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Find those broken links with ease

By: 8 March 2011 One Comment

Let’s face it — if you run an Internet site, you’re going to wind up with a broken link (or several of them) from time to time.

Figuring out which links are broken can take some time. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a program that identified those for you? Well, kids, there is such a program — it’s called Xenu’s Link Sleuth and it works extremely well. And, yes, it’s absolutely free.

Xenu is native to Windows, but I know from experience that it will work just fine in Linux under Wine (click here to see it in action under the Ubuntu Linux distro). The developer says rumor has it that Xenu will work under Mac OS with Crossover.

What makes Xenu so great is that it’s a fairly small program that is tuned for results rather than a bunch of splashy graphics. The program runs very quickly and was able to check thousands of links here at First Arkansas News in about 30 minutes. The results? There were some bonehead coding errors that were corrected and more than a few dead links that need to be corrected.

Knowing what links are bad and which ones are good is a great thing, and Xenu makes it possible to figure all that out without going nuts. The program will display those bad links, point directly to the page that contains the malfunctioning link and will even spit out a comprehensive report of what the program found if necessary.

It is, indeed, a great tool. Will it create more work for the attentive site owner? Certainly, but at least Xenu makes it possible to find those bad links and do something about them. The program makes that pesky chore as painless as possible.

Where did the developer come up with the name for the program? Click here for a glib overview of Xenu and his relationship to Scientology (the writer of that particular page is taking a risk or two, having a bit of fun with a cult full of people who are easily bent out of shape and are in the habit of filing lawsuits).

At any rate, Xenu (the program and not L. Ron Hubbard’s devil-like character) is a great program. Click here to get it.


About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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