Periodic Review of Website Content for Broken Links is Important

It’s a good practice for website owners stakeholders to review their online content for accuracy at least every three months in order to meet the informational needs of their website audiences. I noticed one department in a major university had some pages that hadn’t been updated for over ten years. Sometimes organizations are great and producing internal reports and self-studies but a disconnect develops with their online presence.

One important item to have on the content review checklist is checking for ‘broken’ links. Notes on what links to fix can be added to your content audit spreadsheet. In order to keep your web pages useful and relevant, it’s important for area stakeholders to review their web areas for broken links or out-of-date content at least once per quarter (three months). Neglecting to update links to external sites can give site visitors a bad impression of the organization when the links they try to follow don’t work.

The web is ever-changing. As external sites you link to are redesigned, over time their URL paths change causing links in your site to break. Sometimes responsible web developers will create redirects to new URLs. When you notice redirects happening in external sites that’s a sign that a link is in danger of breaking in the future. In the next redesign, the developer of that site may forget to add another redirect so it would be best to update your link to the new URL as a precaution. Some content management systems, like Drupal, have the ability to automatically create redirects whenever a page’s URL path changes. That is good for other sites linking to the CMS powered site and good for its SEO (search engine optimization).