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
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:
- If the author who moves or deletes the page does not have
publisher permissions for your site, the link on your page
will NOT be updated. And if they do not have any publisher
permissions, no pages will be updated.
- If the link is buried within the text of a component (e.g. Body
Text), it will not be updated.
- If the link is buried in a Fixed List, it will not be updated.
(The link will remain in the list component in author, but will
disappear from the published version.)
Here's a link to a page that no longer exists on another Web
- The link remains clearly visible and a link checker or a
careful check of the page's links will reveal the problem.
Here's a link to a page that has been deleted from the
- Because the UBCMS knows the link is invalid:
- in the author environment, the link is shown in red
brackets and preceded by a chain icon.
- in the page's published view, the original link text is
displayed as normal words and the hyperlink is disabled.
- This means that your site visitors will be protected from
clicking on a bad link, but a link check will NOT reveal any
problems. You will need to also look at your page in author mode to
catch any link rot.
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