How To Detect And Repair Broken Links In WordPress

Managing broken links is an important part of website maintenance. In this tutorial, we show you how to find and fix broken links in WordPress.

How To Detect And Fix Broken Links In WordPressIf your website includes links to other websites, it’s quite probable that at some point and as more content is added, some of your links will point to pages that have been moved or deleted, or to websites that no longer exist.

These ‘broken’ links can affect your visitors’ experience, your business, your reputation, and your website’s SEO. Managing broken links, therefore, is an important part of website maintenance. In this tutorial, you will learn how to find and fix broken links in WordPress.

How To Find And Repair Broken Links In WordPress

The WordPress built-in linking tool automatically checks when you add hyperlinks to your content and detects broken links. If you add a broken link (e.g. add a space in the URL), WordPress will let you know, allowing you to update the link before publishing it to your site …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

Although WordPress can automatically detect if you type in a broken link, it can’t detect whether a correctly entered link leads to a ‘not found’ page error or a destination page that can’t be accessed (e.g. server down or website deleted).

Why You Want To Avoid Having Broken Links On Your Website

When you have no control over someone else’s website, it’s hard to keep track of what is going on with links pointing from your site to external websites.

For example, let’s take a look at some common scenarios …

Destination Page Has Moved

Let’s suppose you add a link to a page on another company’s website containing information about a product, service, reference, policies, etc.

The company then decides to re-organize its content and moves this information to a different section of its website.

Now, when visitors click on the link, they end up in an error page, or a page containing something different than they were expecting to see …

This page has been moved elsewhere, leading to a 'page not found' error!

(This page has been moved elsewhere, leading to a ‘page not found’ error!)

Most companies won’t notify you when they’ve made internal changes to their websites, so it’s up to you to notice errors and fix this to avoid giving your visitors a bad user experience …

Linking to external sites can be tricky because they can make changes to their website any time they choose without informing you!

(Linking to external sites can be tricky because they can make changes to their website any time they choose without informing you!)

Destination Site No Longer Exists

Let’s say that you run an e-commerce store, or affiliate review site promoting products from other vendors …

Do you promote other people's products on your site?

(Do you promote other people’s products on your site?)

In this example, when you click on the destination URL of the product shown above …

Do you know if all of your links are pointing to working websites?

(Do you know if all of your links are pointing to working pages?)

The site cannot be reached. The server could be temporarily down or the product vendor has gone out of business and their website has been permanently deleted …

This website cannot be reached!

(This website can’t be reached!)

Over time, you will probably add a number of links from your content to many external websites and this will only multiply the problem. The more external links you add from your site, the greater the likelihood of having broken links on your site, or links pointing to pages with errors or non-existent pages …

The more links you add from your site to external sites, the greater the likelihood of having 'broken' links

(The more links you add from your site to external sites, the greater the likelihood of having ‘broken’ links) 

Can you imagine what sending people to pages or sites that don’t exist can do to your business?

Normally, there is no way to know what is happening on all the websites that you link to and do not control. Dead links (i.e. ‘broken hyperlinks’) are annoying to visitors and can have a negative impact on your online business and your reputation.

Having broken links can affect your site in many ways:

  • You can frustrate and even lose customers and visitors.
  • You can lose sales if potential customers can’t find what they are looking for.
  • You can lose money if you are placing advertising banners on others sites that link to missing pages.
  • You can damage your reputation online if there are too many broken links on your site. This gives visitors the impression that you don’t maintain or care for your website, and have no regard for visitors having a positive user experience.
  • It can have a negative impact on your website’s ranking with search engines.

As more content is added to your site, the greater the chances are that some of the hyperlinks in your posts and pages will end up broken and lead visitors to pages that are no longer valid or even present in your site.

Broken links can be caused by a number of internal and external site factors, including:

  • Failure to maintain proper navigation links between the pages on your site
  • Moving content around your site
  • Renaming or deleting your web pages
  • Typing in URL addresses incorrectly when creating links
  • Replicating pages containing broken links across your site or other sites
  • Domain names expiring
  • External websites get sold, relocated, or deleted
  • External pages get removed or relocated
  • and more.

Info

When a visitor tries to access a page on your site that doesn’t exist, WordPress will automatically display something called a 404 error page. Broken links will lead to an increase in “Page Not Found” errors and other unsuccessful responses.

