External Relations

Checking for broken links

To check a website for broken links you can download free trial versions of either Screaming Frog or Xenu. Both require you to type in the URL of the website you want to check. Follow the steps below:

Screaming Frog trial version

Page limit: 500

  1. Download the trial version of Screaming Frog
  2. Enter the URL of the website you want to check
  3. Click start
  4. Select Bulk export > client error (4xx) in links from the top toolbar
  5. Save
  6. Open with Microsoft Excel
  7. Within Excel, filter the status code column by 404 and status column by not found

The results

The source column shows the URL of the page containing the broken link. The destination column shows the broken link.

Download Screaming Frog

Xenu

Page limit: none

  1. Download the trial version of Xenu
  2. From the toolbar select File > Check URL
  3. Click Ok
  4. From the toolbar select File > Export page map to TAB separated file
  5. Open with Microsoft Excel
  6. Within Excel, filter the linktopagestatus column to show records containing "not found" 

The results

The origin column shows the URL of the page containing the broken link. LinkToPage shows the broken link.

Download Xenu

 

Important information

Don't assume that all links that are shown as broken are actually broken.

  • All links that the spider can't crawl are listed as 404s.
  • Reports may include some false positives which will need removing. 
  • The spider may record staff look up URLs and email addresses as broken links when they are not so make sure you double check these links.

External Relations

University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Rooms C2-C10)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6787
email: externalrelations@nottingham.ac.uk