Do you not find it very irritating that sometimes you open a website and all you get to see is ‘Error 404, Page not found’? It will be more unnerving to you if you own a particular site and you see this message often. Though it is a very common problem and might happen to any website, it can be a real problem if you want your website to be a part of google’s ranking list. Having broken links repeatedly will directly effect on your SEO. If you’re going to do a WordPress theme customization and suffer from this problem, you have to know how to deal with it.
Here are quick and easy steps for you to find and fix broken links!
Before that know what broken links are-
A link which does not work or can not be found anymore is known as a broken link or dead link. This can happen for several reasons like mistyping of the URL, while trying to link the page with an old page which was moved or deleted or if the external website has gone off. To avoid the unfortunate experience of your users, hire a good WordPress theme developer who knows how to find broken links from google console and fix it which in turn will also help you not to have an adverse impact on your SEO.
How do you find a broken link?
- If you are new in this, then you must find it a bit difficult. You can use the ‘Broken Link Checker’ which is free, and it screens all the links that your website contains. When it finds a broken link in any of the comments, pages, posts or sites, it notifies you through email or WordPress admin dashboard. All you need to do is to install it and then go to settings and then to link checker in your admin dashboard to get it activated and start working.
- You can also check the broken links through general settings. This is built in such a way that you get notifications of your links that are broken in every 72 hours. You can also provide it’s access to the authors who write for your sites to let them know about the broken links. Whatever changes you may do, save it before you leave the page.
- You can also trace the broken links from the tab names ‘Look for links’. You can click on the options that you want to check the broken links and you are good to go. Also, make sure to put in the types of links you want to be checked as most of the WordPress links are HTML, but it can also check posts, blogs and comments for you. Though it is advisable to leave all the settings to default so that you get notifies every time it detects a broken link.
How do you fix a broken link?
- To fix the broken links that have been detected, visit tools and then click on the broken links option. A list will appear which includes all the dead links, URL, status and anchor texts of the broken links. It will also show you the source of the dead links.
- You can also fix a broken link by redirecting the link to another page. It is much similar like showing your readers another related article when the actual one you wanted to display does not exist or is being deleted. If you set up 301 redirects, you can easily do that. Your WordPress theme developer will guide you all through the process, and if you hire a competent and experienced person, he will do this at ease.
- You need to install the Redirection plugin and then activate it. You are required to visit the tools option and then put up the old broken link URL and the new links where you want the original links to be pointed to.
- After you have fixed a broken link, error may still happen. This will have a significant impact on your SEO and on your website’s reputation. To safeguard your interest, you should always check the broken links manually after fixing it. Technical faults may still exist, and that will not help you solve the problem. Therefore, check every time after you fix a link, and if you see, there lies a problem even after it, redirect the links or repeat the processes that have been described earlier.
Here is a step by step guide for you on how you can find a broken link and then you can fix it using a variety of methods. You need to be very careful while designing and doing the WordPress theme customization so that you do not do it wrong or do anything to hamper your SEO with broken links.