After 12 plus years of blogging, I’m sure that you can imagine that there must be a lot of links that I’ve shared that may not actually go anywhere any longer. That is true, but I never really knew how true until I grabbed a copy of the WordPress plugin Broken Link Checker.
I installed it over on my child abuse survivor blog, and out of curiosity I went ahead and let it do it’s things.
Sure enough, it found a few hundred broken links and presented them all to me in a list, like you see below.
Now, as I ran through the list, I found some things that I could obviously just unlink in bulk. If the link was linking to a commenter that no longer worked, I went ahead and unlinked. No reason to be granting publicity to commentators who no longer blog, right?
Others pointed to things that were no longer active on the site, like forums or other such things, those also, I could unlink, but I also found something interesting. If I chose the option to Edit the URL for each link, it would search the WayBack Machine for a copy of what I l had linked to. That’s kind of cool. That let’s me point to an old copy of things that I had linked to even when the site is no longer online. It doesn’t always work, but I thought it was a fairly neat feature.
Now, the big question is, how much do I owe my readers in terms of going back and fixing those links? I haven’t answered that over there, let alone this site, which has much more content overall.
Still, it’s nice to know that I can use this tool to find out just how bad things are, and try and correct some of the more egregious causes of broken links. For that alone, as well as the web archive search, I highly recommend this plugin!