To learn how to customize your WordPress 404 error page, see the tutorial below:

How To Find And Fix Broken Links In WordPress

Making sure that all links on your site are working correctly is important for both your visitors and for search engines. Clicking on links that don’t work creates a bad experience for users, and search engines penalize sites that have too many broken links.

Unless you have a single-page website, however, it is almost impossible to manually check that all of the links on your site are working correctly all of the time. Fortunately, there are plugins that can do this job for you automatically.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to find and fix broken links using a free WordPress link management plugin called Broken Link Checker.

Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker - WordPress plugin

(Broken Link Checker WP plugin)

Plugin URL

https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/

Plugin Description

Broken Link Checker is an essential WordPress maintenance plugin that will monitor your site for broken links and notify you if any links errors are detected.

Some of the plugin’s features include:

  • Monitoring links in your posts, pages, comments, links and even custom fields.
  • Detecting links that don’t work, missing images and redirects.
  • Notifying you via the Dashboard or by email.
  • Making broken links display differently in posts (optional).
  • Preventing search engines from following broken links (optional).
  • Ability to search and filter links by URL, anchor text and so on.
  • Editing links directly from the plugin’s page, without having to manually update each post.
  • Highly configurable.
Plugin Installation

Go to your dashboard menu and click on Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

In the ‘Add Plugins’ screen, type in “broken link checker” into the keyword search field …

Add Plugins - search for 'Broken Link Checker'

(Add Plugins – search for ‘Broken Link Checker’)

Locate the plugin in the search results section and click Install Now

Install Broken Link Checker

(Install Broken Link Checker)

After your plugin has been installed, make sure you activate it …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

You can also activate your plugin in the ‘Plugins’ screen …

Plugins Screen - Activate Broken Link Checker

(Plugins Screen – Activate Broken Link Checker)

After your plugin has been activated, click on Settings

Broken Link Checker - Settings

(Broken Link Checker – Settings)

You can also get to the plugin’s settings screen by selecting Settings > Link Checker from your dashboard menu …

Settings Menu > Link Checker

(Settings Menu > Link Checker)

This takes you to the ‘Broken Link Checker Options’ page …

Broken Link Checker Options Screen

(Broken Link Checker Options Screen)

Plugin Configuration

The “Broken Link Checker Options” page is broken into several tabs. Let’s go through each of these tabs and configure the plugin settings …

Broken Link Checker > General

Broken Link Checker > General Tab

(Broken Link Checker > General Settings)

Unless you have a particular need to change the plugin’s default settings, just leave all the options on this tab as they are:

Status

There is nothing to configure in this section. The plugin provides an update of the number of broken links found with a link to more information, lets you know about its status (i.e. whether it is currently checking your site from broken links or not.), and notifies you about the number of unique URLs it has detected in your links …

General Settings - Status

(General Settings – Status)

If you want to see the debug info used by the plugin when checking your links (you’ll need this information if requesting plugin support), then click on the “Show debug info” link under “Status” …

Status - Show Debug Info

(Status – Show debug info)

Check each link

Enter a frequency period (in hours) for the plugin to check your site for broken links into the “Every XX hours” field …

General Settings - Check Each Link

(General Settings – Check each link)

The plugin will then check existing links on your site every “XX” hours as per your settings. Any new links that you add to your site will be checked immediately for validation.

Email Notifications

Leave the default settings to receive email notifications about newly detected broken links. If multiple authors contribute content to your site, then you may also want to check the option to “Send authors e-mail notifications about broken links in their posts” …

General Settings - Email Notifications

(General Settings – Email notifications)

Notification e-mail address

If you want the plugin to send broken link notification emails to an email address other than the one you have specified in the WordPress General Settings section (e.g. to notify your webmaster or a site manager), then enter the email address into the field in this section …

General Settings - Notification Email Address

(General settings – Notification email address)

Link tweaks

This section lets you specify whether the plugin should highlight broken or removed links on your pages with custom formatting (e.g. display broken links with a strikethrough, or in a different color), and also if you want search engines to stop following your broken links (tip: don’t enable this option if you plan to fix your links) …

General settings - Link tweaks

(General settings – Link tweaks)

To apply custom formatting to your links, click on the Edit CSS link, then edit the CSS code in the section that will open up below the option …

