Having a lot of broken links in your WordPress website is a nightmare for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If they exist within your blog post, people will get 404 errors.
If you have any broken links or want check if you do, then this guide is for you. I will show you how to use a free broken link checker plugin to detect and fix all the broken links in your WordPress blog posts or pages, so as to avoid sending bad signals to the search engine bots that crawl your website.
These errors can be dangerous for your blog. In the sense that, the search engine bots will also experience those 404 errors and get an indication that your website has issues.
What causes broken links?
You may have linked to a webpage a long time ago. But unfortunately, the website closes up. As a result, the link become broken.
Another possible cause of broken link is,changing your permalink structure after you have done some interlinking that involved using that link.
Also, for one reason or the other, you may decide to delete a post you have published and linked to. If and when you decide to delete a post, all the links directed to that post become dead or broken links.
Plugin for detecting and correcting broken links
If you have a lot of blog posts, the questions you might be asking now is, how do I detect and correct all the dead links for my numerous blog posts.
We have answers to that.
Introducing: The free broken link checker plugin.
You can install this plugin using any of the three methods for installing WordPress plugins from our previous guide.
After installing the plugin, navigate to your dashboard menu area and hover your mouse on the Settings Icon.
Click on Link Checker.
Accessing the plugin for the first time, it will automatically run a test on your blog. It will scan and notify you if there broken links within your website.
Wow! Looks like it’s my lucky day. I only found one broken link. This is very easy to correct.
All I have to do is click on the ‘found 1 broken link’.
You can Edit URL, Unlink, insist on Not broken, Dismiss or run a recheck. Depending on the action you want to perform on your broken link.
In this case, I noticed a typo in the URL of my intended link. All I have to do is, click on ‘Edit URL’
After carrying out all necessary correction, hit the Update button to have the old URL replaced with the new one.
This process is one action for all. Any other post where that exact wrong URL is found in, will be corrected and replaced automatically.
If you have a lot of broken links, probably not as a result of a typo, you can choose the unlink option instead and have that wrong URL turned to plain text.
Now, we are going to have an overview of the default settings of our Broken Link Checker plugin.
Click on ‘General’ in your plugin homepage.
By default, ‘Stop search engines from following broken links’ is not selected. I suggest you have it selected. Also, you may decide to increase or reduce the default 72 hours scan frequency, depending on what setting you deem most appropriate.
That’s everything about detecting and fixing broken links in your WordPress blog.