Jan 092014

WordPress Broken Links guides you and helps you keep on top of your websites and blogs by helping you remove any broken links.

Last Updated: September 13, 2017

You might not want to use a plugin especially if you run your site in a shared sever or your account has limited resources. The following Windows based free tool will help you detect and find all your broken links. I have used this tool in the past and I still use it from time to time Xenu. This tool is free and is it is still being updated as I speak. You can download the beta version which is the one I use.

There are other ways to monitor your broken links. The following is a list of tools and online websites you can use to check for websites broken links.

Broken Link Checking Tools:

  1. Broken Link Checker, = A very powerful plugin to install in your WordPress website. Note: This tutorial is based on this plugin. You need to install this plugin to following this tutorial.
  2. LinkChecker software for Windows.
  3. Online website Dead Link Checker = This is a very powerful online tool. It will detect all broken links from images, external links and more.

The moment I install broken link checker from the list above in my blog in 2010, it detected a broken link to one of my tutorials which I was not even aware of. I did not even know about it until I ran this plugin.

From time to time you will update your blog post and pages and sometimes you might change the URL. When you carry out this action many of you will forget to also check the URLs links. This URL might be linked to other posts and/ or pages in your blog. Another area people forget about is the images added to a post or page.

Also remember that when you allow commenting in your pages and posts, some comments might have links added. During the life time period of your website online, commentators websites might change or might not be published online any more. This will cause broken links in your site and will cause delays in your blog every time someone visits.

This is why I am promoting this plugin and advising you to keep checking for broken links regularly. This plugin will help you detect all your broken links in your website automatically and make your life easier.

Broken Link Checker Tutorials

WordPress Broken Links Steps

Step 1 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker to start configuring the plugin. This plugin also adds an admin menu under Tools. This menu displays all the results from monitoring the website.


Step 1-a ) Broken Links results displayed under Tools -> Broken Links.


Step 2 ) The following image Broken Link Checker Options allows you to set up the following features in the plugin.

  • General
  • Look For Links In
  • Which Links To Check
  • Protocols & APIs
  • Advanced


General Settings

Step 3 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker -> General to set up the following options.


Check each link

  • Every 72 hours (Default hours set 72) = Existing links will be checked this often. New links will usually be checked ASAP.

E-mail notifications

  • Send me e-mail notifications about newly detected broken links
  • Send authors e-mail notifications about broken links in their posts

Notification e-mail address

  • Leave empty to use the e-mail address specified in Settings ? General.

Link tweaks

  • Apply custom formatting to broken links | Edit CSS
  • Apply custom formatting to removed links | Edit CSS
  • Stop search engines from following broken links = These settings only apply to the content of posts, not comments or custom fields.


  • Suggest alternatives to broken links


  • Show uncertain or minor problems as “warnings” instead of “broken” = Turning off this option will make the plugin report all problems as broken links.

Look For Links In Settings

Step 4 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker -> Look For Links In to set up the following options.

Look for links in

  • Blogroll items
  • Comments
  • Custom fields | Configure
  • Pages
  • Posts
  • Posts

Post statuses

  • Published
  • Scheduled
  • Draft
  • Pending
  • Private

Which Links To Check Settings

Step 5 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker -> Which Links To Check to set up the following options.

Link types

  • HTML links
  • HTML images
  • Plaintext URLs
  • Embedded YouTube videos
  • Embedded YouTube videos (old embed code)
  • Embedded GoogleVideo videos
  • Embedded YouTube playlists (old embed code)
  • Smart YouTube httpv:// URLs
  • Embedded Vimeo videos
  • Embedded DailyMotion videos

Exclusion list

  • Don’t check links where the URL contains any of these words (one per line) :

Protocols & APIs Settings

Step 6 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker -> Protocols & APIs to set up the following options.

Check links using

  • Basic HTTP
  • MediaFire API
  • RapidShare API
  • YouTube API

Advanced Settings

Step 7 ) Go to Settings -> Link Checker -> Advanced to set up the following options.


  • 30 seconds = Links that take longer than this to load will be marked as broken.

Link monitor

  • Run continuously while the Dashboard is open
  • Run hourly in the background

Show the dashboard widget for

  • Administrator
  • Editor and above
  • Nobody (disables the widget)

Show link actions

  • Edit URL
  • Unlink
  • Not broken
  • Dismiss
  • Recheck
  • Fix redirect

Max. execution time

  • 420 seconds (Default settings 420 seconds) = The plugin works by periodically launching a background job that parses your posts for links, checks the discovered URLs, and performs other time-consuming tasks. Here you can set for how long, at most, the link monitor may run each time before stopping.

Server load limit

  • Not available = Load limiting only works on Linux-like systems where /proc/loadavg is present and accessible.

Target resource usage

  • 25% (Default settings 25%)


  • Enable logging

Log file location

  • Default
  • Custom

Forced recheck

  • Re-check all pages  = The “Nuclear Option”. Click this button to make the plugin empty its link database and recheck the entire site from scratch.

I hope the above instructions helps you to set up this very powerful plugin.

Click on the following URL Repair Broken Links to learn more.

You might also like to read my other tutorial using this plugin and Google Webmasters Tools to check and repair broken links which produce 404 page not found errors. This tutorial is more for advance users but I recommend everyone to read it google-webmaster-tools-broken-links-tutorial.

I will be updating this tutorial from time to time. So keep coming back. If you have any question please let me know.


Manuel Ballesta Ruiz is a web developer, Blogger and WordPress Enthusiast.

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