What are broken links and why are they bad for websites?

Difficulty: Beginner

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

What is a broken link?

A ‘broken link’ or a ‘dead link’ is a link on any internal or external web page that no longer works as intended because the website that the link points to is encountering an error of some kind.

Broken links occur because:


How to fix a broken link

There are three quick fixes for a broken link: repair, replace or remove.

  1. Repair

    This method applies when you may have input the URL incorrectly on the link itself. Instead of typing out the URL, which is probably why it’s wrong in the first place, go to the resource, copy the link and paste that bad boy as the link on your page.

  2. Replace

    This method applies when the original link you have on your page is (1) returning a 404/410 response code or (2) is subject to a firewall restriction. Replacing the link is a simple enough process but what you replace it with is what matters here. You can replace the broken link with the same resource that may have been moved on the website but didn’t get a 301 redirect *fist shake* or replace a broken link with a similar resource on another website that will provide the same value to users

  3. Remove

    If you don’t want to replace the URL with the correct version or you can’t find a resource to replace it with, you can remove the link in its entirety. Now, this isn’t ideal but it is viable. We’ll explain why below.


Why broken links are bad for your website

There are a few reasons why broken links are bad for your website. We’re going to dive into the technical reasons of why bad links are like the poison apple to your website. Here’s why:


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