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Is there a broken-URL finder application that I could use to scan a website for broken links? (A Mac application would be better.)

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

For Windows users: Xenu

For *nix/Mac: wget (usually installed by default)

Update: Typical wget usage:

wget -r --spider -b -o /var/tmp/wget.log http://target.site.com/

  • -r - Recursive download
  • --spider - Check downloaded content for new links, then discard
  • -b - Run in the background
  • -o /var/tmp/wget.log - Target log file
  • http://target.site.com/ - Replace with the site you want to check

wget will create a log file detailing the status codes reported while downloading content from the target site - note that this method will catch links to nonexistent content from within the domain, however, off-site links will not be checked (which is why it pays to monitor your site's error logs).

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Xenu is the most simplest and most useful tool that you can find for Win. I think that it also works under Wine for Linux. – Ilian Iliev Sep 23 '10 at 7:22
Can you give an example of how to use wget for this. – Tshepang Jan 18 '11 at 0:12
The wget link is dead :) – Tshepang Jan 18 '11 at 0:14
@Tshepang - Updated as requested. – danlefree Jan 18 '11 at 6:45
+1 for actually monitoring your site's error logs! – scunliffe Jun 30 '11 at 9:59

Google Webmaster tools will report on broken links. It's a simple tool, free to install to a website.....and platform agnostic. If you're not already using it, it can help you boost your SEO and useability as well.


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Agree, but it can detect broken links only some time after you publish the site; by then some people will have already clicked on them and been disappointed. – Erion Sep 23 '10 at 8:16

This recursive HTML validator: http://htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/

should show you broken links among other errors. The tool can also be installed locally.

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You could also try A1 Website Analyzer (Windows tool, but can run in VMWare/Fusion under Mac) It can tell you of all URL references site-wide (e.g. which pages link to a 404 URL + usually also line numbers), HTML/CSS errors etc.

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The W3C Link Checker is one of the oldest online services that checks for broken links.

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