Broken links, especially on a website's main page, can result in frustrated visitors, lost sales, and lowered search engine rankings. Manually validating hyperlinks is a time-consuming, tedious process. Administration staff must allocate time to click through every link and ensure that the referenced web page or resource is still available, or an external utility or service must be employed on a regular basis.
With ipMonitor's LINK - QA Monitor, the task is automated. You'll be alerted as soon as a broken link is found, allowing you to quickly fix this inconvenient but easy-to-solve problem.
After completing this tutorial, you will know:
If your web server requires authentication, you will need to create a new Credential for use with the LINK - QA Monitor. You can do this ahead of time by using the Credential Manager, or you can use the Credential Wizard during the Monitor Configuration stage. For more information, refer to the Credentials section of the ipMonitor's Context-Sensitive Help system. The Context-Sensitive Help can be accessed by clicking the Help link located in the top right corner of ipMonitor's Administration web interface.
|Click the PDF icon to open a printable PDF version of this tutorial. It includes all the information found here, including images from the ipMonitor software, diagrams, and links to additional resources.|
The LINK - QA Monitor tests any links (HREFs) it locates within a web page you specify. The following diagram illustrates the LINK - QA Monitor's testing process:
The above diagram shows that the LINK - QA Monitor simulates an end-user session by:
The LINK - QA Monitor will not test the same link more than once per session. For example, if the same URL is referenced at the top and bottom of the page, the LINK - QA Monitor will test the link the first time it encounters it, and skip it when it reaches the same link a second time.
When the LINK - QA Monitor encounters a link that cannot be reached, it will terminate the connection without continuing to check the remaining links and the test will fail.
To create a new Monitor, click the Monitors menu option and then click Add a Monitor. Choose the Link - QA Monitor from the Multi-Transaction / QA category.
TIPThe 'URL' field must begin with a forward slash (/). Examples of valid relative paths are:
The LINK - QA Monitor can be instructed to follow all links found in a web page, or only certain, specific links. These settings are configured in the Analysis of Test Results section.
We recommend using the default method, Use HEAD and upgrade to GET if necessary. This method will start by using the bandwidth-light HEAD request and upgrade to the more bandwidth-intensive GET method if a connection fails.
ipMonitor includes a RegEx Wizard to help you create Regular Expressions, which can be accessed by clicking the Tools menu option, then selecting RegEx Wizard. Using the RegEx Wizard while creating a Monitor will not terminate your Monitor configuration screen.
If you have selected the option to Open sockets to any web server within the Server Inclusions field, the LINK - QA Monitor will download and analyze any external links it comes across.
If the website hosting the web page to be analyzed requires Credentials to log in, the Credentials and authentication method specified for the main site will also be used to attempt to connect to external sites.
For security reasons, if your website is password-protected, we recommend that you do not monitor links to external websites. Monitoring only internal links will prevent your account and password information from being transmitted to each link referenced on the webpage.
To monitor trusted external sites, specify the Domain / Host Name and TCP Port in the Analysis of Test Results section. Ensure that the Open sockets to pre-authorized servers only option is selected. The following three types of URL matches are supported, allowing you to specify either very exact matches, or broader matches:
|Suffix match: Using suffixes allows you to specify classes of websites. For example, a suffix of ipmonitor.com permits the Monitor to connect to www.ipmonitor.com, support.ipmonitor.com, schemas.ipmonitor.com, etc.|
|Exact match: Specifying an exact match restricts the LINK - QA Monitor to a specific domain. Examples of valid Domain Names are: www.xyzcompany.com, support.xyzcompany.com, xyzcompany.com.|
|RegEx match: Using a Regular Expression, domain names can be analyzed to match any specific criteria you require.|
For more information regarding the LINK - QA Monitor, refer to the Monitors section of the ipMonitor's Context-Sensitive Help system, then select Monitor Types, followed by LINK - QA. The Context-Sensitive Help can be accessed by clicking the Help link located in the top right corner of ipMonitor's Administration web interface.
For information on other features and concepts related to those discussed in this article, refer to the following ipMonitor resources:
Last Updated: April 4, 2006 | What did you think of this topic?