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Q

How do I check for broken links? Does the system have a link checker?

Is there a function that checks all URL links on your page to see if they are still active and not broken? Other programs I've used have this function and I cannot find it here.
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2013  |  2759 Views

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A

Answer

There is a Link Checker function in LibGuides (run once / week, over the weekend) that will let you know of any broken links in certain boxes. Everyone has access to the Link Checker, not just admins. :)

Box types covered include:

  • Simple Web Links;
  • Links & Lists;
  • Books from the Catalog;
  • RSS Feeds;
  • Dates & Events;
  • Podcast Feeds;
  • User Link Submission;
  • Interactive Poll.

Links added to Rich Text boxes or through the Rich Text editor (the "Add/Edit Text" link below the box title but above your box content) in any other boxes are not checked).

Link Checker menuView Your Link Checker Report

  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker.
  2. Choose to view broken links on your guides or all guides.
    You can also filter by publication status: all, published, private, or unpublished.

Please note that there may be some false returns in your list of broken links.

The Link Checker relies on the response from any given server at the moment when it's "pinged" for validity. There are a few possibilities as to why something might be listed as an invalid link, even though it is valid:

  • At the time when our server pinged that URL, it was indeed unavailable. (Server was down at the time, or was too busy serving other requests, so the request was timed out.)
  • That company/organization could have set up their server to refuse connections to any spiders, crawlers, etc. in order to save on bandwidth/resources.
  • That company/organization incorrectly set up their server response codes, meaning that the code returned was not an accurate one.

Unfortunately, Springshare can't fix any of these possibilities.

Other Answers / Comments (6)

  1. Is there any reason why links within rich text boxes aren't checked? A lot of our content is within rich text boxes so this seems to be a major omission.
    by Gerry Quach on Sep 17, 2012.
  2. The rich text boxes contain more data than the plain text boxes so there is more processing involved to parse the links.
    by Mark Andrea on Sep 18, 2012.
  3. Is there a way to opt-in to exclude specific URLs from link checking? For example some of our eResources are available on campus via our Intranet and only to our staff and students. So the links will always be listed as broken by Springshare, but work as explained in our LibGuides for our users. Would love this functionality!
    by Robyn Collins on Jul 01, 2013.
  4. We can exclude domains from the link checker. Just send an email to support@springshare.com and tell us exactly what domain(s) to exclude.
    by Zinthia Briceno on Jul 01, 2013.
  5. Is it possible to have the link checker report for our entire LG sent to our site admins routinely?
    by Heidi Butler on Nov 17, 2013.
  6. Hi Heidi!
    It's not currently an option, but that's a great idea!
    I will share this with our dev team so they can consider adding it for a future release. If they can make it happen, we'll let you know
    :-)
    by Valentina Mayz on Nov 18, 2013.

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