Broken links on a website can quickly cause a negative user experience, which can go a long way to mar a business and its reputation. A link is considered broken when it leads to a different page than expected or the infamous 404 (Page Not Found) response. In either case the link does not lead to a valid page. A broken link is also known as link rot, dead link or dangling link.
Broken links are caused by (but not limited to) the following:
- The link points to a web page that no long exists, resulting in a 404 error response.
- The server hosting the web page no longer exists or its relocated.
- Firewalls and other filters can also cause broken links.
There are many reasons why it’s important to find and fix broken links. First of all, it is more expensive to find a new customer than to keep an existing one. Hence it’s cost effective to fix broken links and not allow them drive away customers and potential customers. Broken links can also cause poor ranking in search engines, adversely affecting marketing.
One way to take care of broken links is perform a regular broken links test. The Link Checker Portlet is able check links within a specified web page and give a detailed result of information about each link . The app shows all Broken and Good links within the page.
The portlet allows users enter the URL of the page to be link checked, as shown below.
When you click the Check Links button, the portlet processes all the links on the specified page as shown below:
The user can stop the link check process by clicking on the Cancel Check button, which will navigate the user back the home page of portlet.
Below is a screenshot of a link check results for a specified page.
The mobile view of the results page looks as follows:
The Back button takes the user back to the home page of the portlet.
Different row colors represent different link states (Pending, Good or Broken):
Yellow color represents pending links (not yet processed).
Grey represents links that are in Good state.
Red represents links that are broken.
The following describes what each table column represents:
- Row#: Row number of processed link in the result table
- Caption: The caption of the link, which could be the alt text in case of images.
- Element Type: The HTML tag associated with the link. For example, img, which is for the image tag: <img ../>
- Link Status: The current state of link; pending, good or broken.
- HTTP Response: The server response when a get request was made with the link. For example: HTTP/1.1 200 OK, which means a success response from server.
- HTTP Response Time: The time it takes in milliseconds to get a response from the server.
- Content-Type: The content or MIME type of the resource pointed to by the link. Example image/gif, for a GIF image.
- Content Length: The total number of bytes of the retrieved resource.
- Verified: Indicates whether or not a response was received from the target server.
- Verified-By: Represents the thread that processed link. Each link is processed asynchronously with a separate thread.
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