Broken links

Hyperlinks (links) are essentially connections between pages and documents on the web, and can "break" (stop working) for a number of reasons. A broken link will usually result in a "page not found" message, and if not addressed can lead to user frustration and lack of confidence in your site. For these reasons, managing and preventing broken links is one of the most important tasks you will undertake when maintaining your website.

Why do hyperlinks break?

Existing links on your website may break because the page or document to which you are linking has:

  • Moved
  • Changed its name
  • Been deleted

New links that you have created may be broken if they have been entered incorrectly (eg wrong capitalisation, missing characters) or are not in the right format.

What can I do to prevent and repair broken links?

Schedule in regular link checks

We recommend that you check for broken links on your site once a week or once a fortnight, depending on the size of your site and how often it is updated. The easiest way to do this is via an online link checker, such as the W3C Link Checker. This simple tool will perform a "sweep" of the site and identify any internal or external broken links, which you can then investigate and repair.

Not sure how to create or amend hyperlinks? Take a look at Appendix A4: Hyperlinking in the CMS2 Training Manual (PDF).

Keep abreast of major changes to the University's website

The easiest way to keep up-to-date with new and redeveloped sites on the University's website is to subscribe to the Web Publishers mailing list, which will now include a monthly list of sites that have been launched or relaunched in that month.

Report broken links on other University websites

If you find a broken link on another University of Newcastle website, you can: