Ugh. So here’s what I learned while banishing broken links…
* Broken Link Checker isn’t completely intuitive, but as of this date it’s current and supported. If you have a question you may not get the answer you’re looking for, but you’ll get an answer, and you’ll profit from it.
* Over the past year the BLC plugin reported (via email) in fits and starts for reasons I did not understand. In reading up and poking around, however, I discovered a ‘server load’ setting which seems to act like a throttle. If you set it very low — meaning lower than the reported server load — you effectively idle BLC until the server load drops. Or at least I think that’s what happens. In any case, when I raised the number above the reported load, BLC sprang into action, so if you’re not getting activity when you expect it I would check that setting. (Also, if you’re on shared hosting, consider changing that setting at night when the server load is low. BLC may run much faster.)
* When you’re working on each individual broken link, going slowly and searching for missing pages on the web can be surprisingly fruitful. I fixed quite a few dead links where the missing page’s URL had been altered without a redirect. Once located, copying and pasting the current active link in place of the broken link solved the problem.
* I initially decided to deal with a minimum of twenty-five links each day, but the first day was tough. As it turned out, however, much of the struggle was due to the fact that I had no process or workflow to follow, so what I was really fighting was the learning curve, not the task. On the second day I probably fixed or killed fifty or so links, then the following day I finished off the remaining sixty or so, meaning it took me three days to get through my backlog. (If you’re in the weeds like I was, or worse, just make link-fixing a chore that you come back to again and again until it’s done.) [ Read more ]