Perform regular link integrity checking and maintenance
(R) Perform regular link integrity checking and maintenance
The integrity of links should be checked regularly.
Websites are not static. They must be maintained and frequently updated with new information in order to maintain a ‘fresh’ look. User feedback, error corrections, repairs to broken links, and interpretation of analytical data about web usage, are opportunities to improve your website design and structure and to adopt new web technology.
The more people involved in maintaining content, the more opportunities arise for alterations in website structure to lead to dead links, broken links, or 404 error pages that indicate a particular web page is not available. The situation is worse with external links where you have no control over what other people are doing on their websites.
Several tools are available to help you review the integrity of hyperlinks. IW:LEARN also offers a service for checking link integrity.
(Website Guidelines pp. 11, 120)