Probably, you didn’t know that, but broken links may plague your WordPress site and do a lot of harm. Also called “dead links”, they have adverse effects on your web-site, but can and should be eliminated.
What is a broken link?
A broken link is a link that either leads to a non-existent page, or leads to a 404 error page, or any other page but the intended. Thus, it leads visitor nowhere.
Causes of Broken Links
If a user sees a 404 error page when surfing your web-site, the link affects it from the inside. If you haven’t deleted any resources (files, images, posts, video, pages, etc) or done anything else leading to 404 error, what it can be? The reasons can be the following:
- Move to a new host that appeared to be not as successful as you thought.
- Linking to a third party resource that was removed, or its URL was changed. Maybe the owner of web-site forgot to pay for web server.
- You changed the URL of old post but forgot to update it on other pages.
- Alteration of domain name.
- Misspelling of a link.
- Dead links were left in comments left by users.
- You did not fix the links after converting web-site from HTML to WordPress.
Effects of broken links
There are many ways how dead links may impact your web-site, the most considerable are:
- Negative user experience degrades the reputation of your web-site and repels visitors.
- Loss of traffic and its disruption.
- Loss of revenue.
- Bad SEO profile, because search engines do consider that broken links affect user experience.
How to fix broke links?
If you run a WordPress web-site, try some of it plugins that check broken links, for instance: Broken Link Checker, WP Broken Link Status Checker, Link Checker. Note that if a plugin spoils work of your web-site considerably, you should try another option.
Third party link checker services (W3C Link Checker, Google Webmaster Tools, Online Broken Link Check) only find broken links – you have to restore them on your own. Turns out, you still need a plugin to do that. However, they are not helpless: such tools show the code of error and suggest the course of action.
Fix all broken links on your web-site, and sleep with rest – you will know that no traffic is wasted, and users will always open pages they need.