Wondering how to find broken links on a website? Want to know how to fix broken links in WordPress?
Howdy everyone and welcome back. In today’s tutorial, I am going to walk you through the process I use to find and fix broken links.
I build my websites on WordPress, but the process is pretty much the same wherever your sites are hosted. Finding the broken links will be identical, but when we get into my dashboard it will look a little different than yours if you’re not using WordPress.
That’s o.k. You will still be able to fix the links following this tutorial.
I have found a free tool that I now use to check my links on a weekly basis and I strongly suggest that you learn how to use it also.
Broken links can happen for a lot of different reasons and I now understand why it is important to stay on top of them.
So without further ado, let’s see why it’s important to find those broken links and fix them.
How to find broken links on a website – Why it’s important!
I was scanning through a couple of my websites recently and made a most disturbing discovery… Broken links!
The worst part… Many of the links were not functioning properly during the holiday shopping season. I had made some changes leading up to Christmas on one of my niche sites using a plugin and later decided to get rid of it.
What I didn’t realize was that when I deleted the plugin, it left many of my affiliate links inoperable. When my visitors clicked my call to action links, they were being sent to a “page not found” page!
I don’t even want to think about how many sales I lost due to this mishap, but I learned a valuable lesson… Check your links!
When a visitor to your site clicks on a link and are directed to an error page, they are going to be annoyed.
The best case scenario: They forgive you. You may have missed out on a sale, but at least they trust you enough to continue coming back.
The worst case scenario: They lose trust in your website and your opinion, never to return again.
Another big reason to keep your links in order is search engines like Google are not going to want to send their customers to a website full of broken links.
When your site is full of broken links, Google is going to assume that you don’t care about your site and your ranking in the SERP’S (Search engine results page) will continue to fall.
Since cleaning up the links on that site, I have already seen major ranking improvements.
Your reputation with search engines and your visitors is extremely important, so let’s get rid of those broken links.
How to find broken links on a website – Let’s get started!
O.K. The first thing we want to do is head over to this awesome free tool I found – BrokenLinkCheck.com
You should also be logged into your website’s dashboard so we can fix the bad links as we move along.
This is what you will see.
Erase the www. first, then type in your domain name and click on “find broken links.”
I’m going to be checking the site your on now as we move along. In the image below, you will see the next step with “learntoearnwithjeremy.com” in the domain field.
You can designate “report distinct broken links only”, but since we are cleaning up all our bad links, go ahead and click the circle for “report all occurrences of each dead link” and then click “find broken links now!”
This process only takes a few minutes. The tool is going to scan every page and post on your website for broken links. The free version scans up to 3,000 pages.
In the next image we will see our results.
Only 3 broken links on this website… Not bad compared to the 61 I found on my baseball website!
Next up, we will get rid of these nasty little links.
How to fix broken links in WordPress
As I said earlier, if you do not have a WordPress website, your dashboard is going to look a little different.
What you are seeing in the image above is the name of the bad link, a link to the url containing the bad link and a link to the page’s source code.
Since we are already logged into our dashboard, we can simply click on the “URL” link that I highlighted in the image above and it will bring up the page with the offending link in a new tab.
Next I will click on the “SRC” link and it will bring up the location of the bad link in the page’s source code and highlight it in a pinkish color.
The image is a little difficult to see here, but you should be seeing it much clearer on the link checker site.
I highlighted the word “comment.” This is telling me that the broken link resides somewhere in the comment section of that page.
I also highlighted the url of the broken link.
Now I can move over to the tab where the page is that came up when I clicked the “URL” link.
Since we are logged in to our dashboard, we can click on the pen icon (edit post) and scroll down to the comment section and look for the offending link.
Looking back at the source code page, we know we are looking for weightmanagementdiet.com.
Here we have the broken link.
It was in a comment left on the post where I allowed the visitor to leave their web address on my site. After clicking on the link, I discovered that the website no longer exists.
This leaves me with a broken link on my website.
Next we will click on the edit button and remove the link.
Simply delete the offending link and then click on the update button.
Good bye broken link!
I am going to repeat the process on the rest of my broken links while you do the same.
When we get back, I will run the link checker again and see how we did.
How did you do? As you can see, I got rid of all the broken links on this site.
If you are having trouble getting rid of your broken links, make sure you are hitting the UPDATE button after removing the offending link. If you don’t update the page, the link will remain.
I know this can be a real pain, especially if you have a lot of broken links, but it’s important for many reasons.
Take the time to get rid of all the bad links. It gets easier and a whole lot faster as you get more familiar with using the free tool.
It definitely beats paying hundreds of dollars to have an expert do it!
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I hope you found this article on how to find broken links on a website and how to fix broken links in WordPress helpful and informative.
If you have any questions or need a hand with anything, please leave a comment below and I will get back with you right away.
Thanks for stopping by ~Jeremy
Together we will succeed!