Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 27.
We've all experienced that moment where we've been reading a blog, clicked on a link that looks interesting only to get the big 404 PAGE NOT FOUND error.
Broken links are frustrating for readers and bloggers alike. They annoy your readers, they impact your SEO (Google doesn't like lots of broken links because it knows readers don't like them!) and they annoy you. And the more content you have and the further back in time it spans, the more likely you are to have broken links. But how do you catch them? How do you know that link you created two years ago to that great burger site no longer exists?
Tools For Checking Broken Links
Online Broken Link Check
Online Broken Link Check is a free on-line site that will check your blog for broken links - you just supply your domain name. It can take a while - especially if you have a large site but it will give you a complete list of links and where they appear on your site. Then it's just up to you to check them all and deal with them. The service is free up to 3000 pages. After that you can ask for a paid report.
Google Webmaster Tools
We mentioned why you should have a Google Webmaster account earlier in the 31 Days Challenge and here is just one more reason. While I don't find it gives you a complete list like the previous tool, it does show you all the Google crawl errors for your site (pages you the google crawlers couldn't access).
Link Valet is another on-line tool that you can use. We've never tried it ourselves but it looks to offer some good reporting options and some additional information on the links. This is another free service.
Broken Link Checker for WordPress
Broken Link Checker is a plug-in for self-hosted WordPress sites that will automatically check your site and notifies you via your WordPress dashboard whenever it finds a broken link. This is handy so you don't have to remember to check your site on a regular basis with a free on-line tool.
These are just a few options that are available to you regardless of the blogging platform you use. Give your site a run-through and see what happens. Then fix up all those broken links!
Do you already check for broken links on a regular basis? Do you use a different tool than we've listed here? We'd love to hear what works for you!