The Broken Link Blues

Creative Commons License photo credit: Dalantech

Well it had to happen sometime. I was alerted yesterday morning on my Dashboard that someone had provided a bit of link love to one of my posts from September last year. The link cited a small vodcast I had produced. At this time I was working on the Blogger platform; since then I have gone across to WordPress.org.

Now I thought all permalinks and post content were … well, permanent. Not so. When in a misguided sweep-up after a few months on the new platform I deleted the old blog … bang went the post’s internal links. The end result is that the link provided yesterday turns up the post, but the link from there to the media file is dead, kaput, out of service, Error 404 etc. How many more are there I wonder!

The first thing I did was to check the particular post as ‘pending review’ on the WordPress post status, and hunt for the missing .mov file. Did I find it? Nope … also gone, kaput etc. I’ve checked back into the past via Time Machine, the backups on my iDisk … nada. So now I have a choice: redo the media file and reinstall the link to provide some integrity to the post’s content, or leave it dead. Think I’m going to re-do to keep faith with readers. Learnings?

Keep all media files on a local server and back up;

Get and install a ‘find broken links’ plug-in for my blogs. Is there such a thing? Anyone?

Realise that Murphy’s Law always holds no matter how many back-ups, clever plug-ins etc. one installs;

Think long and hard about your backup strategies before you hit the ‘delete’ button on an old blog;

Accept you are a humble grasshopper in the ongoing journey called e-learning.

UPDATE:  Yes, there is a broken link plugin for WordPress blogs.  Broken Link Checker will parse your links and let you know what’s broken in the Dashboard.


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