Broken Link Checkers

Broken Link Checkers

One of the basic things that webmasters need to master is the use of links. It’s what makes the Internet go round, so to speak. Links are simple enough to learn and code. But sometimes, we make mistakes and end up with broken links (particularly if we’re coding manually) or even dead ones (if we don’t update content that often).

To an Internet user, there’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on links that give nothing but error messages (alongside those pop-up ads, of course), and as a result, they may leave your site. That’s not so bad if it’s just a hobby site, but what if you’re running e-commerce sites? Or if you’re trying to get your website registered with search engines?

I know manually checking for broken/dead links can be time consuming, not to mention migraine-inducing. So what’s your recourse? Automated link checkers of course! There are a number of them available online.

Here are some (latest versions), available either for free or under GPL, for your consideration:

* LinkChecker v1.12.2 – a Python script for checking your HTML documents for broken links
* Checkbot v1.75 – written in Perl; a tool to verify links on a set of HTML pages; creates a report summarizing all links that caused some kind of warning or error
* Checklinks 1.0.1 – written in Perl; checks the validity of all HTML links on a Web site; start at one or more “seed” HTML files, and recursively test all URLs found at that site; doesn’t follow URLs at other sites, but checks their existence; supports SSI (SHTML files), the latest Web standards, directory aliases, and other server options
* Dead Link Check v0.4.0 – simple HTTP link checker written in Perl; can process a link cache file to hasten multiple requests (links life is time stamp enforced); initially created as an extension to Public Bookmark Generator, but can be used by itself as is
* gURLChecker v0.6.7 – written in C; a graphical web links checker for GNU/Linux and other POSIX OS; under GPL license
* JCheckLinks v0.4b – a JavaT application which validates hyperlinks in web sites; should run on any Java 1.1.7 virtual machine; licensing terms are LGPL with the main app class being GPL
* Linklint v2.3.5 – an Open Source Perl program that checks links on web sites; licensed under the Gnu General Public License
* LinkStatus v0.1.1 – written in C++; an Open Source tool for checking links in a web page; discontinued and forked and to KLinkStatus, a more powerful application for KDE (which makes it hard for Windows and Mac users to build); KLinkStatus v0.1-b1 at KDE-Apps.org
* Xenu’s Link SleuthT v1.2e – a free tool that checks Web sites for broken links; displays a continuously updated list of URLs sortable by categories; Platform(s): Win 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
* Echelon Link Checker – a free CGI & Perl script from Echelon Design; you simply edit a few variables at the top of the script, set a url to the page you want, and it’ll go to that page, get all the links, and check each link to see if its “dead” or not; allows you to set what word or words define a dead page, such as 404 or 500; Platforms: All
* Link Checker (CMD or Web v1.4) – CMD version can check approximately 170 links in about 40 seconds; CGI version takes about a minute and 10 seconds; very accurate; scans for dead links (not just 404 errors but any error that prevents the page from loading Platform(s): ALL
* phplinkchecker – a modified freeware version of the old PHP Kung Foo Link Checker; reports the status (200, 404, 401, etc.) of a link and breaks the report down showing useful stats; used for finding broken links, or working links on any page; can be easily modified for any specific use Platform(s): Unix, Windows

You can also have your URL’s links checked (for free) at the following sites:

* 2bone’s LinkChecker 1.2 – allows site owners to quickly and easily check the links on their pages; allows users to add their link to 2bone’s links section; added (as of Jan 2004) an option to see all results returned on a single page or use the quicker 10 links per results page
* Search Engine Optimising – via its Website Broken Links Checker Platform(s): All
* Dead-Links.com – via its Free Online Broken Link Checker from Dead-Links.com; spider-based technology and super fast online analysis

With all these resources available at no cost to you, there’s really no reason why you should still have those broken and dead links around.

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