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How to Fix Broken Links in WordPress with Broken Link Checker

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How to Fix Broken Links in WordPress with Broken Link Checker

How do you feel when you click on a link and end up with “404 page not found” error? Broken links are annoying, and they create bad user experience. On top of that, its bad for your website’s SEO. Specially if those broken links are internal links to your own site. This can happen, particularly when moving a site to new domain name. In this article, we will show you how to fix broken links in WordPress to improve your site’s SEO.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Broken Link Checker plugin. After activating the plugin, go to Settings » Link Checker. The plugin will now look for broken links on your website in the background. Depending on how much content you got on your site, the plugin will take sometime to go through your posts and display the results. Once it is done, you will see a link with the number of broken links found on the same page.

Broken links checker plugin settings page

You can see the broken links by either clicking on that link or going to Tools » Broken Links. It will display all the broken links it found like this:

Fixing broken links in WordPress

You can edit a URL right from broken links page, or you can edit the post they belong to. Alternately you can also perform bulk actions like Unlinking all broken links, fix redirects, mark as not broken, etc.

Once you are done fixing the broken links, you can simply disable the plugin and move on.

We hope that you found this article useful in fixing broken links on your WordPress site. As your blog grows older, you will realize that lots of old posts that you wrote had links to external sites which either do not exist anymore or have moved to a new address. By fixing those broken links, you will significantly improve the user experience on your website which can help reduce bounce rate and increase pageviews.

We highly recommend that you use this plugin once every six months for regular cleanup. Let us know how many links you found when you checked your site for broken links by leaving a comment below.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. MASI says:

    How can fix incoming broken back-links?

  2. AbbeyLashly says:

    I have tried this solution, but didnt work for me my website is thank you.

  3. Mazid Chowdhury says:

    I was really able to solve my broken links through this article. Thanks to the author.

  4. Ravi says:

    Thanks! I’m running Broken Link Checker now to fix dozens of broken links on my site. My google organic search traffic plummeted this year after moving to a new domain…and wasn’t sure why. I think broken links is the reason (just realizing a lot of my old posts are busted).

    Has anyone had direct experience with improved google ranking SEO after fixing broken links? What was the before/after result?

  5. TJ says:

    I do not recommend this plugin. It is a serious CPU hog that will slow down your site and possibly use up your CPU allocation. A number of host providers have banned it. If you want to check your links you are better off running an app from your computer to check run an external check.

  6. WPBeginner Staff says:

    Yes it does and it is not recommended to use it too often.

  7. Arieon Maison says:

    Just wondering if the plugin have some effect with the speed of the site.

  8. Arieon Maison says:

    Does the plugin will slow the site?

  9. Jeanne Melanson says:

    Very helpful advice, thank you. Now I know what to do with my broken links. Cheers!

  10. kamal singh says:

    Thanks For Sharing this Great Plugins

  11. abhishek taneja says:

    I found 34 broken links in my blog..Thanks for sharing this article , it has been useful for me

  12. Saurabh says:

    Is there any plugin available for the Blogger site??

  13. Amy says:

    Broken Link Checker has been very handy for me – but what is that Green Tab (shown in this post’s last screenshot and is there any way to hide it?

    This is extremely confusing for clients and I find it even worse than sidebar ads.

    Any ideas on how to manage this? Thanks!

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Unfortunately, no way to get rid of it without editing the plugin (at least that is our understanding). You can always contact the plugin author and make a suggestion.

  14. Corey says:

    What do you do if it tells you that some links are broken but they are not? I went to the pages and double checked the link and it works fine.

  15. Bongo says:

    Sounds useful, i wish it was around a year ago…

  16. Stijn says:

    Used BLC in the past. It’s good to use from time to time, but creates a lot of bloat in your database. That’s probably because of my massive post archive.

    • Mike says:

      STUN, did the same on my site…over 6,000 posts. However after running the WP-Optimize plugin, the database was nice and clean again.

  17. Iris says:

    This will improve my work, a lot.

  18. Peter Gerwing says:

    I use wpengine.. This is what they have to say about:

    “There’s another class of plugins that we disallow simply because they cause a high load on our servers or create an unnatural number of MySQL queries.

    Broken Link Checker — Overwhelms even our robust caching layer with an inordinate amount of HTTP requests.”

    On their hosting service it is a disallowed plugn!

    “wpengine” reccommends:

    To track traffic in a more scalable manner, both the stats module in Automattic’s Jetpack plugin and Google Analytics work wonderfully.

    • chathu says:

      Yes Same here. I have VPS with 1.5GB RAM. This plugin slowdown my blog.

      • Editorial Staff says:

        You’re not suppose to keep the plugin on. Use it during your spring clean up (like every 6 months). Turn it on. Check if everything is good, and then delete it.

  19. Jeannette Paladino says:

    I use Broken Link Checker and it is very useful. But why would you disable the plugin after using it the first time? I receive notifications every few days that the plugin has found a couple of more broken links. Usually, because when an a site I linked to has shut down, or the link has become corrupted or a blogger removed a post, — any number of reasons. It is not helpful for SEO — or to your visitors — when they click on a bad click. I believe Broken Link Checker should be active all the time.

  20. Ian says:

    Really realistic and useful.

  21. Martin Velthuizen says:

    Thank you for letting us know about this great plugin! Started to use it on some website right away.

    I don’t understand why I should disable the plugin after initial use and wait 6 months to run it manually again. It appears to me that I can leave it Active, and it will check the links automatically every so many hours and send me a mail if it has found a broken link. Much better, isn’t it?

    Thanks in advance for your opinion on this.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      It is but running a script so many times particularly the one that keeps checking all your posts can be resource incentive on your website.

  22. E.S. Ivy says:

    I want to finish seeting up my .org site first, but as I’m moving from .com this will be a great tool! Thank you!

  23. Monica says:

    I installed the Broken Link Checker plugin a few months ago and immediately following the installation my site crashed. I would love to have it but I am afraid to install it again.

    • Frans says:

      I had the same problem, I had to delete the plugin by FTP, because the rest of my screen was whit and it was nog possible to active or deactive it.

      Sad, because in my other site it worked well, both site are on the same server.

      • WPBeginner Support says:

        You can temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme like twenty twelve and then activate the plugin. If it works you can then check for broken links, fix them, and then revert back to your own theme.

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