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Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin: Fix Broken links & Redirections

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Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin: Fix Broken links & Redirections

Broken link checker WordPress plugin (BLC) is one of the essential site SEO audit plugin. For any hugeBroken Links thumb WordPress blog, this plugin is a life saver to remove broken links and to fix redirections. This plugin is very handy when you are cleaning up your WordPress site after some time. This plugin finds all broken and redirected links and give you options to fix them in many ways. Before we talk more about Broken link checker plugin, lets check out some information on broken links.

What are broken links?

Broken links are those link which do not exist. It’s a dead link with 404 status code. For example, you might have linked to some website or pages in the past and now that link doesn’t exist or has been removed, such links are broken links or dead end for bots. When a visitor follow that link, he will get 404 error page & search engine bots will get 404 status code, which means this page does not exist. From SEO point of view broken links ( dead links) are dead end and it adds negative impact on your blog.

For any Website there are many broken link checker Websites Or you can use Xenu to check all broken links on your blog. But when it comes to WordPress, there are plugins like Broken link checker which makes our life easier. Too many 404 links are also informally termed at Link rot and you can read more about it on Wiki page.

WordPress plugin to fix broken links:

BLC is a free  broken link checker tool for WordPress.It helps you to find all broken links on your blog as well as all the redirections. Specially, if your posts get too many comments, over the time you might end up having hundreds or thousands of broken links.

This WP plugin checks all the URL’s on your WordPress blog and give a complete report of broken and redirected link. Plugin author has updated this plugin to take care of load on your site and now it comes with many settings.

How to use Broken link checker WordPress plugin?

It might take some time before you start seeing detected broken and redirected links. You can always check the status from your dashboard homepage. Here is how the broken link checker plugin shows broken links:

Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin

Along with broken link, it shows the status code, which will help you to determine if you have to unlink, update or not to take any action. Again, my recommendation would be work on updating the link instead of simply unlinking it. In case, if you have a huge blog with thousands of broken links, it’s better to get rid of such 404 links instead of delaying it for later.

You can click on Settings at top right and configure many settings. Specially, go to “Look for links in” and check comments. If your server is underpowered or if it’s overpowered, you can set the Server load limit under advance settings tab.  There is an option under general, which let you stop search engine bots to follow broken links.

WordPress Broken Link Checker Plugin Settings

Usually, this plugin is plug and play to find broken links, but additionally I would suggest to check and confirm if “Stop search engines from following broken links” and Comments under look for links in are checked. This will make sure that by the end of the day, you will be getting rid of broken links.

Broken links found. What next?

So, after running this plugin for 2-3 hours, it detected almost 500+ broken links. For comments, you can simply select all such comments and from the drop down, you can select Unlink. Or you can hover over any link and quickly edit, unlink or mark it as not broken. Specially for blog posts, I would suggest you to update the broken link with updated link else your quality post might not be of any good without any link.

Here is the most interesting feature of this plugin and that is finding redirection and fixing it. Over the time, many people change their domain and do a redirection or you might have changed your permalink and your old posts are interlinked using old permalink, which is somehow not to good for SEO. Broken link checker plugin checks all the redirection and with one click you can fix the redirected links and update them to new one. In case, if you are using affiliate links, it will be also shown as redirected link, so make sure you don’t fix such affiliate links. Here is a screenshot of how you can fix redirected links.:

Fixing redirected links WordPress

If you ever changed your domain, permalink or moved from BlogSpot to WordPress or from any other platform, this redirects feature under broken link checker plugin is going to be very useful.

Some time back, I changed CallingAllGeeks permalink structure which resulted in  showing as duplicate meta description for all the posts under HTML suggestion of Google Webmaster tool. After searching in Webmaster forum, I realize it’s a bug but still I don’t see any point of keeping links with old permalink structure. As too many redirection and such links might not be considered as SEO friendly. Here is a screenshot for the same:

Duplicate Meta description

Depending upon the number of total links on your site, this plugin will take around 10-45 minutes to fix all broken and redirected links. Last time when I used this plugin, I ended up fixing almost 600+ broken links at ShoutMeLoud.

