This is the kick off  to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 27.

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 27: Checking For Broken Links

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.

Booooo.

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 either!) 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.

RELATED:  The 31 Day Blog Challenge Day 7: Clean Up Your Sidebar

Google Search Console

We mentioned using Google Search Console in a previous challenge post and here is just one more reason.  While it won't give you a complete list like the previous tool, it does show you all the Google crawl errors for your site which can be very useful information.

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!

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31 Day Blog Challenge

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8 Comments

Vincci
Reply

I use the Broken Link Checker plugin and it works great! However, I have seven years of posts that it’s rub through, so lots of broken links. Is there a point where it’s OK to stop fixing (i.e. if post is more than 1-2 years old) or should I make some time to go through all of them?

Melissa (FBC Admin)
Reply

I would make the time to go through them all. As Laureen points out below, once you fix them all, you’ll see it just becomes a quick maintenance job. Those old posts can still generate a lot of traffic!

Laureen Fox
Reply

I’ve been using Broken Link Checker for several months. In the beginning there were over a hundred links to fix but now I only get a few once in a while. I have the plugin set to check and email me once a week. I find its easy to stay on top of now. I like the fact that I have the option of fixing links within the plugin. I don’t have to go out every time and edit each individual post.

Joanne T Ferguson
Reply

G’day and thanks for your challenge today! I have run the free Online Broken Link Checker and it must be the heat today; one said bad host, a couple 404 and 2 timeout.
What now do I do? Hot to fix? Thank you! Joanne

Melissa (FBC Admin)
Reply

404’s mean the link is gone. So you need to remove the hyperlink from your post. Bad host or timeout could mean that you have the wrong URL in the link. Check to see if you’ve duplicated the http:// at the beginning of the link (a common mistake when copying and pasting links) or that you have the right extension (is it .com or .ca or .au etc)

Joanne T Ferguson
Reply

G’day and big thanks Melissa! As love learning anything new that will improve my blog, blog performance and future posts too!
Cheers! Joanne

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