Recently I participated in the SITS version of Probloggers 31 Days to a Better Blog which was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my blog. One of the most eye opening exercises was Day 27 which was “Go on a Dead Link Hunt“, which I had never done because the idea of going through posts dating all the way back to 2002 was more daunting than I was willing to deal with. Fortunately Kat recommended the Broken Link Checker plug in (duh Christine, of course there’s a plug in – has anyone else noticed that I look for more difficulty when there are simple solutions?!). As is usually the case with WordPress, installation of the plug in was a breeze and it started looking immediately. The results show up right in your dashboard and by the time it was done, it had found close to a thousand dead links. I’m still not done going through them, but this has been so worth it. I’m chunking the task, doing a bit every time I get some down time, but I could not believe the dead links! The vast majority were links to blogs that no longer existed, which was sad – but some were to news stories and opinions that I may or may no longer agree with and some were to photographs that seem to have disappeared over the course of server changes, and subdomain to primary domain and every thing in between.
I’ve deleted quite a few of the posts. (how did I ever post 4 and 5 times a day?!) Memes, quizzes, silly little filler things, I’ve made some of the posts private as I didn’t want to completely delete them, but they weren’t relevant any longer. I fixed links, created forwarders when necessary and at this point, I have less than 100 left. Yay me! *update* they’re all fixed now!
One of my favorite results was concerning a post from February, 2004. We had a wonderful trip to the Florida Keys and I had the gallery stored under a domain name that I no longer own. I was able to find the gallery on an old hard drive and it’s now connected and online once again.