Checking a site
with redirects

Some sites, especially those that are developed in Content Management Systems, use redirects, which poses difficulties for the web based linkreport. Normally, this report will feature:

When redirects are used, the linkreport isn't straightforward anymore. It will no longer list the page the link is found on, but instead the redirect preceding that link:

For example, some sites have the following redirect system in place:

When the final URL is broken (URL?STOP?STOP?), the web based linkreport will list the last-but-one URL as �source page� (URL?STOP?REDIRECTED=TRUE).

There is a workaround for this, although it involves much manual work.

Copy the �URL� from the broken link, and find the first occurrence of this URL, without the redirects, in the Xenu linkreport, using the CTRL-F option. Make sure you start your search with the cursor at the top of the report, otherwise you will not hit the top most URL.

Once you have found this top most URL, right-click on this URL, and find the source page under �Pages linking to this one�.

Customised error pages sometimes cause the same problem:

Instead of listing the source page of the broken link in its web report, as it normally does:

... Xenu will list the broken link itself! And instead of the broken link, it will list the Page not Found redirect page (because that is sending the actual 404 server error message):

... which does not really make any sense.

But with the tip described above, you can still find the true source page – and fix the link!

Update March 2005:

There's a much quicker way to found the source pages of broken links when redirects are involved: check "Redirected URLs" in the Options / Preferences box.

You will see the source page listed in your Xenu report as follows (highlighted in bold here):

redirected to: http://www.intel.com/notfound.htm?
status code: 302 (object temporarily moved)
linked from page(s):

In another case, the diagnosis of the error is given as well ("Could not find the category using the supplied credentials"):

redirected to: http://www.intel.com/notfound.htm;GeneralError%3a+
status code: 302 (object temporarily moved)
linked from page(s):

This catches the extra level introduced by the redirect, something other link check programs fail to do.

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