Broken Website Links & How to Find Them
While surfing the internet one day I noticed a common issue on some blogs I frequent, and that issue was broken links. There were times that I found myself reading an interesting article that would reference a different article or webpage, but when I clicked the link there was nothing there. Not only can that be frustrating for the readers, it can also take value away from the overall meaning of the article or webpage. In a QA role checking for broken links is necessary for blog migrations or even to do a website checkup. Outside of a QA role if someone is running a blog making sure the blog stays “perfect” is vital. Checking for broken links can be done manually; however, that process is largely tedious. Thankfully there are tools online that will help check a website for broken links that work in no time, but first we must discuss why broken links can exist on some webpages or blogs.
There are times links will no longer be active due to outside websites shutting down, the removal of a webpage, or a change of the url structure without a proper redirect in place. To explain that last option a bit (a change of the url structure…) I’ll give an example. Let’s say there’s a blog article on www.openprofessionalgroup.com site that’s original url was http://www.openprofessionalgroup.com/2015/10/20/magic-programming, but was then changed to http://www.openprofessionalgroup.com/magic-programming for let’s say SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. Without proper redirection this link will become broken. As stated before, trying to locate broken links in the vast see of links on a website can be tough, but there are online tools to assist with that.
The site brokenlinkcheck.com is an example of online tools that check for broken links. This site will check any website for broken links in no time. This saves a tremendous amount of time because the site gives you a count of broken links, and it will show the location of the problematic links. There are other sites such as www.deadlinkchecker.com, www.powermapper.com, and www.drlinkcheck.com.
If you’re in a QA role, the tools above will shave hours off of your day, and help you focus on other aspects of testing. If you run a blog site, the tools listed above will be of tremendous value. Not only will your blog stay perfect, but you will avoid reader frustration that can occur.