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How to Use Broken Link Checker Plugin?

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:

  1. They can cause you to lose visitors as they get irritated while accessing the links that doesn’t work.
  2. 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.
  3. They make your blog/website unprofessional and hence your brand will diminish.
  4. 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

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.

Download this plugin

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

Broken link checker plugin

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.

Plugin Broken link checker

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.

Comments (36)

  • Hi Atish,

    Congratulations on the wide, new, and much better look of your blog, it’s looking wonderful now 🙂

    Coming to the post, it is informative post, in fact, a nicely explained tutorial 🙂

    Yes, I’ve been using Broken Link Checker since a long time and it does help a great deal. However, I’ve now started uninstalling it and re-installing it again after a while to keep a check, rather than having it as a permanent plugin to avoid having too many plugins.

    However, sometimes you need to check up things using some other plugins too as at times this plugin doesn’t show you all the broken links, so one’s got to keep trying out various things too. But by and large, this one plugin is one of the best ones to find out your broken links.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…Life Lessons From A Blind BloggerMy Profile

    • Thanks for praising the look! I have spent 1 week to make it look like this and also made it responsive(check this post). As I am not expert of these stuffs, it took 1 whole week. I spent 3 sleepless nights to do these all. You made my day saying it is looking wonderful. :). Same theme with CSS tweaks! 😀

      Coming to the post, Yes you are right, there is no need to keep this plugin installed always. You can install it on 15 days or monthly basis to check broken links and fix them. I also agree that we should try other plugins as well because different plugins have different options to offer.

      Enjoy your week ahead:)

    • In my personal opinion, You should uninstall this plugin after its use. Since, This plugin also add four tables in your WordPress Database that increase the loading time of your website and also increase server use. Besides uninstallation, I would recommend you to remove these tables from your Database.
      rakesh kumar recently posted…Fastest Loading Wallpaper WordPress themeMy Profile

  • Good to check a detailed post on BLC plugin Atish 🙂

    I know that the broken links should be taken care otherwise it’ll ruin the heath of the blog/website. Many newbies are unaware of these dead links and hence struggling to rank better on search engines.

    Non-existing links should be detected and fixed and yes, I’m using the same for my blog from long.

    I hope that this post would educate the importance of fixing broken links, thanks for writing the useful things for us.
    Nirmala recently posted…How To Market Your Blog Or Website In 2014?My Profile

  • Hi Atish brother,

    Surely this gonna make my blog seo friendly regarding broken links :). But I am little confused, when I migrated from blogger to wordpress, I am using to dean permanent link plugin that is also awesome. But this plugin redirects users to exact post without any issues.

    But considering broken links, I am sure, now I should start using this. Thanks for your tutorial.
    Tharun recently posted…Tips on How to Increase Google Adsense RPM? ( Revenue )My Profile

  • Atish, another informative post. This article will help in SEO for a blog. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Moumita Ghosh recently posted…Killer Steps to Boost Your Alexa Traffic RankMy Profile

  • Hi Atish,

    It’s no secret Google don’t like site with excessive 404 error pages, so it’s wise to detect and correct all your 404 error pages. WordPress is so popular among bloggers because it comes with so many valuable plugins which solve your all kind of problems.
    Pankaj recently posted…Website Designing Services : IT FreelancingMy Profile

  • Hi Bro,

    I have been using this broken link check plugin from a long time. In a week after I installed this plugin I have got some link broken which I have fixed. But after that I have not got any broken links on my blog, don’t know why?

    May be I don’t have any broken link on my blog 🙂 or else there is something wrong with this plugin 😛
    Should I remove this plugin and re installed it again or else should I give a try to another one?

    >SK Lohar
    Shivkumar recently posted…How to access Gmail.com account using Microsoft outlook.com accountMy Profile

    • Your blog is new so the chances of having broken links are less. As you said you have fixed so many which you found through this plugin, It might be possible that there are no error pages are there. However, you can go to settings >> link checker and check the options you want. I mean you can set the options like “which links to check” etc. That will be useful. Try it.
      Atish Ranjan recently posted…Why and How To change Permalinks of an established blog?My Profile

  • It’s one of the most useful WordPress plugins out there, I use it on almost all of my WordPress sites. Since we often publish content that needs to link to other sites for reference, there are a lot of broken 404 and expired outgoing links which is certainly bad for SEO. I fix it from time to time with this plugin, by either unlinking them or redirecting them to the homepage. And Atish, you did a great job with this post bro, really a very useful tutorial for the beginners to start with. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Yes, the plugin is very useful Priyangshu. For site maintenance this plugin is must have. Keep visiting.
      Atish Ranjan recently posted…Why and How To change Permalinks of an established blog?My Profile

      • Do you use any other such plugins on your sites? I mean plugins that helps to keep the site well maintained in terms of SEO?

        • I believe in manual work so as much as I can. I don’t know if some plugin is there to maintain SEO. SEO is complete manual work. You can use plugins like Smush.it to reduce the image size to make it lighter which in turn faster load time. second, broken link checker is good as it keeps you notified about bad links, you can fix them.

          For meta and all YOast plugin is good!

  • thanks for the article. bro.. Alike you mentioned about wordpress plugin., does blogger needs any other than webmaster tools??//
    Rahul suresh recently posted…Best 10 Entertaining Websites For KidsMy Profile

  • Earlier i used to do Xenu for broken link, i had no idea about word press plug in. Thanks for sharing wonderful blog.

  • I have been using broken link checker since a long time. I am looking out for a plugin that can automatically find all the 404 links on my blog and redirect it to the home page automatically. Do you know of any Atish?

  • Nice and very informative post

    Broken links are a serious issue for any website. It affects the website or blog in many ways. It results in increasing bounce rate , loose visitors, drop in Google page rank, places a black spot on your brand etc. The above post explains us many ways on how to locate broken links.

    There are many tools on internet to check broken links. I mainly use a back link checker or webmaster tools for locating broken links. I think webmaster tool is best to locate any errors on website. I did knew about the plugin which helps in locating broken links. I would surely try this on my website.

    Thank you for sharing. .
    Sagar recently posted…How to identify or spot and avoid job offer scams on InternetMy Profile

    • Thanks Sagar for agreeing with me. Webmaster is surely the best but broken link checker also helps you to fix them instantly by using “unlink” option.
      I use both of them. Its recommended to regular check for not found or bad links to maintain the health of of your blog.
      Keep visiting mate.
      Atish Ranjan recently posted…Group texting for mass communicationMy Profile

  • hi carolyn; this sounds like just what I need. I have a lot of links on my midway marketplace site and i suspect that the main reason for my poor google ranking is mainly due to broken links. thanks for telling me about the plug in. you are a star, max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…honored with guest post successfully migrated to word press and won OBSS contest 3rd prizeMy Profile

    • Author

      Thanks for stopping by Maxwell. So start using this plugin and fix all the broken links. Glad you liked the post.

      By the way this is Atish Ranjan not carolyn 😛

      Keep visiting.

  • Great article but now WordPress 4.6 includes Broken Link Highlighting = cool!

    It automatically checks your links, to make sure they’re not broken. Really useful tool 🙂


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