There are no broken links on your web page? Sure? If your web project is bigger than a couple of pages you will need the help of an automatic link checker tool to answer this question. If you do not check the links regularly and there are too many broken links you risk that:
- the usability will be bad, because users just waste their time with clicking on the broken links
- the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) suffers, because the search engine crawlers might waste their (limited!) time with following these links.
In a previous post I have already presented the Linkchecker Firefox plugin, which helps you too analyze links, but it can only check the links of the current page. Don´t worry you will not have to go to each page to check all links one-by-one if you use the following free tool: (Thx to my Twitter-Friend David Douek, for recommending it!)
How does it work?
Pretty easy! You type the URL of the page that you want to check, push the button and watch how the tool follows the links of your page. It actually works similar like a search engine crawler.
The broken link report is very easy to understand and convenient to use, because it will open a simple HTML file where you can directly click the reported links in your browser. Also nice: you can choose if you also want a sitemap or additional statistics. Tip: press CTRL + r to retry all links that failed because of connection problems and you can avoid that this will influence your report. Last not least: It is really fast and even if you are afraid that your server could go down you can limit the crawling speed.
What could still be improved?
In my opinion it would be nice to limit the maximum number of links or time the linkchecker runs. Especially for websites with generated content it is not always necessary to check all the links.
Do you have experience with this tool, or can you recommend other free linkchecker tools? Please let me know and leave a comment.