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Smallsite Design

Online management help

8. Troubleshoot links

Links connect a site to other parts of itself and the world, and so need periodic checking to make sure none are broken.

Links to external sites can go out of date because the target pages have disappeared or been renamed. While Smallsite Design won't allow articles or categories to be deleted unless there are no more links to them, imported articles may have orphaned links because their targets were not imported with them.

However, the most likely occurrence with internal links is through a mismatch in their visibility levels, like a listed page linking to an unlisted one. This would normally be expected to expose the unlisted pages to being discovered by search engine bots, but Smallsite Design shows these as plain text ʘ?ʘ. This makes them ineffective while revealing nothing about the link target, but also makes them ugly enough for having something to be done about them.


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The role to perform this procedure is: Master manager.

To correct link issues:

1Open the Check links page

by clicking the Check links jump in the last item of the Access section of the Work list page.

The page is displayed, here showing an example of where issues occur and the different types:
Sample Check links page showing several types of issues

A brief explanation for each of the issues is:

  1. 1.User psw has a URL to a non-existent website.
  2. 2.The rights URL for the en-001 locale of the main subsite points to a non-existent page on a website.
  3. 3.File 2018-06-04-00-00-00 has a owner page that is unauthorised.
  4. 4.The Check password provider URL is missing information.
  5. 5.The a-test-page article has a Related article link to a missing page on a website.
  6. 6.The listed a-test-page article has a Related articles link that points to the unlisted t-sample-test article.
  7. 7.The a-test-page article has a diagram text element with a link to a special unknown category test link.

A 404 error usually indicates that page doesn't exist, though that may be because the URL is in error.

A 403 error is an authorisation error, usually because sites like those allowing downloads of free images treat servers enquiring as potential attempts to mass harvest images. If the link in the Target column works, then the associated images will display without problem on pages.

The 400 Check password error is expected as five hexadecimal characters are normally added to the end of the URL when it is used to check for used passwords. Temporarily adding any five characters from 0123456789abcdef will eliminate the error. Any error other than 400 means the URL is incorrect. See Search for more details.

2Refresh the link statuses, if required

by clicking on the Check button.

This step will not be required if it had been done upon entering the page because of either:

  1. a.There has never been a check.
  2. b.The last check was more than 24 hours before.

The page is redisplayed with the latest status of all links with issues, with the approximate time since the last update shown after the Check button.

3Fix the link

by performing:

3-1If Inline

by clicking the Article: jump in the Link host column to:

  1. a.Assign a task to edit the article.
  2. b.Using the host element type listed after the Inline jump in the Link host column, together with Target column details, to identify the element whose Target value needs changing.


by clicking the last jump in the Link host column to:

  1. a.If for a file, edit the Page URL.
  2. b.If for a user, edit the URL text.
  3. c.Otherwise, using Create links to edit the link.

4Process another error

by repeating step 1 onwards.

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