If you have been blogging for a long time, then obviously your site will have some broken links. These links are bad for user experience and negatively impacts SEO rankings.
This article will show you how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress.
What is Broken Link
A broken link, also known as a dead link that no longer exists on the website.
A broken link occurs when the page has been deleted or moved, or if its URL has been changed without proper redirection. And when visitors click on your content, it will not take to the right place and will display a 404 error. There may be several reasons for the broken links.
- External website has been shut down or expire.
- You are linking to an old page on the site that was removed or moved to a different location.
- The visitor has mistyped the URL.
- Website owner changes the permalink structure.
Broken Links are Bad for SEO and User Experience?
Having broken links on site is bad for both visitors and your site’s SEO.
Suppose you clicked on a link and it took you to the wrong page or told that the content you are looking for no longer exists? So what a frustrating experience it can be.
Broken links not only affect the user experience, they also harm your website SEO. If you have already submitted your site to Google Search Console, you will see that all the broken links (404 URL) are highlighted in your Google Search Console.
Although having some broken links does not hurt your Website SEO, but if your site has too many broken links, it can hurt badly.
Therefore it is extremely important to regularly monitor and fix broken links on the site.
How to Find Broken Links
Here I’ll show you the best methods to find broken links. After that, show you an easy way how to fix broken links in WordPress.
1. Finding Broken Links in WordPress using Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the best tool developed by Google to help monitor how your site is performing on Google. It also informs you about errors including 404 errors that are caused by a broken link.
After login to your Google Search Console account, click on the Coverage.
You will see 404 errors inside the Errors or Excluded tab.
You can see the broken link of your website and return a 404 error by clicking on the 404 error. Now you can download the list of 404 errors.
2. Online Broken Link Checker Tool
You can also use a free online broken link checker tool to find broken links – BrokenLinkCheck.com. The best thing is that it lets you check up to 3,000 pages for free.
It is very easy to use, you just have to add your website URL and click on Find broken links.
Next, enter security code and click on Find broken links now !
The tool will list all of the broken internal and external links. Also, tell in which page the broken link is present.
3. Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin
However, there is a Broken Link Checker plugin to check broken links in a WordPress site. But I do not recommend it because it can use too many system resources and will slow down your website.
Most popular Managed WordPress hosting companies such as GoDaddy and WP Engine have already blocked this plugin from installing on their servers.
If you use this WordPress plugin to check broken links, don’t leave it active and running all the time. Just find and fix broken links then delete it from your site.
After installing and activating the plugin, click on Tools >> Broken links to see the report of all your broken internal and external links. This plugin also shows the status code next to your broken links.
It may take time to check the broken links and it depends how big your site is, so wait for some time.
Next, move your mouse pointer to the broken link. You will see many options.
You can simply click on “Unlink” to fix broken links in your WordPress site. But I would recommend, update the link instead of unlink.
- Screaming Frog – it is an SEO tool, helps you to find the broken link. But you have to download it.
- W3C Link Checker – just enter your site’s URL. This will show you broken links.
How to Fix Broken Links in WordPress
I have shown you different ways to find broken links in WordPress. You can use anyone.
The best way to fix a broken link is to redirect it to another page. If an article no longer exists on your site, you can redirect the visitors to a similar page.
But you must set a 301 redirect.
First, install the Redirection plugin. After activating the plugin, click on Tools >> Redirection and set up redirects.
Add your broken link to the Source URL field and the new URL to the Target URL field. Leave the rest of the settings default.
Then, click on the Add Redirect button. Now you can visit your site to check it.
Repeat the process for all broken links on your website.
If you do not have similar content on your site, delete the link.
Broken links are bad for both user experience and SEO, so you should periodically check the broken links on your site and fix them.
I want to say again, WordPress plugins like Broken Link Checker are the best. But it can slow down your site. Therefore after finding and fixing the broken links, remove it from your site.
Apart from this, you can use BrokenLinkCheck.com which helps to find broken links on your site for free.
After searching for broken links, redirect them to a similar page with 301 Redirection.
Are there any other good broken link checking solutions that I’ve missed? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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