Link Checking Report

The Link Report dashboard tab and/or widget contains a report of all broken links in a specific site.

On this tab, users can see the detail of each broken link and the assets in which the broken link is contained. Broken links can be marked as fixed and then filtered out so that only links that still need to be addressed are displayed. The report displayed on the Dashboard is generated on a daily basis during the wee hours of the morning.

Dashboard location of the Link Checker tool.

How does it work?

The Scheduled Link Checker generates a Broken Link Report for each site which is accessible from the Dashboard with an overview and complete list of broken links before they are published to the live webserver.The broken link report includes links that appear anywhere in a rendered page or file. The rendered content is all of the content that will show up on your published website. The asset level Link Checker also checks links in asset content but only asset content. Asset content is what you see when you click the Edit tab on an asset. Only Pages and Files that are marked as publishable are scanned.

Broken Link Report Summary

The top of the Link Report tab in the Dashboard contains a summary of the number of assets containing broken links, the total number of broken links, and the number of broken links that have not been marked as fixed since the last time the Scheduled Link Checker was run.  Large numbers are abbreviated for easy readability. Hovering over these numbers will display the exact numbers and any additional information.The number of broken links remaining will update whenever a link is marked as fixed using the dropdown in the Status column of the Broken Link Table.

Broken Link Table

Table listed the assets with broken links after the scheduled report has been run.

Below the overview is a table of all broken links encountered during link checking. These links can be grouped by link path, which shows all assets containing a particular broken link at once, or by link source, which displays all broken links found for each asset checked.The table itself has 5 columns:

  • Source: The asset in which the broken link was rendered.
  • Occurrences: When grouping by link path, this column will indicate the number of assets that were found to have been using a particular link. When grouping by source, this column will indicate the number of broken links in the current asset. Clicking the "more" link will display either all assets containing a particular broken link or all links contained in a particular asset depending on whether the report is being grouped by link or grouped by asset, respectively. Clicking "less" will collapse the rows.
  • Link Description: For hyperlinks (i.e. <a>), the link description is the text contained inside the element or "Link with no text". For other types of links, this column will contain a description of the type of tag containing the link to help users locate the link on the page (e.g. "Broken image source").
  • Broken Link: This is the value of the attribute that is considered broken. For an "a" tag, this would be the value of the "href" attribute. See Elements Checked for Broken Links for a full listing of elements and attributes that are checked for broken links.
  • Status: This column indicates whether or not the broken link has been fixed yet or not. Users can click the available dropdown and select Fixed to indicate that the link has been fixed in some way. Marking a link as fixed will reduce the number of links that are considered broken in the Broken Links Remaining box of the Link Checker Overview. Links marked as fixed will be displayed as fixed for all other users in the system. Note that this status will revert back to its original value of Broken the next time the link checker runs if the current link has not actually been fixed inside the corresponding asset. The first row in each set of grouped rows in the report will have 2 additional values in the status dropdown: Mark all fixed and Mark all broken. These values will mark all grouped rows as either Fixed or Broken, respectively.

Hiding Fixed Links: At the top of the Broken Link table next to the "Group by source" and "Group by link" links is a checkbox that toggles between displaying links that have been marked as fixed and not displaying them.  This can be useful when cleaning up links in a Site because links that have been fixed no longer need attention and therefore should not be displayed in the table.

Fixing Broken Links

Using the information in the Broken Link Report, one can go about fixing a broken link using the following steps:

  1. Locate the link you would like to fix in the Broken Link Table in the Broken Link column and copy the text to your clipboard.
  2. Right click on the asset link in the Source column and open the link in a new tab.
  3. Click the Edit tab on the asset in the newly opened tab.
  4. Next you can either fix the link manually by searching for it in the content of the asset or you can simply submit the asset making sure that the Broken Links checkbox is checked in the submit bar at the bottom of the screen.
    • If you are manually fixing the link, using the information in the Link Description column of the Broken Link Table can help to give some context as to where the link is broken in the asset.
    • Checking the Broken Links checkbox will cause Cascade Server to check for any broken links in the content of the asset using the asset level Link Checker. If any broken links are encountered, they will be displayed in a list and can be updated accordingly without having to locate where the link is in the asset content.

It is important to note that although a "source" asset is listed with each link in the broken link report, the broken link itself may exist in a block or widget that is used when rendering the page online. The broken link checker only looks for broken links in the final rendered content. Blocks and other supporting assets used during asset rendering do not get checked for broken links directly. When following the steps above, if the broken link cannot be found manually or using the asset level link checker, then it is likely that the broken link exists in a supporting asset. In general, if the same broken link exists in multiple assets, it is likely that the broken link is actually contained in a supporting asset and not in the individual pages.