites will be blacklisted.
Because of this, the majority of WordPress hosting providers have added traditional broken link checker plugins to their list of prohibited items.
You can feel secure knowing that Broken Link Checker uses an external private server to ping external links.
Advantages of Broken Link Checker
Using a broken link checker can have several benefits for website owners, particularly for website maintenance and SEO. Here are some ways that a broken link checker can be helpful:
Improving user experience: When users encounter broken links on a website, it can be frustrating and lead to a negative experience. By using a broken link checker to identify and fix broken links, website owners can improve user experience and keep users engaged with their content.
Boosting search engine rankings: Search engines like Google consider broken links as a signal of poor website maintenance and may penalize websites with broken links by lowering their search engine rankings. By fixing broken links with a broken link checker, website owners can ensure that their website is up-to-date and well-maintained, which can help improve their search engine rankings.
Saving time and effort: Manually checking for broken links on a website can be time-consuming and tedious, particularly for larger websites. By using a broken link checker, website owners can automate the process of finding broken links, which can save time and effort.
Maintaining website reputation: Broken links can harm a website’s reputation, particularly if the website is intended to be a reliable source of information. By fixing broken links with a broken link checker, website owners can maintain their website’s reputation and ensure that their content is trustworthy and reliable.
Common issues or limitations
There are some common issues or limitations that users may encounter. Here are some of the most common issues and how to troubleshoot them:
Plugin conflicts: The Broken Link Checker plugin may conflict with other plugins or themes on a website, which can cause errors or slow down the website. To troubleshoot this issue, try deactivating other plugins one by one to see if the issue resolves. If the issue persists, try switching to a different theme to see if that resolves the issue.
Server timeouts: If a website has a large number of pages or links, the Broken Link Checker plugin may take a long time to scan the website, which can result in server timeouts or errors. To troubleshoot this issue, try adjusting the plugin settings to scan only a portion of the website at a time or increase the server timeout limit.
False positives: The Broken Link Checker plugin may identify some links as broken when they are actually working correctly. To troubleshoot this issue, try manually clicking on the links to confirm whether they are actually broken or not. If the links are working correctly, try adding them to the plugin’s whitelist to prevent them from being identified as broken in the future.
Slow website performance: The Broken Link Checker plugin can be resource-intensive and may slow down website performance, particularly on websites with a large number of pages or links. To troubleshoot this issue, try adjusting the plugin settings to limit the frequency of link checking or disabling certain features that are not needed.
Plugin compatibility: The Broken Link Checker plugin may not be compatible with certain versions of WordPress or other plugins. To troubleshoot this issue, try updating to the latest version of WordPress and other plugins, or contacting the plugin developer for support.
WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin is a powerful tool that can help website owners identify and fix broken links on their websites. Broken links can negatively impact user experience, harm search engine rankings, and damage a website’s reputation, so it’s essential to regularly check for and fix broken links. By using the Broken Link Checker plugin, website owners can automate the process of finding and fixing broken links, improve user experience, boost search engine rankings, save time and effort, and maintain their website’s reputation. Web owners should be aware of some common issues and limitations of the plugin and troubleshoot them accordingly. WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin is an essential tool for website maintenance and optimization that website owners should consider implementing.