I’ve been using Xenu’s Link Sleuth ™ for a long time. How long? I started writing code in 1998 and I think I found this tool within my first year as a website developer.
Xenu goes through your site and finds broken links. It’s a great tool for “traditional” (non-blog) websites. Just download the software and follow the instructions. The interface is very easy to use.
If your website is hosted at GoDaddy be careful before you run this tool though. I’ve taken sites down temporarily because GoDaddy limits the number of concurrent connections for each website. To avoid this, click on the “more options” button at the bottom of the Xenu interface. Reduce the amount of parallel threads to somewhere between 5 and 10. The search may take longer, but your GoDaddy site will stay up.
Be braced when you look at the Xenu website. It’s more functional than snazzy. But when the software is useful, stable and free who cares about how the website looks?
For those of you with WordPress sites, try the Broken Link Checker plugin. You can set the plugin to run periodically and email you if it finds anything amiss. You can’t get more easy than that.