Proactive link maintenance is an important part of stewardship and helps ensure that visitors will not encounter broken links when they go to your site.
We all know the Web is extremely dynamic, with content constantly being created, relocated and removed. As old pages go away, links to them will break, and when someone clicks that link, they will often see the following message: "Error: 404 - page not found." This process, known as "link rot," has been studied—as many as one in every 200 links will go 'bad' every week (more details).
The UBCMS actively manages its internal links, and whenever possible keeps them current. So when an author moves or deletes a page, the UBCMS will attempt to update the links on all linked pages. But there are several common situations where this auto-correction will be unsuccessful:
Here's a link to a page that no longer exists on another Web server (link).
Here's a link to a page that has been deleted from the UBCMS
We encourage you to assign someone to check the links in your pages on a regular basis. For example, University Communications monitors the links on its main pages on a monthly basis, and we make proactive system-wide updates whenever we learn an important page or site has been moved.
Currently the UBCMS does not have an internal link checker, but there are popular third-party solutions. We recommend the following free tools:
Xenu Link Sleuth is a popular and free tool. You will need to install it on your workstation. > Download Xenu
When you run Xenu, be sure to click More options and reduce the Maximum depth from the default setting of 999 pages (1-3 pages is often sufficient). Then use Ctrl-B to just show broken links.
A free add-ons for Firefox, Pinger is a tool that allows you to check all the links on a displayed page. You will need to install it on your workstation while running Firefox. > Install Pinger
July 27, 2015