Link Checking - How to Take the Click Work Out of It

Q. But why would I want to check for broken links?

A. Because some broken links can slow your website down, & broken links are a bad experience for visitors.

I recently added a fellow artist to my Great Artist and Craft Sites page. Now there are quite a few links on that web page, and I wanted to quickly check they were all okay. So, I ran the page through the W3C Link Checker. It's quite simple to do - you just enter the URL (web address) of the page you want checking on the form and press check. After a few seconds of processing, you get the results.

Below you will see a screenshot of some of my results:

This is not as complicated as it looks. Reading from top to bottom:

  • Line 31 - I have purposely excluded this page from search engines using robots.txt, so I will need to check it manually, i.e. by clicking the link itself.
  • Line 153 - this result refers to the google analytics code I have on the page, not my code, so no action required.
  • Line 87 - this is what a broken link may look like in the results. This website is no longer, so I will remove the link.

The W3c state that:

For reliable link checking results, check HTML validity first. See also CSS validity.

And there you have it. A simple automated way to check your links using a free resource without having to visit each site/web page manually.