Broken links are one of the worst things your website can contain. When your site is full of broken links, your visitors will view you as unprofessional and quickly leave your website in favor of another one whenever they encounter a broken link. Since it is so hard to get people to visit your website in the first place, you want to do everything you can to keep them on your site. Fixing any and all broken links immediately is a great way to accomplish this goal.
Checking for broken links is also important for your website’s SEO. When a search engine crawler comes across a broken link on your website, it will be unable to move to another page on your site and index the rest of your content. This can leave you with unindexed content, which will limit your exposure in the search engines. Also, you do not want a search engine to serve up a URL that does not exist in their search results as no one will be able to visit your website when searching for that particular term.
Tools For Checking Broken Links
There are several tools that you can use to help you check your website for broken links. Rather than spending your time manually checking all of the links on your site, it is recommended to use one of these tools to help speed up the process.
W3C Link Checker – This particular tool checks your links for a variety of issues including whether or not the link is broken. The W3C Link Checker is a good tool you can use to make sure your website is functioning properly.
Free Link Checker – Free Link Checker is another tool that helps you check for broken internal and external links within your blog. A nice feature associated with this tool is the ability to check image links as well to ensure all of your images are rendering properly.
LinkTiger – LinkTiger may be the most robust link checking tool of the bunch. This particular tool allows you to check up to one hundred links per week for free. Once a broken link is found, LinkTiger will send you an email alert so you are the first to know about the broken link.
Google WebMaster Tools
Another good tool to have in your arsenal to fight against broken links is a Google WebMaster Tools account. By setting up a WebMaster Tools account for your website, you will be given further data you use to help run your site. One of the nice features of this tool is letting you know the Google search engine spider finds errors with your site, including broken links. Through your WebMaster Tools account, you can request a broken link be removed from the search engine results if it had been indexed by Google and no longer exists on your website. This will prevent people from visiting broken links on your website from Google’s search results.
Plugin For WordPress
If you are using WordPress as your content management system, you can use a plugin to manage your broken links. The plugin named Broken Link Checker is one of the better plugins you can use to address this problem with your blog. This particular plugin will check for links that do not work, missing images and redirect. If the plugin happens to find any issues with your site, it will send you an email notification, allowing you to quickly address the issue.
Another nice feature of the Broken Link Checker plugin is being able to update links from within the plugin itself. There is no need to go through every page of your website and update all of the links manually.
Having broken links on your website makes your website appear unprofessional as well as hurts your rankings in the search engines. Utilizing a series of link checker tools and updating any errors in your Google WebMaster Tools account will allow your website to proceed without any broken links.
Richard H. is trying to optimize the loading times of a site for a NYC law firm Samuelson Hause & Samuelson. Curious as it is, release versions of popular CMS programs can still be optimized.