Edit CSS

(Edit CSS)

Important

To customize the format of your links, you will need to have some basic knowledge of editing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

If you want to learn basic CSS, then visit the sites below:

The screenshot below shows an example of how a broken link using the default “strikethrough” style setting displays to site visitors …

Broken Links

(Broken Links)

Suggestions

If you leave this option enabled, the plugin will suggest alternatives to broken links …

General Settings - Suggestions

(General Settings – Suggestions)

These suggestions can be useful when editing broken links (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section below) …

Edit Link - Suggestions

(Edit Link – Suggestions)

If you don’t want Broken Link Checker to suggest alternative URLs then disable the checkbox in the Suggestions section.

Warnings

If you leave this option enabled, the plugin show minor problems as ‘warnings’ instead of ‘broken’ links …

General settings - Warnings

(General settings – Warnings)

Click Save Changes when finished to update your plugin settings …

Save changes to update your settings

(Save changes to update your settings)

Broken Link Checker Options > Look For Links In

Broken Link Checker > 'Look For Links In' Settings

(Broken Link Checker > ‘Look For Links In’ Tab)

This section specifies which areas of your site the plugin will check for broken links.

You can enable the plugin to check these areas of your site by ticking the checkboxes in the “Look for links in” section: Blogroll items (links), comments, custom fields (can be customized), pages and posts.

Furthermore, you can specify that the plugin check only posts that have been assigned certain statuses (e.g. published, scheduled, draft, pending or private) in the “Post statuses” section of the tab.

Click Save Changes when finished to update your plugin settings …

Remember to save your changes

(Remember to save your changes)

Broken Link Checker Options > Which Links To Check

Broken Link Checker Options > 'Which Links To Check' Tab

(Broken Link Checker Options > ‘Which Links To Check’ Tab)

In this tab, you can enable the type of links that Broken Link Checker will analyze in the “Link Types” section, and add words to the “Exclusion List” section (one per line) to prevent the plugin from searching URLs containing the words you specify.

Once again, remember to save your settings if making any changes to this section.

Broken Link Checker Options > Protocols & APIs

Broken Link Checker Options > 'Protocols & APIs' Tab

(Broken Link Checker Options > ‘Protocols & APIs’ Tab)

In the Protocols & APIs tab, you can specify which methods the plugin should use to check links on your site.

The “Basic HTTP” option, which is enabled by default, is the same as typing in the URLs into an internet browser.

If your site uses any of the services listed in this section extensively (e.g. you have loads of YouTube videos on your site), then consider selecting additional methods to check links, otherwise, just leave this tab as is.

Broken Link Checker Options > Advanced

Broken Link Checker Options > 'Advanced' Tab

(Broken Link Checker Options > ‘Advanced’ Settings)

The options in the Advanced tab allow you to configure and finetune a number of important plugin parameters.

These parameters include:

Timeout – This is the length of time the plugin will attempt to verify whether a link is valid or not before declaring it “broken”.

Link Monitor – Specify when to run the plugin by enabling/disabling checkboxes for either “Run continuously while the Dashboard is open”, “Run hourly in the background”, both or none.

Show the dashboard widget for – Select which types of users can see the plugin information in the dashboard (see screenshot below for example) …

Dashboard - Broken Links Widget

(Dashboard – Broken Links Widget)

To learn about assigning and managing user roles, see the tutorial below:

Max. Execution Time – Specify how long the plugin should run for when executing background checks before stopping.

Server load limit – Link checking will be suspended if the average server load rises above the number specified here. Leave this field blank to disable load limiting.

Forced recheck – If you click the “Re-check all pages” button, the plugin will empty its link database and recheck the entire site from scratch …

Broken Link Checker Options - Forced Recheck

(Broken Link Checker Options – Forced Recheck)

If you make any changes to the plugin settings remember to click on the Save Changes button to update your plugin settings …

Save your changes

(Save your changes)

Your plugin is now configured.

Plugin Usage

Once installed and configured, the plugin will begin scanning through your posts, pages, blogroll and other content looking for links.

You can monitor the progress of link scans by going to Settings > Link Checker

Settings Menu > Link Checker

(Settings Menu > Link Checker)

Depending on the size of your site this process (called parsing) can take from a few minutes up to an hour or more …

Broken Link Checker continually monitors your site for broken links

(Broken Link Checker continually monitors your site for broken links)

When parsing is complete, the plugin will start checking each link to make sure they are working. Again, how long this process takes depends on the size and number of links on your site.

