In this post, the Bright Vessel team will help you understand what broken links are, tools you can use to locate them, and then offer methodologies for fixing them.
When you click on a link and receive a 404 error, how does it make you feel? If you said “frustrated” or “annoyed,” then you are not alone. This feeling is exactly what your site visitors experience.
Not only do broken links on your website displease users, but it also severely impacts your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This assertion is especially true if these are internally broken links on your site.
As such, it is critical to locate and fix broken links in WordPress when your site is running on this platform. Fortunately, WordPress turns this chore into a snap with easy-to-use tools and features.
Best Broken Link Checkers for WordPress
The first step in fixing broken links in WordPress is finding them. WordPress offers plugins and tools that you can utilize to aid your search. Here the five best-broken link checkers for WordPress:
Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker is definitely one of the most common, popular, and widely used tools. It is a fan favorite due to the customizations and configuration solutions it offers. This preference is also largely due to ease-of-use and reliability.
It is lightweight enough to leave it installed regularly. However, you also have the advanced alternative of installing the Broken Link Checker plugin, fixing broken links, and then uninstalling it if speed is an issue with which you grapple.
Link Checker works similarly to Broken Link Checker, except that it has some useful features not found in the latter. This tool offers a stats tab alongside an edit link that directs you to the page quickly.
However, the biggest complaint among users lies within the pagination of the results page. This problem is relatively minor, but the added amount of time could be significant for the cleanup of sites with numerous broken links.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the gold standard when it comes to fixing broken links on your WordPress site. It is a tool that permits you to troubleshoot broken links. Not only does Search Console help you repair broken links, but it also offers several benefits and features that aid in the technical SEO management of your website.
AHrefs Audit Tool
If you wish to use a web-based tool instead of a plug, AHrefs is a perfect solution. It automatically scans your website in WordPress to find broken links and errors. The tool is incredibly easy to use.
All you need is an account, and AHrefs with take care of the rest. It lists your results within twenty or thirty minutes, depending upon your website’s structure and size.
Screaming Frog offers open-source desktop applications that allow you to find broken links in WordPress. Once you have it installed, scan your website. There is a tab that allows you to filter 404 errors.
Screaming Frog is 100 percent free and works with Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.
Fixing Broken Links: Your Options
Once you find broken links, your next step is fixing them. The method that you use largely depends on your needs. Larger, complex sites may require more robust tools and a significant amount of time.
In general, you can fix your broken links using the following options:
· Change the URL
· Remove the link altogether
· Setting up a permanent redirect
· Reverting permalink changes
It is also imperative to understand that all broken link issues are unique to the site and situation. It is tempting to resolve them by just deleting or unlinking them. Avoid this temptation since it can result in severe SEO problems that result in a poor user experience.
While reviewing each link separately is a time-consuming effort, it is the most practical and effective approach.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
Broken links are a common problem with website management. Some of your outbound links, whether external or internal, become broken due to website changes over time.
Ultimately, you do not always have control over what other websites do. You can only utilize measures that help alert you to the problem.
Bright Vessel Is Here to Help
Managing a website with limited knowledge can hurt your efforts. Bright Vessel wants to help you change that. Contact us for an initial consultation to learn more about how our team can help.