Finding Dead Links

Alternatives To The Broken Link Checker Plugin and Why You Need One

Last week I wrote about cleaning up our WordPress blogs and that post was graced with some awesome comments by our readers. A couple of those comments took this blogger to school and I want to share what I learned about the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin.

The Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin ain’t all that! Tweet: The Broken Link Checker Plugin WordPress Plugin ain't all that! http://ctt.ec/clfcP+ via @HotBlogTips

An Online Broken Link Checker Alternative

Tim Bonner left the following comment:

Broken links can become a real problem if you don’t keep on top of them, especially with CommentLuv installed.

I tend to use brokenlinkcheck.com to check for them now because it means one less plugin and it picks up the CommentLuv ones too whereas I don’t think the Broken Link Checker does?

Now that was news to me but right you are Tim. I decided to give BrokenLinkCheck.com a try even though I was certain I had all of the broken links cleaned up with the Broken Link Checker plugin. Wrong! BrokenLinkCheck.com found over 350 additional broken links. Granted, a few of them were false positives but most were right on the money and needed to be corrected.

I also agree that running too many plugins is a bad idea, especially if they’re not performing so I decided to deactivate and remove the Broken Link Checker Plugin. From now on, I’ll run an off-site broken link check each week when I perform my full blog backups.

A Desktop Broken Link Checker Alternative

Later in the comments, Chris from PortPrep said he uses Xenu’s Link Sleuth. Now I’ve actually heard of Xenu’s Link Sleuth so I decided to give it a try. I found the download on the actual website. Xenu’s Link Sleuth ran for almost two hours, checked 22,705 URLs and,again, found hundreds of broken links.

Nether BrokenLinkCheck.com or Xenu’s Link Sleuth had a problem finding broken links left in CommentLuv, broken video embeds, or other embeded content such as images and broken Twitter handles from CommentLuv’s Twitterlink.

Our Hangout Discussion

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Why you need more than the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin

Your Action Step

I recommend you decide which is best for you and your situation, a desktop link checking tool or an online tool and then find the one that fits your needs. Once you’ve selected a tool of choice, work it into your regular routine so you don’t forget. May I suggest you tackle broken links the same time you perform your blog backup?

Your Experience?

Would you care to share your broken link checker tool? Are you relying on the Broken Link Checker Plugin? Do you bother cleaning up broken links on your blog? Do you believe broken links hurt your blog? You comments and questions are always welcome.