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


“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.


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.

Building A Website For An Electrical Contractor

For an electrical contracting company, we help by creating a new website to replace an existing legacy infrastructure that is bound to hosing and support. WordPress frees up a website and to be hosted on the best platform available. Our designs are clean, responsive,...

How Would We Tackle a Pilates Website Rebuild

We're been asked several times about how we would re-design a pilates or fitness website. Here's a quick rundown of what we recommend. We propose the following features & functions: Move site hosting to (managed, optimized WordPress hosting). Update the...

Web321 Won the 2023 ICCC-KFC Recipe For Success

We’re excited to share that we won the $30,000 CAD grant through the ICCC-KFC Recipe for Success Program! Thank you to Inner City Capital Connections and KFCCanada for the opportunity to participate in the ICCC program and receive this grant. We look forward to using it to help our business continue to grow!

Going Global: How To Use Global Divi Regions In The Divi Library

The Divi theme library is a powerful tool that can help you save time and streamline your website design process. One of the key features of the Divi library is the ability to create global rows. Global rows are essentially modules that you can reuse throughout your...

Why People Like Elementor (but we still don’t)

The TLDR: There is no real comparison between Elementor and Divi; however, it doesn't necessarily mean that Elementor is the best option. We use Divi and we love it. For us, Divi can turn out fantastic results. Why is Elementor considered better? Unlike Divi,...

What’s the difference between posts and pages in WordPress?

In WordPress, posts and pages are two of the most commonly used content types. Posts are typically used for blog entries, news updates, and other types of content that are time-sensitive and frequently updated. Pages, on the other hand, are used for more static content, such as an About Us page or a Contact page.

Linking Gravity Forms to BuddyPress Forums

I was posed with problem: make BuddyPress forum topics from a Gravity Forms form submission. Turning Gravity Form submissions into posts isn't a big party trick-- that is built in. What doesn't work, is the linkage to a particular forum as a new topic. So: I did some...

Making The Most of a Google Business Profile

Small business owners need to pay attention to their Google Business  profile. Given the power and reach of Google, having a business profile is like getting a desk somewhere at Google where you get to influence how people find your business. Some people don't even...

Customer Feedback and B2B: It’s Still Essential

How many times a day does the topic of online toxicity and cancel culture come up? That boils down to reputation management and how a comment can be an asymmetrical attack-- an attack with no adequate defense. Some business have spiralled and crashed thanks to a spate...

8 Things To Consider TO Build A Successful Ecommerce Website

The pandemic pushed businesses away from the traditional models and accelerated the move to online first interactions. Ecommerce has changed the face of commerce. Despite that,  most ecommerce websites will still fail. Things to keep in mind when building a highly...