Quick  note: This plugin adds too many tables in database and due to log size your database size will increase. So, after using this plugin disable it and using Wp-Db manager plugin, you can drop all the tables created by this plugin. For you reference, here are the tables created by BLC WordPress plugin: _blc_filters, _blc_instances, _blc_links, _blc_synch

It doesn’t matter which platform are you using, but broken links on any site is not good for site SEO and when ever you do a SEO audit of your Website, make sure broken link checker plugin is an essential part.

Do let us know which WordPress plugin do you use to find broken links on your blog. Have you ever used Broken link checker WordPress plugin? How likely you are going to recommend this plugin to other WordPress users?

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1096 articles.

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Jack

    Hi, Harsh

    Great tip. Great plugin.

    After reading you post I installed it at one of my blogs.

    I found more than 300 broken links. I fixed all of them.

    Thank you

    Reply
  • Ikshit Kakkar

    hi harsh,
    when i fix redirects it shows the following message ” Replaced 0 redirects with direct links Failed to fix 30 redirects ”
    what to do??

    Reply
  • Jack

    Hey Harsh – Thanks for this useful article. I have used the Broken Link Checker plugin many times and it always worked fine for me. Excellent plugin!

    Reply
  • erina

    Today my site disappear from google index’s and then i know from email that’s Google has applied a manual spam action to site. and judge my blog, Thin Content.
    Thank’s I found this site where i know what exactly solution to check broken and redirected link then fix it.
    Good Job Harsh. thank you very much.

    Reply
  • Duyu Nimey

    Hi Harsh
    Thank you for such helpful post, i have removed all my broken links. actually i had already installed the “Broken link checker ” but was unable it in my dashboard :) (i was checking inside the setting option again and again) but after reading this tutorial with all the images i accomplished my work easily, thank you (once again).

    Reply
  • Neha

    Very Useful article.I was worried about broken links for long time.I tried though the 404 redirection but i am finding duplicate meta info in my webmaster account.
    I installed broken link checker.I will try it as you suggested.

    Reply
  • Young

    The Broken Link Checker is really a good plugin for a website with many outbound links, but unfortunately, it didn’t work for my blog, since it always tracked URLs but never display any result, even though I disabled all the other WordPress plugins.

    Any suggestion about how to fix this problem will be very appreciated.

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Young under settings > Check load time… Set to check for links when load is below certain level….For example: In one of my blog it’s set as 2 and on ShoutMeLoud it’s set at certain level…. Tell me know if it works or not.

      Reply
      • Young

        Hi Harsh, you are a genius, yes, the Broken Link Check is working on my blog now when leaving the Server load limit column empty, thank you very much and happy Chinese New Year!

        Reply
  • Dave Doolin

    Yes, that’s right: use BLC on a regular basis, dropping the tables when it’s not needed. Also, you can control how much load BLC puts on your server. Very handy!

    Reply
  • rakesh kumar

    Your blog really looks good for me for the text allignment made. I have seen text alligned towards left, right or towards centre in many blogs. How did you do this in your blog. Kindly let me know this technique which makes the blog look even prettier. thank you…….

    Reply
  • Irfan

    Thank you Harsh for a great review on Broken Link plugin i’m using the same plugin in my blog to find the dead links. I can easily check the status from inside the dashboard & can work on directly by visiting link to plugin settings.

    Reply
  • Mihir

    Hey Harsh Thanks for this article. IN my latest blog I required to manually check those backlinks when I get 404 error. I found 31 broken links after installing this plugin. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Amir Nasir

    hello harsh, when i used this plugin, i got no link found as a message for my blog…is this an error? or really my blog is having no broken links

    Reply
    • rakesh

      It means you does not have any such broken link my dear friend. :)

      Reply
  • Prabhakaran

    Great man useful tips :) Though i have linked my post contents to external sites for reference & source, is this plugin consider that are broken links?

    Reply

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