Find And Fix Broken Links On Your WordPress Blog With Broken Link Checker

April 10, 2013 · 16 comments

in WordPress

wordpress logoBye-Bye Broken Links 
Hello Better SEO! 

Broken links on your blog hurt your SEO! 

Why? Because they waste your visitors time!

A combination of a bad user experience and extraneous flow of link juice give Google a reason to frown at your site!

No one wants Google frowning when it comes to bad SEO!

Fortunately, there’s a simple, stable, safe way to track down those pesky links and make them easier to do something about… 

Check out… 

Broken Link Checker 

Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin, that systematically scans your entire WordPress site for links that are no longer working. 

(This will not clean up CommentLuv links, simply use CommentLuv Link Checker for that.)

This plugin effectively monitors links in posts/pages (highly useful if you’ve been doing a good job interlinking your posts) as well as URL field in the comments that your visitors may have left.  (The plugin does not seem able to detect links within the comments themselves.)

Once installed and activated (same as any other WordPress plugin), there are two “parts” to the plugin. 

 

1. Settings

You will find the settings for Broken Link Checker under the menu item Settings >> Link Checker

I didn’t make many changes in settings. However, I did mark “stop search engines from following broken links” , look for links in comments, posts and pages, check html, plain text and embedded video.

broken-link-checker-settings-1

It will take anywhere from a couple hours to more than a day for this plugin to check all of the links on your blog. Configure it and then let it run before worrying about tackling the things it finds. 

 

2. Broken Links 

You will find the actual broken links themselves under the menu item Tools >> Broken Links

Once the plugin has finished running you will find your results in an easy to manage panel that lets you choose what you will do about them. 

broken-link-checker-settings-2

For many of the links that I had added to my blog posts, I used the “edit link” feature.  (And then “recheck”)

For links left by visitors in comments, I used “unlink”. 

For the occasional false positive, I used “Mark as not broken”

Hint: In the upper menu, “Redirects” are links that actually correctly go where they should be going. 

 

Pro Tips:

Make a plan to install this, run it, manage the links and remove the plugin. 

Leaving it run will generate ongoing resource use that you really don’t need. It’s super easy to reinstall the plugin when you wish to run it again in 6 months to a year. 

Want to delve further into this topic? Ana from over at Traffic Generation Cafe  has a great post about this plugin that ALSO covers some alternatives that you may want to consider.

This plugin is not perfect, it misses stuff, but it’s a great FREE place to start if you’re just beginning the process of tracking down faulty links. 

Have you checked your blog recently for broken links? 

~ Kim ~
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

marquita herald April 10, 2013 at 8:38 am

Ah ha! This info was helpful as always Kim – then I jumped over to read the article you read and suddenly understood the email I received from Andy Bailey at CommentLuv about their new free link checker plugin. I figured since I was using Broken Link Checker I didn’t need yet another plugin, but I didn’t realize it doesn’t check CommentLuv links!
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Madras Geek April 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Great post kim! I have planned to clean up dead links this weekend blog maintenance.. Found your post at the right time, thanks much :)

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Donna Merrill April 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I just did that last night! Wow it was incredible! I had only one broken link on one of my posts. The rest were from comments. OMG…who knew?
With 5K links to check I thought it would take me forever, but this plugin scanned it all while I was relaxing at night and within a few hours 150 comments were broken and fixed.
Now you know me, and how I just love avoiding these things, but even I could do it lol.
Thanks for posting this Kim. People need this plugin!
Donna
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Ron April 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I too love Broken Link Checker, This plugin adds too many tables in database and due to log size your database size will increase. So, after using this plugin disable it and using Wp-Db manager plugin, you can drop all the tables created by this plugin. For you reference, here are the tables created by BLC WordPress plugin: _blc_filters, _blc_instances, _blc_links, _blc_synch .

BLC is one of the essential site SEO audit plugin. For any hugeBroken-Links WordPress blog, this plugin is a life saver to remove broken links and to fix redirections. This plugin is very handy when you are cleaning up your WordPress site after some time.

Br,
Ron

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Steve Borgman April 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Kimberly, thank you so very much for another value packed article. I’m going to do this for both my sites. And thanks for the pro tip of uninstalling the plugin once I’ve checked all my links :)

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Yorinda April 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Kim,
thank you for the very helpful post.

It is always good to have a plugin recommended by a known and trusted expert.
I appreciate the suggestions for the setting and to remove the plugin after using it.

Do you have a post or suggestions for broken links of posts?

Cheers,
Yorinda

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Ana April 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I am yet to go through my broken CL links… Thanks for the resources, Kim, and the kind mention of Traffic Generation Café; right back at you: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/weekly-marketing-skinny-april-13-2013/
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John Cosstick April 17, 2013 at 2:59 am

Hi Kim, Thanks for this article. It is possible that a lot of people will be affected and need this plugin. I have shared this post on Facebook.

Regards

John

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Inderjit Singh April 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

This is a absolutely a great post. i never know the this method to maintain broken link, i just do that manually, moreover i could not found all broken link. with help of information from your post not only i can find all broken links but also can recover them.

Thanks for sharing.

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Chrissie April 18, 2013 at 5:15 am

A useful tool – definitely one to add to my list. Is there a limit to how many plug-ins you can use on Wordpress, I’ve seen so many useful additions but am wary of overloading the site (if that’s possible?)
Chrissie

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Paul April 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks for the share Kim. I am new to the world of Wordpress and appreciate any hints and tips you can offer. I will find a use for this link checker plugin.

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Silas O'Malley May 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I thought i created a broken link when i first created my first WordPress hosted website but i did nothing about it, knowing that it could hurt my seo rankings because i didn’t know that such helpful plugins where available. Appreciate you bringing this to my attention.
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Chris May 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Thanks for sharing this. It’s nearly impossible for me to manually review all the posts/pages on several different wordpress blogs for broken links. Some believe broken links may effect search engine rankings so checking up on them is important.

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Angella July 12, 2013 at 2:59 am

Hi Kim. I am a big fan of you. Broken link is really a crap for any website. Very informative post. Before I read your post, I used GWT to identify my website errors. But by using this plugin I think no need of GWT. Thanks & keep sharing like this.

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Kim Castleberry October 3, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Awww, thank you for your kind words Angella! Glad it helped you out :)
Kim

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