There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than to find a great post only to find that the links in the posts are broken – they do not provide the additional information that the reader is looking for. It is impossible for you, as the blogger, to manually check each of your links to determine if they are still valid. Instead, if you are using WordPress, install the Broken Link Checker Plugin.The Broken Link Checker Plugin will look through each of your posts, bookmarks and content for links. The plugin checks to see if each link works. If any broken links are found, they show up in a new tab in the WP Admin Panel under Tools -> Broken Links. You will also receive a notification under the “Broken Link Checker” widget on the Dashboard and you can configure the plugin to send you email notifications as well. Configurations to the plugin can be made under Settings -> Link Checker.
Customize Broken Link Checker is set to check links every 72 hours. This number can be customized to your preference. For larger blogs, you may want to check your links less often as the process could take some time. You can also choose where to look for links (such as pages, comments, posts), what to check (html links, youtube, etc.), and set how long the link should load before being marked as broken.
The Broken Links Tab displays a list of detected broken links. You can choose to view all links, redirected links, or even create a link filter to show only certain links like those in the comment section. Once a broken link is found, you can complete several actions by moving your mouse over one of the links. You can choose to:
- Edit URL – lets you change the URL of the particular link. All occurrences of the URL will be changed.
- Unlink – lets you remove the link leaving the link text intact.
- Not Broken – lets you mark the link as working. This is useful if you know that the link should be working, but there may be a internet or other glitch causing the link not to work at the time it was checked.
Broken Link Checker is a useful tool that will help you keep broken and dead links off of your blog. I have been using this plugin for over two weeks now and I was able to clean up all the broken links on my site!