User:Batsondl/Sandbox 42

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Fixing broken links

Purpose[edit | edit source]

This project will help you determine find the correct link to replace broken links found on Wiki pages.

Broken Links List[edit | edit source]

Broken Links Google Sheet

Project Instructions[edit | edit source]

Before you Begin[edit | edit source]

If you are finding and fixing broken links at the same time, please note that the Check my Links app will automatically log you out of the Wiki. It is suggested you have two Chrome browsers open, one of them being an incognito browser. The regular browser can be used to check the links and the incognito browser to log into the Wiki and fix the links.

Step 1 - Sign up and check link[edit | edit source]

1. Go to the Broken Links Google Sheet and choose a broken link to fix from the list. Put your name in column J so no one else will work on the link.

2. Click on the broken link Google Sheet and check to see if the link is still broken. (Some links can appear to be broken when their websites are down for short time.)

3. If the link is still broken go to Step 2.

Step 2 - Check[edit | edit source]

1. A trick to finding the replacement for a broken link is to see what the website used to look like. We will use the Wayback Machine on The Wayback Machine is a digital archive that takes a snapshot of websites and stores them by date. It allows the user to go “back in time” and see what websites looked like in the past.

2. Click on

3. In the Wayback Machine URL field at the very top of the page, paste in your link from the Google Sheet.

Wayback 1.PNG

When the Wayback Machine does NOT have a result[edit | edit source]

1. There can be many reasons the Wayback Machine does not have a result.

  • The website never existed. Such a link that goes to a Wikipedia page that is spelled incorrectly.
  • The website is obscure or a foreign language that the Wayback machine does not cover.

2. To help find the correct link, you can try googling some key words from the URL to see if a correct link can be found.

3. If the link cannot be found, go to the Google Sheet and in column L, put a no. You can also add a note stating why it couldn't be replaced. This can include, "could not find the replacement link" or "website is now gone."

When the Wayback Machine has a result[edit | edit source]

4. If the Wayback Machine has a version of the website in it's database, you will a calendar that lists the dates the website was archived.

5. It is best to choose two or three years before the last date the website was recorded to see what it looked like before the website changed.

Wayback 2.PNG

6. Click on that year and locate a date on the calendar. Be sure to click on the link on the dialogue box.

Wayback 3.PNG

Step 3 - Find the New Link[edit | edit source]

1. Once you find a copy of the old website, review the old page and determine key words to use for when you use Google to locate the new URL. In this example, you could use the key words, Alameda County California clerk recorder's office birth marriage death certificates"

Wayback 4.PNG

2. Review the results and see if any are close to what you think is the same thing.

Please note: Sometimes a website page no longer exists and there is not a good substitute. In this situation, make a note on the Google Sheet and move on to the next broken link.

Suggestions for Googling:

  • Try Googling the beginning portion of the URL to locate a possible page.
  • Try googling the title of the page with quotation marks around it to narrow down your results


  • For the broken link: the Wayback Machine gave the original web page
  • The title of the page is: Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900 and you can see it is on the Illinois State Archives
  • Type in google: Illinois state archives "Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900"
  • The first result on the list is: and you will see that it is the same page as found in the Wayback Machine.

Step 4 - Replace the Link[edit | edit source]

1. With the correct new URL found on Google, go to the Wiki page and locate the section on the Wiki the broken link is in.

Fix link.PNG

2. Click on Edit Source link and you will see the wikitext code. In this example, we will replace URL from the line with the new URL.

Broken link.PNG

3. If the new URL was:

The code should now read:

[ Alameda County Clerk Recorder - Vital Records]

4. You can now save the page by typing in the summary field, fixed link and then click on the blue, Save page button.

5. Return to the spreadsheet and record the date in column K and paste a copy of new URL you used on the Wiki page in column M. You can use column N to add any notes.