Do you know that broken link are not ideal for your website, it really hurt your website, if you don’t know, now you know.
Broken links negatively affect your website’s SEO and hurt the user-experience of visitors. Do not be alarmed if your website has broken links as most websites do, however it is in your interest to repair broken website links and either change the URL of the link or remove the link altogether.
What is Broken Link
- 1 What is Broken Link
- 2 Finding Broken Links using Plugins
- 3 Finding Broken Links Using Online Tools
- 4 Finding Broken Links Using Google Search Console
- 5 How to Fix the Broken Links that are found on your Website
A broken link is a link on a web site that no longer available because the website is experiencing either the destination web page has been moved or no longer exists. This is a definition for WordPress beginners, let define as a professional.
A broken link is a hyperlinks a website which is linked to an empty or non-existent external webpages.
On WordPress website broken links typically occur when moving a site to new domain name, or when deleting a post or page without proper redirection.
That is why it’s extremely important to regularly monitor broken links on your site and fix them, so you can keep them from hurting your SEO rankings.
So we show you methods to find and fix broken links in WordPress
Finding Broken Links using Plugins
There are different ways you can find broken links using plugins, either using SEO plugins like Rankmath, Yoast, AIOSEO etc or Normal install plugins either free or paid plugins.
Using SEO tools
This seo tools comes with different broken link checker, they helps to find and fix your broken link without installing any other broken link checker on your website.
Rank Math has become the standard in free WordPress SEO-Plugins alongside Yoast SEO. It comes with 15 modules including structured data, local SEO, sitemaps, WooCommerce, integration with Google Search Console and the 404 Monitor which acts as a broken link checker.
In the menu under “Rank Math” and “404 Monitor” a simple mode and an advanced mode can be set. In simple mode, only URL, hits and access time are recorded. The advanced mode offers more information like referrer and user agent.
In Rankmath, same in Yoast SEO is a popular plugin for WordPress that also has a menu option linking to the above Google Search Console. This means you can check and fix your links directly from WordPress Admin
Using Broken Link checker Plugins
Using this plugins is also recommended, we advice users who just migrate from one hosting to another like moving from blogger to WordPress or from weebly to WordPress are advice to use this plugins so as to detect where they have broken links on their websites.
The plugin checks for broken links on your website including both internal and external links that are resulting in a 404 error.
First, you’ll need to install and activate the Broken Link Checker plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin. After activation, the plugin will start working in the background to find links in your posts, pages, and comments. Later, you can now go to Tools » Broken Links page to view the full report.
Note: You will need to keep Broken Link Checker active on your website until you fix broken links. After that, you can deactivate the plugin because it will keep checking for broken links which will slow down your server.
Finding Broken Links Using Online Tools
There are online tools that you can use to find and fixed broken link, among few are;
Ahref Broken Link Checker
Ahrefs is an excellent all-in-one SEO tool for marketers, businesses, and SEO professionals. It offers detailed SEO insights into your own website or any of your competitors. Using it for different things like keyword research, competition analysis, organic and paid keyword ideas, and site health monitoring including broken links.
First, you’ll need to sign up for an Ahrefs account. It is a paid service with plans starting from $99 per month. They also offer a full featured 7 day trial for $7.
Once you are logged into your Ahref’s dashboard, you need to enter your domain name under the Site Explorer tool. It will now crawl through your website if their are broken links on it. You’ll see an overview of your site explorer results, you need to click on the Pages » Best by Links menu and then sort your report by 404 status. Then you download in CSV format.
SemRush Broken Link Checker
SEMRush is one of the best SEO tool on the market. It allows you to easily monitor your website’s SEO rankings and overall health.
It also includes a powerful site audit tool that crawls your website to find common errors and prepare a detailed report for you.
First, you’ll need to sign up for a SEMRush account.
It is a paid service, but they do offer a limited free account which allows you to crawl up to 100 pages on one domain name. Paid plan limits start from 100,000 pages a month. As a beginner, I would you would love to start with free account.
Once you log in, you need to click on the ‘Site Audit’ link from the left menu.
This will bring you to the Site Audit page. From there, click on the ‘New Site Audit’ button at the top to add your website.
Then enter your domain name, configure your settings audit, and choose the number of crawl, then start.
SEMRush will now begin crawling your website for the site audit. This may take a few minutes depending on how many pages you selected for the crawl.
Once finished, you can click on your domain Under the Site Audit section to view your report.
Finding Broken Links Using Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help webmasters manage their site’s visibility in search results. It also notifies you about errors including 404 errors which are caused by a broken link.
After you have logged in to your Google Search Console account, click on the ‘Coverage’ link from the left menu.
You’ll find 404 errors either under Errors or Excluded tabs. Clicking on them will show you a list of errors or issues Google encountered while visiting your website.
Clicking on the 404 error will show you all the links on your website that are broken links and return a 404 error.
You do still need to do a lot of investigation yourself, but you can use the index coverage report to correct internal linking mistakes and reduce the number of visitors that are sent to 404 pages.
How to Fix the Broken Links that are found on your Website
There are different ways to fix broken links on your website, either manually or plugins. But basically, we advice beginners to do that with plugins.
Fixing Broken Link with 301 Redirect
301 Redirect is one the best WordPress plugins to redirect all error 404 to another unique content. You can read our guide on how to redirect broken links using 301 Redirect. It is very easy and faster to use.
Fixing Broken Link with Redirection Plugin
you will need to install and activate the Redirection plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Redirection page to set up redirects. You need to add the old broken link in the ‘Source URL’ field and the new URL in the ‘Target URL’ field.
After that, click on the ‘Add redirect’ button to save your changes.
You can now test this by visiting the old broken link, and you’ll be redirected to the new page. Repeat the process for all broken links on your website.
We hope this article helped you learn how to easily find and fix broken links in WordPress. If you change your website’s permalink structure or change the URL of any page on your website, you should ensure visitors are still directed to the correct pages.
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