The Broken Link Checker plugin will help you test all internal and external links on a regular basis. It will help you improve user experience and may even lead to some ranking improvements.
To get started, go to your WordPress dashboard and install the Broken Link Checker plugin from the official repository.
When the plugin is active, you will see two new pages in your Dashboard. The Link Checker page in the Settings section and the Broken Links page in the Tools section.
Let’s start with the Link Checker page in the Settings section.
By default the plugin will attempt to check every link every 72 hours. That’s too generous. I usually change this to 504 hours, which is 21 days.
I don’t need email reminders about broken links, but you might want to keep this checked.
It can automatically add some special CSS styling to broken and removed links, as well as stop search engines from following broken links. It’s a good idea to check this.
I don’t need alternative suggestions, so I usually uncheck this feature.
You have the option of removing broken links without affecting a post’s modified date. I keep this one checked.
But we’re not done yet. There are several more tabs with options.
In the Look for Links In tab, select the post types and content elements that should be scanned for links.
You can even check Custom Fields and ACF fields.
In the Which Links to Check tab and in the Advanced tab, the default values should be fine for most users.
After a day or two it is time to look at the Broken Links page.
Click on the Screen Options button in the top-right corner to change the number of links that will be displayed per page.
For each link you have the option of editing the URL or unlinking it. This will happen directly on this page without having to open the Edit Screen for each piece of content.
And there are 3 more actions that you can take: mark this link as Not Broken, Dismiss this notice or force an immediate test of the link status.
Depending on your website size, you may have hundreds if not thousands of broken links.
Before you invest your time in fixing them one by one, I recommend that you watch a Moz.com Whiteboard Friday video on the topic of Broken Links.
Cyrus Shepard (@CyrusShepard) will help you have the right expectations after fixing broken links.
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