If the internet is a web, then links are the strands that stretch between websites. Links also connect the pages within a site to each other. If I have a link on my site out to someone else’s site and they shut their site down or change the unique resource location (the URL) of the particular page I link to, then my link will terminate in a dead end.
Now we cannot control other people’s sites, but if there are such dead and broken links leading out from my site, I want to know about it so that I can take the link out of my site or find the correct link.
Although we cannot control other people’s site, we can control the links to pages within our own site – and broken links within our own site are just an embarrassment. It is bad news for other sites that link to us, bad news for our visitors and bad news for the search engines and for our search engine optimization. Finding Those Bad Links, The long, slow, and painful way to check the links on your site is to click every one of them and see where each one leads. The smart way is to use a website crawler that does the job for you.
I have been using Integrity from Peacock Media and I love it. It is donation ware – so that’s an added attraction. Grab it, try it, and if you like it – make a donation. It is a Mac-only product. You can set terms that you want Integrity to ignore (such as ‘Twitter“) and when the results come through you can choose to see a list of all the links – good and bad – or just the bad links. Clicking on a bad link in the results enables you to target the problem. If the bad link is internal, the checker takes you right to the problem page so you can deal with it.
If the broken link is external, it takes you to the site so that you can see whether the whole site is down or whether the page has moved. This has been immensely useful to me in coordinating our main site with our blog. Our main site is written in Ruby On Rails, whereas the blog, which is on a sub-page of the main site, is based on the WordPress platform. That means we have two architectures, and changing one part of the site can impact the other adversely. Integrity makes it a breeze to check and correct internal links.
System Requirements to use Integrity
- Mac OSX 10.3 or higher.
As you can see this tool is independent and not comes like a plugin,