To view and manage any broken links found on your site, select Tools > Broken Links in your WP admin area …

Tools > Broken Links

(Tools > Broken Links)

This brings you to the “Broken Links” screen, which displays a list of all the broken links found on your site and allows you to manage these …

Broken Links Screen

(Broken Links Screen)

If Broken Link Checker detects that all links are working fine, you will see a “No broken links found” message when you visit this page …

No broken links found

(No broken links found)

If the plugin detects any broken links, it will display the number of broken links found …

Broken links found

(Broken links found)

It will also notify this in your dashboard (if you have enabled the correct user permission settings) …

Dashboard - Broken Link Checker Widget

(Dashboard – Broken Link Checker Widget)

You will also receive an email notification (if you have configured the plugin settings to receive emails) …

Broken Links - Notification Email

(Broken Links – Notification email)

Clicking on the link at the bottom of the email takes you to the “Broken Links” screen on your WordPress site (you may have to log in) …

Click email link to view all broken links

(Click email link to view all broken links)

Managing Links In The Broken Links Screen

The main menu at the top of the “Broken Links” screen lets you view a list of different link categories:

  • Broken
  • Warnings
  • Redirects
  • Dismissed
  • All

Let’s go through each of these menu options:

Broken

Broken Links - Broken Menu

(Broken Links – Broken menu)

This table contains a list of all the broken links detected on your site …

List of broken links

(List of broken links)

You can manage your broken links individually or in bulk.

Managing Broken Links Individually

Hover your mouse over any link listed in the URL column, and a menu will appear with a number of link functions that you can perform:

Broken link management options

(Broken link management options)

Edit URL

Locate the link you want to edit …

Select the link to edit

(Select the link to edit)

Hover over the link and click Edit URL to make changes to your link …

Edit URL

(Edit URL)

This expands the item, allowing you to edit the link’s anchor text and URL …

Edit your link URL or accept suggested alternative

(Edit your link URL or accept suggested alternative)

Note: If the link is present in more than one place (e.g. both in a post and in the blogroll), all occurrences of that URL will be changed.

Click Update when done, or Cancel to discard your changes.

Unlink

Click Unlink to remove the link from all posts …

Unlink removes links from your posts

(Unlink removes links from your posts)

The plugin will go through your site and unlink all instances of the URL immediately.

Note: Unlinking removes the link but leaves the link text intact.

Not Broken

Click Not broken to remove the link from the list of broken links and mark the URL as valid …

Not broken

(Not broken)

Not broken lets you manually mark a ‘broken’ link as working. This is useful if you know it was incorrectly detected as broken due to a network glitch or a bug. The marked link will still be checked periodically, but the plugin won’t consider it broken unless it gets a new result.

Dismiss

Click Dismiss to hide the link. Broken Link Checker will not report it again unless its status changes …

Dismiss

(Dismiss)

Recheck

Click Recheck to check if the status of your link has changed …

Recheck

(Recheck)

Broken Link Checker will immediately begin checking the link and return the latest status result …

Link status is being rechecked

(Link status is being rechecked)

Managing Broken Links In Bulk

You can perform the same functions used on individual links in bulk, plus some additional ones like rechecking links and fixing redirects by selecting multiple links from the table and choosing one of the Bulk Actions drop-down menu options …

Broken Links - Bulk Actions menu

(Broken Links – Bulk Actions menu)

In addition to the URL column, the Broken Links section table also displays information like Status, Link Text, and Source.

The Status and Link Text columns let you see more information about the status of your links, images, etc …

Link Status

(Link Status)

Click on a link in the Status or Link Text columns…

Click to view Status Details

(Click to view Status Details)

And the link entry expands to show detailed information about the link, including how often the link has failed the validity tests, how long the link has been broken for, and a whole lot more …

Status details

(Status details)

Warnings

The ‘Warnings’ page lists temporary problems or false positives. After a period of time, warnings will be reclassified as broken links …

Warnings

(Warnings)

Redirects

This section of the Broken Links screen lists all your link redirects …

Redirected Links

(Redirects)

