Broken links are a big deal for website owners. The existence of broken links can put your website’s reputation at risk and drop your website’s ranking in search engines.
In addition, broken links cause visitors to give up visiting the website. A survey stated that as many as 88% of visitors will not return to a website when they find a 404 page (error page).
Even though it is a big problem, it doesn’t mean that broken links can’t be solved. This article will help you solve broken link WordPress websites quickly and easily.
Cause of Broken Links
A broken link is a term for a link that search engines cannot access. Several things cause a link to become a broken link:
- Mistakes in typing links or typos ;
- Change of domains;
- Web directory changes;
- 404-page storage by a cache;
- Changed settings in Domain Name Serves (DNS).
These factors need to be well kept in mind. That way you can anticipate and minimize the presence of broken links on the website that you have.
5 Ways to Check Broken Links and How to Overcome Broken Links
Nobody will stop you from checking the content one by one to find broken links. But anyone would agree that this method takes time and energy. Especially if the website you have is old enough and has a lot of content. Therefore, here are five ways to check for broken links and how to deal with broken links:
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that can monitor the performance of your website in Google search results. Well, one of the Google Search Console features is called Crawl Errors.
Crawl Errors will give you a report on what pages have broken links in them. How interesting, right?
To use Crawl Error, your website must have added your website to Google Search Console first. You can read the complete guide here.
- After the website is entered, you click Settings. Then, OPEN REPORT on the Crawling menu.
- Click Not Found (404) on By response.
- You will find a list of Broken Links on your website as shown below:
2. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is an SEO auditing software that you can install on your computer. This application can be installed on Windows, macOS, to Ubuntu devices. Here’s how to check for broken links using Screaming Frog:
- Download and install Screaming Frog from the official website here.
- Enter your website URL in the box and click Start to start the scan.
- After the scan is complete, click the Response Code tab, then click Client Error (4xx) on the right. You can also find out the link to each broken link by clicking on Inlinks at the bottom.
3. Check Broken Links Online
Apart from the application, you can also check for free broken links online. However, this one method is suitable if your website is still small and doesn’t have many pages. How to?
You just have to visit the BrokenLinkCheck.com website. Then, enter your website URL in the box provided and click Find broken links. Enter the captcha code if asked. Then, wait a few moments and the results of the broken link scan will be displayed.
4. Broken Link Checker plugin
Among the many broken link solutions, we recommend you use the Broken Link Checker plugin. This plugin is free, easy to use, and will definitely make your job easier to deal with broken links.
Once downloaded and activated, you can view the full features of this plugin by going to Settings -> Link Checker.
For a free plugin size, Broken Link Checker provides tons of setup options. There are five tab settings available. These five tabs make it easier for you to identify broken links on various components of the website. We’ll go over the five sections of this setup further:
General is where you set how often the plugin checks for links on websites. By default, this plugin checks links every 72 hours.
In addition, you can also activate notifications every time a broken link is identified.
The Look For Links In tab lets you select website elements whose links need to be checked. By default, the plugin will only check the comments, pages, and posts sections. However, you can add more sections by checking the available options.
Not only the content that has been published ( published ) only to be checked. This plugin can check broken links on various statuses such as scheduled, draft, pending, private, and spam.
Which Links To Check provides a selection of links that need to be checked. In general, the links you check are HTML, links in images, and YouTube video links.
This plugin also provides Protocols & APIs options to check for broken links on websites.
In the Advanced section, you can set more specific settings for broken links. For example, you can think of a link as a broken link if it doesn’t open for more than 30 seconds.
You can set how long the plugin monitors links and the categorization of links that are checked.
After adjusting the above settings, you will be able to see which broken links the plugin has found. In the example above, Broken Link Checker managed to find six broken links, all of which came from the comments column.
This means broken links are not only the result of the negligence of the website owner or technical problems. Sometimes broken links are caused by comments left by visitors to your website. This is why plugins like Broken Link Checker are so effective at checking and finding broken links.
To fix broken links, there are two actions that can be taken. First, by changing the URL. This option can be made if you know the correct page link or content.
Secondly, by the unlink or delete the link and making it just plain text. This second method is best used if you don’t know the correct link. This second method is what I will choose to fix broken links in the comments column.
5. Online SEO Audit Tools
The last way to check for broken links that you can try is to use an SEO audit tool such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. Both provide sophisticated SEO audit tools and are able to scan your website for broken links.
Yes! That’s all you need to do to fix broken links. Very easy, right?
Now, there are no more stories of losing visitors or falling SEO rankings because of broken links.