Broken Links-What are Broken Links? How to fix them in WordPress?
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The links in our website which don’t exist or don’t lead to anywhere or show an error such as 404 not found error, are seen as broken links.
In the past, you may have linked a page of any website to your blog posts but later that page will be removed from the website. By doing so, the link on your blog post will be a broken link.
Whenever a visitor to your website clicks on that link, it will get an error of 404 Not Found or there will be an error in the website not found.
This does not affect visitors only. When search engine bots also get a broken link, they also get a 404 error. Seen from the SEO point of view, they put a negative impact on your website.
If a website encounters many broken links, then it is called “Link Rot”.
Then how are broken links created on the website?
Apart from the above mentioned concept, if your blog or website is quite popular and there are so many comments people do on your website, then those comments contain links.
So there are chances that many of your website’s links in comments are also broken.
Now a days many broken link checker websites are available which allow you to check broken links on your website such as Free Link Checker, W3C Link Checker etc.
How to fix Broken Links in WordPress?
This is truly a life-saver plugin for any blog to quickly find and fix broken links and re-direct those to relevant content. This is useful when you cleanup your WordPress site.
Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin (BLC) is an essential SEO audit plugin.
This is a free tool for WordPress. This plugin finds all your broken links and then provides a lot of options for you to fix them.
This plugin checks every single URL on your WordPress blog and also gives you a complete report of broken and redirected links.
How to use Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin?
First download and install this plugin in your WordPress blog.
Activate this plugin and then click on Tools> Broken Links.
Before this plugin starts checking on broken and redirected links on your website, this will take a while. You can always check status of it in your WordPress dashboard.
Here is how this plugin shows you the broken links:
With your broken links it also shows the status code along with it so you will be able to find out that you have to unlink this perticular link, update it or take any action about it.
I’ll suggest you work on updating links instead of just unlinking them.
If you have a huge blog that contains thousands of broken links, it would be better if you get rid of such 404 links immediately.
You can configure many more settings besides this. I will suggest you go to “Look For Links In” and check the comments section.
If your server is underpowered or overpowered, you can also set your “Server Load Limit” in the Advanced Tab.
And in the “General” Tab, you can prevent search engine bots from following your broken links. I highly recommend you to set this option.
Broken links found, what to do next?
After running this plugin for a few hours, you will get some broken links.
For comments you can simply select “Unlink” from the dropdown by selecting all those links.
For blog posts, I highly recommend that you update the link to unlink only. This will maintain the quality of your orignal post.
The most interesting feature of this plugin is to find and fix redirections. After a long time people change their domains and get redirected to the old domain.
Broken Link Checker plugin checks all these redirections, and only one click, you can update or fix all redirected links.
Note: If you are using Affiliate Links, it will be shown as redirected links, keep in mind that you do not fix Affiliate Links.
Here’s a screenshot below for how you can fix redirected links:
If you have ever changed the domains or have changed the permalink structures,
or you have migrated your blog from BlogSpot to WordPress, this redirect feature will be very useful to you.
Depending on the total number of links on your website, this plugin can take up to 10 to 45 minutes to fix all the links on your website.
Note: This plugin adds many tables to the database of your WordPress blog, so that the size of your database increases significantly. After using this plugin, disable it,
and then by using the WP-DB Manager plugin you can easily delete all the tables created by this plugin.
For your reference, this plugin creates tables by the name given below:
_blc_filters, _blc_instances, _blc_links, _blc_synch
It does not always depend on which platform you are using,
it is WordPress or another, broken links are not great for any blog in terms of SEO. Whenever you do an SEO audit of your website, do not forget to use Broken Link Checker.
Tell us what plugin you use on your WordPress blog and manage your broken links properly.