You can view the redirected URLs under the Redirect URL column (see ‘Additional Plugin Information’ section further below to learn how to display the Redirect URL column on your screen) …

View Redirect URLs

(View Redirect URLs)

As well as viewing a list of redirected links and link status information, you can also perform a number of link operations by hovering your mouse over their title and choosing one of the link menu options (Edit URL, Unlink, Dismiss) …

Redirected Links - Options menu

(Redirected Links – Options menu)

Dismissed

This section displays a list of all the links you have previously dismissed (i.e. links that the plugin will not report on unless or until the status of the link changes) …

Dismissed menu

(Dismissed menu)

In the Dismissed Links section you can perform various link operations such as Edit URL, Unlink (remove link from all posts), specify the link as Not broken, and Undismiss your links …

Dismissed Links - Menu options

(Dismissed Links – Menu options)

All

All menu

(All menu)

This section displays a list of all links found on your site …

View all links

(View all links)

Hover over a link to perform link operations (Edit URL, Unlink, Not broken, Recheck) …

Link options

(Link options)

You can also perform regular post operations such as Edit, Trash, and View posts containing the link in the Source column …

Source column options

(Source column options)

Additional Plugin Information

Here are some additional tips on using the Broken Link Checker plugin:

Protect Users From Malware

If destination links point to sites containing malware, the plugin will mark the link as broken …

503 Service Unavailable

(503 Service Unavailable)

This protects users from clicking through to sites affected by malware from your site …

'Site contains malware' warning

(‘Site contains malware’ warning)

The plugin will automatically restore the broken link to normal once the site owner fixes the problem (i.e. removes malware from their site).

Go To Broken Links

Navigate directly to the ‘Broken Links’ screen from your ‘Broken Links Options’ page by clicking on the Go to Broken Links button in the top right-hand section of your admin screen …

Go to Broken Link

(Go to Broken Links)

Screen Options Tab

You can also hide or display columns for the plugin screens and set additional screen settings when viewing your broken links by clicking on the Screen Options tab in the top right-hand section of your admin screen …

Screen Options tab

(Screen Options tab)

Here you can enable or disable Table columns, set the number of links to show per page, and set miscellaneous settings for your links, such as highlighting links that have been broken for ‘X’ number of days, and color-coding different status codes for easier visual recognition …

Screen Options

(Screen Options)

As you can see, Broken Link Checker is a comprehensive and useful plugin to install on your WordPress site.

For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website:

Info

Some web hosting companies will not allow you to install a plugin like Broken Link Checker on your WordPress site, as it can cause a high load on their servers or create an unnatural number of MySQL queries. if you experience any problems using this plugin, check with your host.

Congratulations! Now you know how to find and repair broken links in WordPress and how to set up a plugin that will automatically scan your site and continuously check for broken links.

How To Detect And Fix Broken Links In WordPress

(Source: Pixabay)

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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Learn about the SEO benefits of internal linking and how to create internal links in posts and pages using the WordPress linking tool …

Creating Internal Links Using The Inline Link EditorAccording to Wikipedia, “an internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain.”

WordPress comes with built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, tags, archives, and categories pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, a default link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will discover the benefits of internal linking and how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced linking tool.

WordPress Linking Tool

(WordPress Built-In Link Function)

Internal Hyperlinks – Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to relevant content on your website or blog.

Or, as defined in Wikipedia …

“An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination. Generally, a link to a page outside the same domain or website is considered external, whereas one that points at another section of the same webpage or to another page of the same website or domain is considered internal.” (source: Wikipedia)

Wikipedia uses extensive internal content linking extensively

(Wikipedia employs extensive content linking extensively)

Inserting hyperlinks pointing to other content provides a number of benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal linking lets visitors view more content and ensures that search bots can index web site faster. Wikipedia is a great example of sites that rely on internal content links.

Benefit Of Using Internal Links #1 – Improve Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

Use internal content links to improve your site navigation and create a better user experience.

(Use internal links to improve your website usability and create a better user experience.)

Websites are supposed to provide visitors with relevant content. By providing users with easy access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the quality of your website, you also create a better experience for your users.

Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, this can easily lead to more sales conversions.

Make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to link your company page to your about page.

Benefit Of Internal Content Linking #2 – Site’s Search Rankings

Use internal links to improve your website's search rankings.

(Use internal content links to improve SEO results.)

