LinkChecker is a handy tool for quickly validating the links on any website.
The program makes it very easy to get started. Just enter the base URL of your target site, click Start, and that's it - LinkChecker will spider its way through your site, validating most link types - http:/ https:, file:, mailto:, ftp:, telnet: and nntp:.
If there are any problems then LinkChecker displays them right away, so you get immediate feedback. If an http link is now dead then you might see "Error: 404 Not Found", for instance, but the program will also display details of any other problems which might arise: error 405's (Method Not Allowed), http 301's (permanent redirects), "access denied by robots.txt" errors, and more.
And while the process can take quite some time, especially on large sites, once it's finished the results can be saved as an HTML file for easy reference later.
The program is a little short on configuration options. You can reduce the "recursive depth" to ensure LinkChecker doesn't follow quite so many links from your base URL, and it's possible to define URLs you'd like the program to ignore, but that's about it.
What you can't do is tell LinkChecker to report on only a particular subset of errors (just 404's say) - it's all, or nothing.
And we did occasionally question the program's accuracy. It always correctly detected broken links, but also consistently reported 404 errors on one or two links which opened perfectly when we inspected them manually.
Still, LinkChecker is free and easy to use, and if you've a large website with a lot of links then the program will help to validate them all in just a few minutes.
Version 9.3 brings (Full Changelog):
- checking: Parse and check links in PDF files.
- checking: Parse Refresh: and Content-Location: HTTP headers for URLs.
- plugins: PDF and Word checks are now parser plugins
(PdfParser, WordParser). Both plugins are not enabled by default since they require third party modules.
- plugins: Print a warning for enabled plugins that could not import needed third party modules.
- checking: Treat empty URLs as same as parent URL.
It's distinctly lacking in configuration options, but if you simply want to scan an entire web site (or just a few pages) for problem links then LinkChecker will quickly get the job done