Sunday, 17 August 2014

Review: Integrity Broken Link Checker - for websites and blogs

Websites and blogs for Artists: RECOMMENDED - A broken link checker which works.

For those artists with websites, you may or may not be aware that essential maintenance involves making sure that all the links on your website work.  Google's not fond of sites with broken links.

That's not a problem if you only have a few - but if you use a lot like I do then checking them can be just plain tedious unless you use a backlink checker. I've tried some in the past but today was the first time I felt moved to download a tool.

I've just downloaded The Integrity tool for Mac users which is an app produced by Peacock Media. I checked reviews of it online first and it's been around for ages and generally gets good reviews.

This is how it is described

Integrity is a link checker, no more, no less, no frills - and free (donationware). If you'd like:
  • Advanced options such as nofollow, authentication, custom header fields
  • XML sitemap generation and upload
  • Page load speed test, SEO checks, HTML Validation
  • Manage multiple sites and settings
  • Full report exportable as html or pdf
It requires Mac OSX 10.6 or higher, Intel 64-bit - but they also have earlier versions of their tool available for earlier versions of the operaing system - which is a major plus. You don't often see that.

My experience of Integrity is that it's speedy, thorough and has turned up all sorts of links which were broken which I had no knowledge of.

  • Some were really stupid ones - like including the Admin view URL when interlinking between pages of my website. 
  • Others were ones which had just become out of date (my website goes back to 2005).

I recommend:
  • using the Flat View option as that gives you the most detail in relation to locating the broken link  - and why it's broken.  This is what it looks like.  
  • checking the bad link box ( on the top line menu) so you don't get ALL the links on the site listed.
  • reviewing the worst problems using the 'by link' page
Integrity - Broken link checker: Example of a test check and the results for my portfolio website
On my portfolio website, it found and checked 1656 of 1656 links of which 41 were bad.
On this blog it found all sorts of problems which I had no idea about. It's actually a bit scary. Common culprits are blogs in the blogroll who've gone offline.

I have to say that I've not yet tried it out on Making A Mark - I think I might have to run that one overnight!

However I shall certainly be using this as a routine maintenance tool in future.

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