The harmful effects of broken links we already know obviously, and anyone who are using WordPress can be using plugin Broken Link Checker for detecting error links automatically so you can edit or delete. However, what if others don’t use WordPress? Broken Link Checker plugin is resources-consuming, the more you post the more resources it will cost to handle.
However, detecting the broken links on the site is not completely give up or use the paid service, but here I will be sharing four tools which can help you to detect broken links at no charge and no affect to your site.
1. Xenu Link Sleuth (Windows only)
Xenu, more accurately, is a tool that not only scan all links of any website but also find 404 errors link. The way it works is crawling transitive-style from one page to another and pay full statistics for you after it already crawled. However, due to crawling follow that way so if your website has many pages it will take much time to finish.
As finding 404 links, you can press the right button, choose URL Properties to see where that link is.
2. ScreamingFrog Spider SEO (Windows and Mac)
If Xenu only collected the links of website and then return to the basic attributes, ScreamingFrog will be better SEO support software because it has more SEO serving functions such as analysis the index of links, check link, check SEO Onpage,…
Although This software is free but it limits to a maximum number of 500 links you can be collected. If you want more you have to pay £99 per year. In general, if you depend much on it, the price is inexpensive.
If you are a Linux user, you can use LinkChecker to check for broken links, it supports many platforms like Windows, Ubuntu, Linux (command line support) and you can even install it on the web Server and then use on the web. In general, if you are a reliable server, you can install it and check it fastly.
4. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools, is so familiar and most of us use it every day. Its feature is collect and statistic error links in the website, you can find it in the collection of data -> data collection error.
Above four tools I have ever used to check the 404 error links and currently all 4 tools are used very well so you can feel secure to use. Please remember that the fewer 404 error link your website have, the more Google appreciate, as well as more user-friendly.