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Checking for broken links

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Checking for broken links

When you're working on a site, especially if you have a tight deadline, missing a broken link is incredibly easy to do. Maybe you renamed a graphic in Photoshop, and saved over it without remembering to update your site. Perhaps you reorganized a folder outside of Dreamweaver and forgot to update it once you get back or maybe you just never got around to make it a page after creating placeholder links for it. Regardless, broken links create incredibly negative user experiences and should be avoided at all times. Using Dreamweaver's Link Checker panel you should never have to worry about broken links again.

Checking for broken links

When you're working on a site, especially if you have a tight deadline, missing a broken link is incredibly easy to do. Maybe you renamed a graphic in Photoshop, and saved over it without remembering to update your site. Perhaps you reorganized a folder outside of Dreamweaver and forgot to update it once you get back or maybe you just never got around to make it a page after creating placeholder links for it. Regardless, broken links create incredibly negative user experiences and should be avoided at all times. Using Dreamweaver's Link Checker panel you should never have to worry about broken links again.

I have defined the 16_02 as my root directory for this particular chapter. So if you haven't done that, go ahead and do that now. And looking down at my Results panel group, I am going to click on the Link Checker panel and extend that up a little bit. Now, if don't see your Link Checker panel, you can go right up here to Window > Results and choose Link Checker. There we go. Now, the first thing we notice in the Link Checker panel is that we have three options for the types of links that it can check.

We have Broken Links, External Links, Orphaned Files. Orphaned Files are files that were created in your site, but no pages are linking to them. So maybe you created the placeholder page or a page early in the design process and then said "later on I'll get pages to link to it," and you just never got around to it. So you would have a page in your site that nobody can get to and that's a bad thing. So it's really nice that Dreamweaver will go throughout your site and find all the orphan files for you. Now, External Links are going to check the absolute links that you've entered into any pages, and it's going to check to make sure those pages can be found online.

So you need to have an Internet connection while you're doing that. Now, we are going to check Broken Links. Now, this is going to test against multiple types of links including images and links to pages. Really a lot of different types of links as we're going to see when we run our report. So I want to make sure Broken Links is selected, and now I am going to go to the Play button here and I can either check links for any current document I might have open, selected files in your site or what we are going to do which is the entire current local site. So I am going to go ahead and choose that.

It's going to check all the pages in my site for me and it came back with a couple of errors. And what's really interesting about this is the different types of errors that it came up with. One of the things I am going to do is sort this. So I am going to go over to the column for Broken Links and click on that. So it will sort it by link type, and then you can flip those up or down however you would like. And notice the first link when I put tours on top here is tours/tour_detail_calm.htm. And that's not right. So this is a link to a page within the site that obviously isn't right.

So it looks like a little typo happened there when I was entering that link. So what I am going to do is click right there on the link. Notice that if I wanted to, I could very easily come in and just fix that typo myself. Now, I have to hope that is correct. So if I'm worried about making it worse and making another typo, I'm also able to browse right here. I can click the Browse For File icon, and then I can go into the directory that that page is in which in this case is tours. And I can find that tour_detain_ calm right there and click OK.

Now one of the nice things about the Link Checker panel as opposed to the Site Report panel is that when you make a change and you fix a link, let's say hit Return, it's going to away. It removes itself from the list, so as you are clearing out all those broken links, they are going to be removed and you can really tell how much progress you're making. Now, the next one we have is an image. So in addition to broken links to pages, any broken link to an image or a source that points to an image that it can't find, it's going to list one as well. Obviously, this is another typo.

There is a T on the end of lunch, and I know better than that. So I'm going to go ahead and remove that and hit Return. Now, if it's able to find that, it'll disappear from the list. If you just changed the type and you hit Return, if it's not a valid link, it's going to let you know about that. Now, the next three are all exactly the same problem. In three separate files, I'm linking to the wrong CSS file. And again, we just have a misspelling here. So I'm going to highlight this and I am going to browse and I'm going to go up my CSS folder and find main.css.

Now, one of things I want to point out about this is notice that some of these files are in different locations. Gallery is inside the explorer subdirectory. So the resolved path to the CSS file is going to be different for that. But Dreamweaver is really intelligent and it knows that all three of these are trying to link to the same file. So when I fix this one, it's going to ask me, do you also want to fix the remaining broken references to this file? When I say Yes, no matter where they're broken or what the resolved path that is, Dreamweaver is going to figure that out for you based on your site structure and you can see all of those are being cleared out.

That's really cool. That's a huge timesaver, because if, for some reason, may there was a typo in the way that you originally name the file, maybe that's a broken link on 50 pages, you're not going to have to go through and fix it 50 times even if they're in different directories. So that's amazingly helpful. Now, the thing that I love about working with the Link Checker is that I don't have to actually open the documents in order to fix them. It'll catch broken links to pages, graphics, external documents, and it can even check for those orphaned pages that we were talking about a little bit earlier.

Like most maintenance tasks, make sure that you run your Link Checker periodically as well to make sure that your site is fully connected.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 88872 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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