How to Remove Broken Links from WordPress Blog
If I am browsing a site, and click on a certain link, then I certainly would never expect to receive something like Error 404: Page not found. Website maintenance is no less than looking after your own house. To keep it clean and healthy, you need to regularly check for accumulated junk and cleanse every corner. Broken links on a website, irrespective of the reason behind their accumulation, not only irritate a visitor browsing through your site, but are even never welcomed from SEO perspectives. If you doubt my point, feel free to check out the official Google Webmasters forum where clear guidelines have been made regarding the negative impact laid by broken links on search engine indexing.
Broken or expired links may occur due to many reasons like you linked to some other site’s content which is no longer available, the link refers to some content which you uploaded last year and deleted later but forgot to erase the link, a link to a page which you redesigned and changed the URL but didn’t care enough to replace all the existing hyperlinks, or you just changed your website theme and installed a new one which has different page names and you don’t have enough time to check every post, swapping all the existing URLs.
I would never want my customer to end up with “Page not found” error as it will create a bad impression in his mind for my site, which means he may never visit my site in the near future again. These broken links also have a bad effect on SEO as latest algorithms from Google are all about the overall user experience on your site. The more the number of broken links, the lower goes your trust factor in the eyes of the visitor.
If you think you can analyze your entire site manually, checking and decomposing all your expired links, you must get prepared to make a cat laugh. Manual labor will not only consume a lot of your vital time, but it is bound to several skips and errors. Instead of taking so much of pain, all you need to do is simply install a small broken link checker plugin which would continue to scan your site from the background, and provide you with a full list of the errors which exist in your house.
Step by step guide to install and use Broken Link Checker
1. Visit this given link to download the zip file of this plugin to your computer: WordPress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/
2. Unzip the file to reveal the contents.
3. Once you have the contents, upload the complete folder with the name “broken-link-checker” under the website folder “/wp-content/ plugins/ directory/”.
4. Visit the plugins menu under WordPress options, and activate the new plugin.
To enable or disable various advanced functions of this plugin, you may proceed towards “Link Checker” under “Settings” option. This would also show you the ongoing progress of your scan.
Once you have activated the plugin, it will continue to scan your website on a periodic basis and provide you with updated reports on your dashboard itself. The report generated includes these main points:
- The broken URL link
- Current URL status
- The Duration for which the link has been broken
- The address of your page, or post which contains the broken link
- Additional options to unlink and provide redirects
The plugin also supports bulk actions like to unlink all the existing broken links, mark all the links as not broken, or redirecting every broken link to a specific page. You can even set the time frequency for automatic check of all your existing links. You will receive a new notification only when any unexpected broken link is discovered else you will enjoy a smooth flow of work.
Salient features of Broken Link Checker:
- Analyzes every existing post, page, blogroll, comment, and even custom fields as per the desire of the user.
- Detects all the non-working links including misplaced or missing images and unwilling redirects.
- Notifications may either be received through blog dashboard or via emails.
- You may optionally choose to display the broken links differently in your posts.
- You may even set your preference if you want that the search engine bots should not analyze your broken links and skip them.
- You may categorize, or filter the complete link list either by URL, the anchor tag, or any other field.
- The plugin empowers bloggers to rectify every link from the results page itself without having to manually visit each page and performing the updates in there.
- Offers high level of flexibility and configurability.
Once the plugin generates a complete list of all the broken links, you are provided with the following options:
- Edit URL: To change the broken address.
- Unlink: Remove the link without affecting the text.
- Not Broken: To tell the plugin that the link is not broken, but has been included in the results accidentally.
- Dismiss: To hide the result without making any changes to it.
Broken Link Checker is fast, reliable, efficient, trustworthy, effective, easy to use, small in size, site friendly, simple, and does its job without any kind of lacks. Apart from this plugin, there are several other plugins in the market like DupliChecker which offer a similar type of services, but Broken Link Checker is the most efficient among all of them, and recommended over anyone else.
The simple interface provided by this plugin has been crafted carefully keeping in mind the needs, and qualifications of an expert as well as a newbie blogger. The power to modify all the links from one single page saves a lot of time, which may be used in some other useful stuff like preparing a new post, or optimizing your blog contents. If you have never analyzed the links on your time since the time you launched it, the plugin usage is highly recommended. If you feel any problems while using this plugin, or you have any doubts regarding the threats it might pose to your blog, feel free to leave your responses in the comments section.