Every now and then, I like to remind everyone to check for broken links on their sites. The last time I mentioned it was way back in January, and then in April of 2006 before that. I always recommend running Xenu on your site, because it does a great job of finding those broken links. Unfortunately, you have to actually remember to run it. That's been my downfall time and time again. I only remember once in a blue moon.
Because I always kick myself for not remembering more often, I went on a search for a better solution. I found one a couple of months ago, and I've been testing it ever since. I've decided it's time to recommend it, because it's done a great job for me.
If you don't want to have to remember to check for broken links on your site, you might want to use LinkTiger. LinkTiger checks your site for broken links automatically and emails you as soon as it finds any. The free version checks weekly. I use the professional version because I'm having it check multiple sites, and it checks my sites every day. And yes, it often finds broken links. Sometimes, the links are pointing to sites that are just temporarily down, so I usually wait for another day or two to go by. If LinkTiger is still reporting the same broken links by then, I assume the links are permanently broken, and I remove them.
LinkTiger not only hunts for broken links in web pages, but also in PDF, CSS files, flash, or Office docs. It's simple to use, and can be configured easily. Here are some screen shots to show you some of the features.
All you "have" to do is enter a url to get started. But if you want to do some more configuring, you can. The pic below shows some of the options you have.
The next screen shot shows you my dashboard, and you can see that LinkTiger found 1 broken link on 3 of the 8 sites I'm checking.
Clicking on one of those brings me to the error details screen. Here I can see the type of error that is being reported at the broken link's destination.
In addition, I can click the Show Me button so that I can see exactly where I've placed this link. Doing so will show the page on my site, with the bad link highlighted in orange for me. This makes it simple for me to know where to find the bad link so I can delete it.
LinkTiger finds a few bad links two or three times a week on my sites. Occasionally, they are just links to sites that are temporarily down (the W3C validator seems go be down a lot), but LinkTiger has definitely found some legitimately broken links on my sites for me. Who knows how long it would have taken me to find them if I'd had to rely on remembering to check them?
There are several subscription levels for LinkTiger, starting with the free version for one site with a maximum of 1000 links checked on a weekly basis. I use the Professional version for $9.95/month because it checks up to 10 sites, 5000 links, and runs daily. I've included the price chart below, although I had to reduce the image size, so it's a little fuzzy. I think it's still legible though, but if not, you can find the same info on the LinkTiger site.
It's important to me that my users don't see lots of broken links on my sites, and it's important to me that the search engines know that my sites aren't filled with bad links. I've seen rankings slip because of bad links in the past, and I never want to see that again. I'm a major fan of any solutions that don't require me to remember something, and LinkTiger is one of those. It does its job well. It does it automatically. It remembers what I don't, and that ends up being good for both me and my users.
If everyone used LinkTiger, I wouldn't need to remember to create reminder posts for you anymore either! 😀