Finding and Fixing Broken Links In WordPress

by | Jun 12, 2023 | Business

Broken links can have a detrimental impact on the user experience of a WordPress site. When users encounter a broken link, they are presented with a frustrating 404 not-found error message.

There are various reasons why broken links occur on a WordPress website. For instance, a link may become broken if the target page has been modified, relocated, or no longer exists. This resource aims to guide you on effectively addressing broken links in WordPress. You will gain an understanding of what broken links are, their causes, and the proper methods for fixing them on your WP website.

Understanding Broken Links in WordPress

Definition

“Broken links” refers to links within a WordPress site that direct users to non-existent pages. For example, if there are two pages, A and B, and Page A links to the non-existent Page B, users will encounter an error message when they click on that link.

Impacts

Broken links can significantly impact a website beyond just the user experience. They can also negatively affect SEO, as users can’t access valid pages when clicking on broken links. Additionally, broken internal links (links between two pages on the same website) can generate errors in Google Search Console, negatively affecting the site’s rankings on search engine results pages.

Next Steps

Besides user experience and SEO, broken links can impact a site’s indexing on search engines. Once you have fixed broken links on your WordPress site, submitting re-crawl requests to Google can help you resolve broken link issues and improve the overall performance of your website.

Causes of Broken Links

Improper Management of Pages in WordPress

Broken links occur when a page’s URL has been changed in WordPress. Moving a target page from one location to another can create broken links on a WordPress website. While WordPress can automatically handle some broken links by redirecting them, it requires attention when there is no redirection in place.

Sometimes, the permalinks system can fail, making everything except the front page inaccessible. Luckily, restoring the permalinks in this scenario is easy. From WP Admin, go to Settings > Permalinks. Save the default permalink settings that you find, and voila! The permalinks should work again.

Other permalink errors, such as those caused by website migration or hacking, take a little more work to fix.

Website Migration

During website migration, which involves transferring a site from one host to another, issues such as backup restoration, DNS problems, SSL installation, and HTTPS redirection can result in broken links on your WP site.

Hacking Incidents

Hacking incidents can also lead to broken links on a WordPress website. For instance, when manual backdoors are planted, the site’s pages are removed, or the website experiences defacement, broken links can be created. Conducting a malware scan on your site or seeking assistance from WordPress security professionals can help mitigate such issues.

Addressing Broken Links in WordPress – Step by Step

STEP 1 – Identifying Broken Links

Google Search Console is an excellent tool for identifying broken links. If you have configured GSC for your WordPress site, it will show you broken links over time. Logging into GSC and navigating to Indexing > Pages will display a list of broken links on your site. You can export this list for further analysis and action.

STEP 2 – Resolving Broken Links

To fix broken links, you need to edit and update the links in your WordPress content. After obtaining the list of broken links in GSC, click on each link to see if it triggers a 404 Not Found error. Manually making changes can be challenging, so seeking professional assistance may be beneficial.

When updating a broken link, consider the following:

  • If the target page is missing, link it to a different but relevant page on your WordPress site.
  • If the target page’s URL has changed, configure redirects for the old URL using a WordPress plugin like Redirects. WordPress should automatically set redirects when a user updates a URL for a page or post.
  • If a page links to a page that requires login access, ensure you change the target to a relevant, freely accessible page on your site.

NXDOMAIN and DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

An NXDOMAIN error, which stands for “Non-Existent Domain,” occurs when a domain name cannot be resolved by DNS servers. This error is common in various contexts, including WordPress sites.

9 Trends & Flexes In 2024 Web Design

The landscape of web design continues to evolve, embracing new technologies and design philosophies that enhance user experience, accessibility, and visual appeal.

Give Marketers A Perk: A Marketing Job WITHOUT Website Management

With all of the talk of workplace overload and the heavy job requirements, taking something off of a marketer’s plate provides two big wins: it give the marketer more breathing room to accomplish the important things in their job; and it offers the business owner some continuity on the public face of their brand– their website. Here’s our exhaustive list of ways a WordPress maintenance plan can help a marketer do their job better.

The Juggling Act of Priorities for a WordPress Developer

Being a WordPress developer is akin to performing a delicate juggling act. With numerous tasks requiring attention, from translating visual designs into functional websites to ensuring optimal performance and security, managing priorities becomes crucial. We put a lot of effort putting together an in-depth look at how a WordPress developer can effectively balance these responsibilities.

SEO In the World of Artificial Intelligence

Getting An Audience via Search Engine Optimized Content There's a new sheriff in town. Its name is "Search Generative Experience." For a while now, Google has been moving from being the world's biggest index of web pages do being the destination unto itself. Its...

Stripe vs Square vs Paypal

Here’s a quick rundown of these three major ecommerce providers and how they compare to each other. In my 25+ years of ecommerce rollouts, I have dealt with Stripe, Square and Paypal implementations as well as deployments with other providers like Authorize.net, Beanstream (WorldPay), Moneris and others. I really think the three in this article can satisfy most use cases.

Five Tips For AI In Content Creation

There’s a lot to consider about the practical aspects of creating content with AI but also the creative collaboration between human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Understanding CSS Media Queries

CSS media queries are a powerful tool that allow you to apply different styles based on the characteristics of the device or viewport. They enable you to create responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions, and device types (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.).

Spring into 2024: 30 Great Backlink Sources

Creating backlinks, which are links from one website to another, is a fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). They act as a "vote of confidence" from one site to another, indicating to search engines that the content is valuable, credible, and useful....

Getting More from Your CRM: Integrating GlueUp with WordPress

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems like GlueUp are invaluable for managing contacts, deals, and business relationships. However, the data in these systems often remains locked away, unseen by your wider customer base. Integrating your CRM with your...

Empowering Legal Advocacy Through Digital Solutions

In an era where digital presence is crucial, Web321 stands at the forefront of offering custom web solutions tailored for groups embarking on legal advocacy, particularly those initiating or involved in class-action lawsuits. Our expertise caters to the unique needs...

What’s the Deal With Quality Content?

What makes content high-quality? When it comes to content marketing, quality goes beyond surface metrics like word count or citations. True quality lies in how well content achieves its purpose and connects with readers. Does it align with marketing goals? Resonate...