Dealing with Broken Links in WordPress: Solutions and Tips

Broken Links affect a WordPress site’s user experience. A 404 not-found message is displayed on the screen when a user clicks on a broken link.

There are several reasons for occurring broken links in a WordPress website. For example, a link can turn broken – if the target page is changed, modified, or moved to a different location.

In this resource – you’ll learn how to deal with broken links in WordPress. You’ll also know – what broken links are, how they occur, and how to fix them correctly in a WP website.

What are Broken Links in WordPress?


Links in a WordPress site – leading to non-existing pages refer to broken links. For example, there are two pages – A and B.

In this case, Page-A links to B – the non-existing page on a WordPress site. Here, clicking the link on Page A triggers a broken link scenario.


Broken links can’t affect enough – more than a website’s user experience and SEO. In this case, users don’t see valid pages when they click on a broken link.

Similarly, if a site has internal broken links, errors in Google Search Console are created, affecting the site’s rankings on search pages.

Next steps

Broken links affect a site’s indexing on Search Engines – too.

After you’ve fixed broken links in WordPress, submitting re-crawl requests in Google helps you improve broken link issues.

Broken Links occurrence

Let’s address – why broken links occur.

Management of pages in WordPress

A broken link occurs when a page’s URL has been changed in WordPress.

WordPress may fix broken links with an automated redirect; however, it needs attention when no redirection is in place.

Similarly, moving a target page from one location to another creates broken links on a WordPress website.

Website Migration

Website migration involves moving a site from one host to another.

In such scenarios – backup restoration, DNS issues, SSL installation, and HTTPs redirection may create link issues on a WP site.

Hacking incidents

Hacking incidents can also create broken links on a WordPress website.

For example – planting manual backdoors, website defacements, and removing the site’s pages create broken links.

The first thing you can do is – scan your site with a malware scanner. If you don’t prefer manual routines or lack WordPress knowledge, hiring WordPress security professionals is the best option.

How to deal with Broken Links in WordPress?

How to Fix Broken Links in WordPress?

STEP 1 – Find Broken Links in WordPress

When finding broken links, no tool is better than Google Search Console.

Note: You can proceed to find culprit URLs with GSC – if you’ve configured GSC for your WordPress site. In this case, GSC starts showing broken links on your WordPress site over time.

Once you’ve logged into GSC, the Indexing -> Pages page shows a list of broken links, as shown in the screenshot below.

broken links in WordPress

Clicking on Not Found (404) lists the broken links on your site. Here, you can also export the list of broken URLs.

Now – as you have a list of bad URLs on your WP website, you can proceed to the next step.

STEP 2 – Fix Broken Links in WordPress

The way you create a link in WordPress is how you edit and fix a broken link.

Once you have a list of broken links in GSC, you can click and experience if the page triggers a 404 Not Found page error message on the screen.

broken links in WordPress

You can make changes manually; as you have a list of broken links in Excel. To start, find which pages on your site link to non-existing pages.

Of course, this doesn’t seem easy to most – you can hire people for assistance. Once done, you must change the links’ targets to valid pages in WordPress.

When changing a broken link’s target, consider the following aspects.

  • If the target page is missing, you can link to a different – but relevant page on your WordPress site.
  • If the target page’s link changes, you should configure redirects for the old URL. In this case, if WordPress hasn’t set automated redirects, you can create redirects with a WordPress plugin, such as Redirects. WordPress needs to set redirects when a user updates URL for a page or post.
  • If a page links to a page behind a login, make sure you’ve changed the page’s target to a relevant, freely available page on your site.
  • If, for example, a link is pointed to a non-existing page on another site, change the link’s target to a relevant page on the same site. You can also remove the link if it doesn’t confuse readers.

Note: According to SEO best practices, every hundred words should contain a link – internal or external. If, for some reason, you don’t understand the context of a broken link, you can remove such links. In such scenarios, make sure you’ve driven readers with the conceptual flow – without sounding bad.

Professional Tips

Broken links affect a site’s SEO, user experience, and conversions. Consider the following tips and suggestions – when dealing with broken links in WordPress.

  • Ensure the content is copied correctly from a different editor, such as Google Documents. The difference between documents’ types, formats, and versions may affect link structure in content.
  • If you’re using automated plugins for internal links in WordPress, be aware of the possible consequences. For example, Internal Link Juicer is a WordPress plugin that helps users add internal links to WordPress content.
  • Sometimes, for the sake of file management – you may need to create custom directories on the server. In this case, renaming, moving, or changing directories may create broken link issues in WordPress.
  • Mass campaigns – are one of the reasons WordPress content is populated with broken links. For example, running automated tools for SEO audits may create link problems in a website.
  • If you’ve changed a page’s URL, content, or position in WordPress, you’ll also need to set proper redirects. Sometimes, a site’s database doesn’t create automated redirects and may create broken links for updated content.
  • There are hundreds of plugins for setting WordPress redirects. Sometimes, a plugin may work differently than your expectations. In this case, if you need help checking the plugins’ performance, you may face broken link issues in WordPress.

Note: Don’t allow WordPress automation regarding links. At some point in life, when things get more complicated – automation may create broken link issues in WordPress.

Wrapping up

As described above, broken links negatively impact a site’s user experience and SEO.

In this article, you learned how to deal with a site’s bad URLs – from finding broken links to fixing routines with manual methods and Google Search Console.

If you lack technical expertise, you can hire our WordPress support specialists. Learn how we can help you find, fix, and manage broken links in WordPress.

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