As you probably know, broken links resulting in 404 pages are an SEO no-no. Improving user experience and decreasing bounce rates will boost SERPs rankings and conversions. Unfortunately, manually checking for and repairing broken links can be a time-consuming hassle. Third-party tools like Google Webmaster Tools can be used to check for but not repair those links. For WordPress-based sites, a far more convenient option is the Broken Link Checker plugin.
What Broken Link Checker Does
As the name implies, Broken Link Checker sifts through your site’s MySQL databases looking for bad URLs. It’ll show HTTP status codes for suspect links as well as the Posts or Pages where they reside. From within the back-end admin panel, users can directly edit or delete links as they see fit. Broken Link Checker boasts support for over two dozen languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.
The Full Feature Roster
Though the default settings are fine for most users, the customization options are where BLC’s true power lies. You can filter bad links based on custom post types, anchor text, HTTP status codes and a variety of other parameters. It can even filter links based on content types such as images and video. Notifications can be set to arrive via email or pop up in the WordPress Dashboard.
General Usage in the Field
Once you install Broken Link Checker, it’ll perform an initial scan that takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. After that, it runs more or less on autopilot. Any broken links will show up in the “Broken Links” tab under the “Tools” section of the admin area. Be sure to scan YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion URLs regularly as they’re far more likely to break due to copyright issues.
Why BLC Is a WordPress Must
Considering the perils of broken links, it should go without saying that taking active measures to prevent them should be a priority. For WordPress users, Broken Link Checker is the best tool for keeping an installation clutter-free and functional. Thanks to its many custom filter options, BLC can be as aggressive as you want it to be in the fight against broken links.