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 that links do not point to pages on newdev (to avoid this, always do relative links)
- manually check links on the left hand menu
- if you find a broken link in another UniSA site, contact the web author(s) for that site
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.
Once 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:
- 'error code: 403 forbidden request' in the broken links section just means that you do not have permission to view the site it's talking about
This software also reports on redirected links which is especially useful as areas within UniSA convert to the new corporate web look.
- UniSAnet staff home pages will always appear in the redirect section
as they all have redirects like this
redirected to: staff-list.asp?Name=Melissa.Barlow
therefore they can be ignored
- keep an eye out for obvious redirects like this though
redirected to: http://www.unisa.edu.au/hls/default.asp
linked from page(s):
This should be fixed incase the redirect is ever removed in which case it will become a broken link.
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.
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.
- Go to the View menu and select Reports
- Select Problems
- Then select Broken Hyperlinks or Unlinked Files to generate a report
which looks something like this
- 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.