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Broken links

It is essential that you check your site for broken links periodically. Depending on how large the site is and how often it is updated we recommend once a week or once a fortnight. There are two methods easily available to you



Check broken links using Xenu Link Sleuth

There is plenty of software available to check websites for broken links. One that the corporate web team have found quite useful is a tool called Xenu Link Sleuth which is free to use and very quick at checking sites. It's available for download at http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html where there are instructions for download and it's use.

Xenu Link Sleuth - Starting pointOnce you have installed the software open it, select File, Check URL and type in the URL of the site you would like to check. It is important to put the forward slash at the end of the address as shown in the example. Tick Check external links as it's very quick to do and most sites have links to external sites.

Once Xenu Link Sleuth has checked the URLs it asks if you want a report, select Yes. A box comes up with FTP parameters which you do not need to worry about so select Cancel and a report will come up in your web browser which can be printed out and referred to unlike the Frontpage broken links report.

The resulting report is fairly straight forward to understand. Some of the information is irrelevant, such as:

This software also reports on redirected links which is especially useful as areas within UniSA convert to the new corporate web look.


To save time and to ensure that links that don't need to be checked are not checked, include the following links in the exclusion section for Xenu.

xenu exclusions

Check broken links using FrontPage

In FrontPage 2002 there is a facility to check for broken hyperlinks and unlinked files which is much slower than using Xenu Link Sleuth.

  1. Go to the View menu and select Reports
  2. Select Problems
  3. Then select Broken Hyperlinks or Unlinked Files to generate a report which looks something like this
    Broken links report in Frontpage
  4. Double click on a page that has a broken link and this will open that page for editing and edit the broken hyperlink as per normal.