It seems like I’ve been creating websites and blog posts forever. When this though passed through my mind recently, I when through my records to find the date I posted my first site in all its simple HTML glory. Where did the last twenty-five years go? I still remember being surprise that my sloppy code actually worked. Someone in Eastern Europe sent the first comment on my site. It seemed like magic to a fellow used to writing letters and waiting weeks if not months for a response.
Since that day, my sites have included hundreds of thousands of links to other sites, documents and sections of my own sites. The life expectancy of the links is often measured in days if not weeks. Sites go up. Sites go down. Web pages are moved, deleted or age like a watermelon left in the sun too long.
How do we find and fix the bad links that we’ve used in our sites and blogs?
First we have to find them. Absent an unlimited number of hours to click on them one-by-one, the process seems impossible to most folks.
But it isn’t ….
Thanks to Tilman Hausherr there is a tool to that can walk our sites and prove the links.
Let me introduce you to Xenu’s Link Sleuth. We owe a debt to Tilman and the others who have brought Xenu to the world of the talented site owners and the not so talented site owners.
Download Xenu, install it on your computer, set a few preferences and point it to your site. Xenu will crawl your site and identify all links including those that don’t respond. Depending on the size of your site, the process may take hours or even days, but like any good tool, it is doing something that we don’t or can’t do on our own.
When Xenu is through you’ll be able review all the links in on your site in the report. You can export just the broken links results as a .txt file that is easily imported into a spreadsheet for analysis and guide to repair or remove the links.
I highly recommend Xenu and give props to Tilman and the Xenu team.