June 29th 2019

Improved broken links check

We’ve rolled out a wide range of improvements to the broken links test today:

Broken links are now classified

Links are now classified by how certain we are that they are broken, with the most definitive broken links appearing first:

Example broken links with different severities

Definitely broken links includes links to impossible web addresses, and to special-use addresses that won’t work on the public Internet.

Likely broken links includes links to missing pages (404 errors), missing websites, and broken SSL certificates. These are almost certainly wrong.

Lastly, we list Possible broken links, which includes links with more obscure HTTP errors (e.g. 502), timeouts, redirect loops, and more. These usually need a manual check to confirm whether they are genuine problems.

Links double-checked by default

Sometimes when Silktide tests links they are broken only at the moment we tested them, and they work again shortly after. This is most commonly the case if a website struggles to handle being downloaded quickly.

Silktide now automatically double-checks any links that it thinks might be broken. There is a short gap (approx 1-2 minutes) between any of these secondary checks.

More detail for broken links

You can now dive into a more detailed view of any broken link. This is particularly useful if you’re struggling to understand why Silktide sees a broken link that you do not.

Click on the new Detail link to view information about a specific link:

Detailed view of a single broken link in Silktide

Here you can see the pages which this link appears on, and a detailed breakdown of each attempt to download this link. You can dive into any of these attempts for even more detail, by clicking Detail again.

More detailed view of a single attempt to view a broken link in Silktide

Depending on the broken link, you will see a link of redirections, the locations of Silktide and the server which hosted the broken link, and the HTML of the downloaded broken link, as Silktide saw it.

Click on a broken link to open it (!)

This shouldn’t be such a big deal, but know it was awkward to view or copy + paste a broken link from our table view before.

Broken links table

Now the link to the broken link goes to where the broken link is, which is what most people expected. If you want to view a page with that broken link on, click on the purple magnifying glass icon.

How to use the new test

All customers now have the new test applied automatically. However, to see the extra detail for individual broken links, you will need to re-test your website.

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