Fix Broken links with Broken Link Checker plugin
Are you a blogger or a webmaster? What would have happen if you send your visitor somewhere in your blog/website that doesn’t exist? Or, How do your visitors feel if they get “404 page not found” while clicking your blog posts/pages. They’ll definitely be annoyed, isn’t it? So, you need to remove the dead links and fix redirection. This can be done with a remarkable WordPress plugin, Broken Link Checker. Let’s have a detailed look on this plugin through this post which would help you to find and fix the broken links on your blog/website.
But before getting into the discussion, it would be good to know some indispensable stuff about broken links.
What are broken links?
Broken links can also be called the dead links which will take your visitors to a page saying “404 error”. If you’ve deleted/renamed your old posts which have been linked to any of your blog posts or if you’ve mistyped the URL while interlinking the posts, broken links are formed. Not only these, they’ll also be created by the commenters if they link the wrong blog/website URL while performing blog commenting. Also, if your outbound links doesn’t exist, you’ll get broken links to your website/blog.
Why broken links are bad?
Here are some reasons on how broken links affects your blog/website:
- They can cause you to lose visitors as they get irritated while accessing the links that doesn’t work.
- Your hard-earned search engine rankings will be negatively affected by broken links. Yes, Google and other search engines want to send the web searchers to high quality sites.
- They make your blog/website unprofessional and hence your brand will diminish.
- At last, your credibility would lessen among your readers and search engines.
How to identify the broken links?
As I already specified, it’s really bad if your visitors clicks a link and getting an error page or something other than what they’ve expected. So, how do you find broken links in your blog/website? There are many tools available to identify the broken links W3C Link checker, Screaming Frog, Xenu’s Link Sleuth etc. But if you’re a WordPress user, I would recommend you to use Google Webmaster Tools and Broken Link Checker plugin.
Integrate your blog/website to Google Webmaster and sign-in. Go to Site Dashboard > Crawl > Crawl Errors. There you get notifications about broken links of your blog/website. You can check the below screen shot for better understating.
Broken Link Checker Plugin
Broken Link checker is an effective WordPress plugin to find the broken links and redirection in your blog/website. It also intimates about the missing images and you’ll be notified through WordPress dashboard and email which would direct you to your WordPress dashboard to fix them.
Fixing the broken links easily without having to visit each post is an awesome feature of Broken Link Checker plugin. Moreover, it is possible to prevent search engines from following broken links with awesome plugin.
How to Install and customize the Broken Link Checker Plugin?
Go to Plugins > Add New
Search for Broken Link Checker, download and activate it.
Now, you may go to Settings > Link Checker to customize the plugin.
Enable the options under General tab as shown in the picture
If you want to stop search engines to crawl the broken links, you may permit that option which you can see in the above picture.
Under Look For Links In tab, make sure the options are enabled as displayed in the image.
On Which Links To Check tab, check the HTML Links and HTML Images link types are checked and there are options to check the broken links in Embedded YouTube, DailyMotion and Google videos. Confirm that the Basic HTTP box is checked under Protocols & APIs tab. Your desired options can be allowed under Advanced settings of Broken Link Checker plugin.
Once Broken Link Checker plugin installed and customized successfully, it will start checking the each link of your blog/website to check whether it works or not. After finding the broken links (If any), they will show in WordPress Admin panel > Tools > Broken Links. Check the below screenshot:
How to fix errors using Broker Link Checker Plugin?
Broken Link Checker will check for broken links every 72 hours by default and send notification through email but you may change the notification preferences. Now, to fix the errors, you may go to Tools > Broken Links or Settings > Link Checker to see the Broken Links stats. Click any of the option and you’ll be able to see the broken links in your blog/website. See some my broken links in the below screenshot:
In the above image, you can see the 4 options given with every broken link. They are
Edit URL – You can edit the URL to make the link exist without going to that blog post/page.
Unlink – If you can’t find the replacement URL or the page doesn’t exist, you can simply unlink it.
Not Broken – If the page/post specified by the Broken Link Checker plugin as broken but it is working smoothly, you may choose this option.
Dismiss – If you doesn’t care about the broken links caught by this pulgin, you may dismiss them.
Along with the above options, you can see the sources (Blog post/page/comment) where the broken links exist. You may take the required action with the 3 options “Edit, Trash and View” to fix the broken links easily from the Broken Link Checker plugin Dashboard.
Broken links are nothing but the links which doesn’t live. Detecting and removing them with a perfect tool like Broken Link checker will certainly improve the SEO of your blog/website. Google is smart and giving a good experience for the web searchers by directing them to the highly reputed sites. If you have a lot of broken links in your website/blog, your search engine ranking will get affected. Checking the links manually will take time and thus it is good to clean up your blog by using a suitable broken link checker tool.
To rank better on search engines and to gain authority among your visitors, do check your blog/website for broken links and fix them. I hope that you’ve learnt the importance of detecting and fixing the broken links, let me know your views about Broken Link Checker Plugin. Do you use any other WordPress plugin to check broken links? Share your experiences through comments.