Internal content links also improve your SEO. Linking to other pages and posts on your site helps search engine spiders crawl pages faster and more thoroughly than sites that include only standalone pages. This can result in more organic search traffic to your site.

An effective way to improve your site’s search engine optimization is by combining internal links with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding-related products or advice, you could create an article describing unusual gifts for weddings and hyperlink the phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” to another section of your site listing wedding gift registries. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your website is all about.

Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for both visitors and search engines. You can use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, and so on.

Add anchor text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(You can add keyword-relevant text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.

(Use content linking to increase visibility and exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, your post entries will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to many posts becoming less popular.

If there is old but useful content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider adding internal links within the content of some of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular pages to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by your site visitors and search engines.

The more content visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … which can lead to better results!

Using The Internal Content Hyperlink Editor In WordPress

A linking tool was introduced in WordPress 3.1 that allows you to quickly and easily link content in your pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was updated in WP 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.

Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, adding internal links to other pages in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress admin, locate and open the post or page you would like to add links into.

Next, highlight the content you would like to turn into a hyperlink.

After selecting and highlighting the words, click on the hyperlinking tool in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress visual editor - linking tool

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content link tool)

Important Info

If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the feature …

The feature can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the content

(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the editor)

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

Inline Linking Editor

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in your target destination URL or enter a search term to view related pages and posts …

Type in a search term to bring up related content

(Enter a search term to bring up related posts and pages)

Click the ’Return’ button to insert the link …

WordPress Inline Linking tool - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now inserted …

Hyperlink inserted into content

(Hyperlink added to content)

You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) button …

WordPress Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options'

(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link tool

(Advanced link options)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in the URL of your target destination, enter the anchor text to display with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window …

Insert/edit link editor

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the section that allows you to insert internal links into your content. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress will automatically display related posts and pages containing those words …

Enter the search term to see related content

(Type in the search term to see related posts and pages)

Select the title of the page or post you want to link to, and the URL of your selected item will automatically be inserted into the URL section …

Select the post or page you would like to link your content to

(Select the post or page to link your content to)

Notice that the feature lets you link to posts or pages and shows you which item is what …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

You are not limited to pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types (these are post types created to display specific information), like products, portfolios, etc. …

Link to custom post types in addition to standard pages or posts

(Create internal links to custom post types in addition to posts or pages)

If you would like to open your link in a new browser window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …

Tick the box to open your link in a new window

(Check the box and your link will open in a new window)

Note that the ability to open linked content in a new window or tab can be used for both internal and external links …

Open external and internal links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

(Open external and internal links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)

Your internal link is now created …

An internal link

(Voilá … an internal link!)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From version 4.6, WordPress now automatically checks when you add hyperlinks to detect broken links. If you add a broken link (e.g. add a space in the URL), WordPress will let you know, allowing you to update your link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

Info

WordPress can automatically detect if you type in a broken link but it can’t detect whether a correctly entered link leads to a ‘not found’ page error or a destination page that can’t be accessed (e.g. server down or website deleted).

To learn how to detect and repair broken links, see the tutorial below:

Link Boundaries

In version 4.8, WordPress introduced a new feature called Link Boundaries that fixes common issues users experience when trying to update a link or the text around a link and can’t seem to edit it correctly.

These include:

  • Editing text after the link and finding that the new text also ends up linked,
  • Editing text in the link but finding that text ends up outside of the link.

Link boundaries create a ‘shield’ around the link to help streamline the link editing process …

New WordPress Feature - Link Boundaries

(New WordPress Feature – Link Boundaries)

To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:

(Link Boundaries)

Internal Link Options

If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format links to make them stand out

(Format your hyperlinks if you want readers to notice them)

Deleting Content Links

No tutorial on adding links to content is complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.

To delete a link from your content, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ tool on the editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy ... you even get choices!

(Removing both internal and external links in WordPress is easy … just click a button!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Hyperlinks removed!

(Hyperlinks be gone!)

Plugins For Linking Content

So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the built-in function.

Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the type of WordPress theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb website navigation
  • Links to related posts
  • Linking using sidebar and footer widgets

In another article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins you can look at for creating internal links automatically on your website:

Internal linking for SEO

(SEO internal linking. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - WordPress plugin)

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to add links to content in WordPress.

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