Checking Links Using XenuTM
Xenu's Link Sleuth TM is a freeware program which checks Web sites for broken links.
Please run Xenu
First, download XenuTM from their website. It will come to you zipped up.
Unzip it to your C drive in the Programs folder. You may wish to place a shortcut to it on your desktop or in another location which is convenient to you.
Click File > Check URL. Exclude Google from the link check by adding these URL's to the text box labeled 'Do not check any URL's beginning with this'. Xenu will remember this setting.
Then click OK.
Now go to Options > Preferences. Change default options for the report; check only "Broken links, ordered by link", "Broken links, ordered by page" and "Redirected URLs" in the bottom set of checkboxes as shown below.
Click 'OK' to close this alert box.
Launch Xenu by browsing to it in your program, or by clicking on a shortcut which you may have put on your desktop or other location.
Go to File > Check URL (or Ctrl+N).
Copy and paste, or type in the URL to your site or the page you would
like to check.
Make sure "Check External Links" is checked.
Xenu will crawl your site. (Be patient, it may take a while.) When it is done, you will be presented with the following screen. Go ahead and click 'Yes'.
You will be presented with a report which shows you entries in three categories
When you exit Xenu, it will ask you if you would like to save a copy of the report. Click 'No'.
To begin, I suggest you select: "Broken links, ordered by page." This will give you a list of the broken links, and will tell you what page they are on.
In the "Broken Links Ordered by Page" section of the report, the page containing the broken link is listed first, followed by the URL's of the broken links.
Generally, the errors you receive will fall into these categories:
The broken link is listed first, followed by the URL's of the pages containing the links.
When you look at this listing, you may see that certain links are broken on several pages. This indicates that the file may be missing or in the wrong location. Once you have replaced the file, it should clear up all these broken links.
If you have listings in this section of the report, you will know that a URL which you are linking to has changed and that a redirect is in place, so that the user is automatically redirected to the new URL.
Generally, redirects are kept in place for only a limited period of time, meaning that the original URL will soon be invalid and the link will be broken. We recommend that you update these links when you discover them, rather than waiting until they are broken later.
To find the location of the link on your page, copy the URL of the broken link, leaving off the part of it which says http://medschool.ucsf.edu. Do a search on the page, searching for the link in question.
Now that you have located where the broken link is located, your next step is to figure out why the link is broken.
Generally, a broken link occurs when
Correct the link by ascertaining that the file exists and/or it is located in the correct location. Re-write the link. When in doubt, simply select the link and browse directly to where you know the file to be located rather than trying to figure out the mistake in the old link.
Broken links also occur when the URL of a website you are linking to has changed. Identify the correct URL and rewrite the link.
Note: Very commonly a link will be fine on integration but then be broken on staging or on production. Usually this occurs because you forgot to upload the file you are linking to.