Once your website is live, there are various things to take care of to run your website smoothly. 404 errors and broken links are tasks you need to check regularly to keep up your website for top search rankings.
Causes and Effects
Finding missing URL’s and Broken Links and fixing them to ensure your website stays relevant and reliable to give an ultimate experience to the visitors. When a visitor lands in a page where it shows as the content no longer exists is an awkward experience and frustrating and defined it as a broken link.
In general, a broken link shows when the page leads to having been deleted, moved or its URL has been changed which will be displayed as a 404 error.
How to check broken links
You could fix a broken link on your website by going through each page and post manually and you can detect permalink within the page or post. It can be a time-consuming task if you got many links and easy for a small website with few pages. It will be a snag to check on a regular basis.
You can check and find the links through Google Search Console and also can use a plugin if you have a WordPress website to automate the process of checking and fixing them.
Tools to find Broken Links
Google shows all the 404 Errors and Broken Links through Webmaster Tools. You can find the list of Crawl Errors; you can find the exact URL, fix it and validate again to run your website smoothly.
Broken Link Checker is a popular WordPress plugin that checks all the links automatically and alerts you.
It is a downloadable tool that can run and check broken links of a website. It has a functionality to export all the links up to 500 URLs in a free version.
It is definitely a powerful tool for large websites. It will deep dive into your website and shows you with all the Broken and 404 links.
How to fix Broken Links and 404 Errors manually
- You can use 301-redirection for the broken links to a new page with the correct URL.
- You can find a similar page and redirect them and if the page does not exist, you can redirect to the Home Page or display other information using the 404 templates by relevant recommendations.
- Never remove or delete a page from a published page, you can always use the unpublish option to overcome the issue in the future.