Broken Link Checker 0.9 – Almost There

After two weeks of full-time work on Broken Link Checker, I am delighted (and somewhat relieved) to say that the next version of the plugin is almost ready to go. The upcoming release will include many frequently requested features like email notifications, checking comment links, Cron support and better handling of false positives.

If you’re feeling courageous, you can download the in-development version and try out the new features right now, bugs and all.┬áThe final & reasonably stable version should be ready in a week or so.

You can find a full list of new features and changes below. Any user suggestions not on this list won’t get implemented for v. 0.9, but they still remain on my to-do/idea list for the plugin, and may well be realized eventually.

What’s New

The big changes :

  • Checking comment links.
  • Email notifications.
  • Run the link checker when you’re not logged in (via Cron).
  • Recheck selected links via Bulk Actions.
  • Suspend checking if the server is overloaded.
  • The confusing “Discard” button is gone; replaced by a “Not broken” action link.
  • Better handling of false positives. If you mark a link as “Not broken”, the plugin will memorize the server response that made it think the link was broken, and treat the link as working unless/until it gets a different response when it checks that link again.
  • Support for custom checking algorithms, e.g. for dealing with YouTube and RapidShare links (not implemented yet, but the required scaffolding is there).

The minor stuff :

  • Additional icons (from FamFamFam) for the link table.
  • The “Delete sources” action asks for confirmation before deleting anything.
  • Long HTTP headers in the log no longer cause the “Details” section to expand ridiculously.
  • FTP, mailto:, javascript: and other links with unsupported protocols now show up in the “All links” table.
  • The rarely used “Exclude” link is gone. You can still exclude links by adding the URL or domain to the exclusion list in settings.
  • Editing links via the plugin’s interface creates new post revisions (where applicable), so you can revert the changes if something goes wrong.
  • Searching by link text now uses simple pattern matching, not full-text search.
  • Added Czech translation.
  • Requirements upped to WP 2.9+

To Do

Things that need to be done before the final release :

  • Test and tweak email notifications.
  • Test and tweak load limiting.
  • Update localization files.
  • Make “Trash” links use AJAX, where possible.
  • Obsess over the wording of error messages.
  • Code clean-up.
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    21 Responses to “Broken Link Checker 0.9 – Almost There”

    1. Hikari says:

      GJ improving the plugin, tnx a lot! :D

      I was unable to figure it out, when exactally it checks links to see if they are broken?

    2. White Shadow says:

      With the default settings, it tries to check each link every three days. The checking routine runs when you’re logged into the admin dashboard. In the latest version, it will also run hourly regardless of whether the dashboard is open.

    3. Wendy Cholbi says:

      I recently wrote a post, with screenshots, describing very basic usage of Broken Link Checker, since I find your plugin truly useful and I install it whenever I do WP installs for clients. It can be found here:

      WordPress Plugin: Broken Link Checker.

      Probably not detailed enough to count as true “documentation,” but perhaps a resource for some of your newer users? I’m also happy to correct my post if I’ve misstated anything (and I figure it will need updating when the next version is released — my screenshots already appear to be one version behind, ack!).

    4. White Shadow says:

      As far as documentation goes, your post is probably better than anything I’ve written for this plugin so far ;)

      There will indeed be some UI changes in the next version, but most of them will be fairly minor (e.g. “Exclude” will be gone from the action link bar, “Discard” will be replaced with “Not broken”, etc).

    5. Kirill says:

      Hello.

      Try to activate BLC-0.9 on WP 2.9.2.

      Got this:

      Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.

      Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end in /usr/local/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/broken-link-checker/core.php on line 2817

    6. White Shadow says:

      Strange. What’s your PHP version?

    7. Kirill says:

      PHP-5.2.12

    8. Jon Brown says:

      I too am getting the same error broken-link-checker/core.php on line 2817 and I also have php – 5.2.12

    9. White Shadow says:

      Ah, it’s probably not a version-incompatibility problem then. The plugin works fine on PHP 5.2.9, so I don’t see how it could produce a syntax error on your site unless the plugin’s files were somehow corrupted. Try reinstalling the plugin.

    10. Jon Brown says:

      Sorry, I am on php 5.3.1

    11. Kirill says:

      I uninstall it.

      Then auto install it again:

      Downloading install package from http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/broken-link-checker.0.9.zip.

      Unpacking the package.

      Installing the plugin.

      Successfully installed the plugin Broken Link Checker 0.9.

      and then activate it:

      Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.

      Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end in /usr/local/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/broken-link-checker/core.php on line 2817

    12. Jon Brown says:

      Solved: If you run your own server then edit the php.ini file and set short_open_tag = On
      if you have managed hosting, then your hosting company will have to do this for you.

      Now it works!

      Jon

    13. Kirill says:

      Yes – it helps – thank you!

    14. White Shadow says:

      You’re right, I had accidentally left in one short-tag. A fixed version will be up on wordpress.org in 15 minutes or so.

    15. Jon Brown says:

      Has this been updated yet?

    16. Jon Brown says:

      Worked, like a charm, thanks!!!

    17. Kyle says:

      I use this on every single site I run. Will also highlight it in an upcoming publication I’m writing on WP.

      Thanks for your hard work – this should be core in WP.

      ~K~

    18. [...] the plugin creator’s Broken Link Checker page, and a description of an upcoming version (0.9), and the author’s discussion of a user survey, including descriptions of some planned [...]

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