What is it?
A broken page is a page which appears to not work as expected – for example, displaying an error message or being empty.
Why it matters
Broken pages compromise user experience, and are commonly associated with:
- Technical problems
- Security vulnerabilities
- Out of date content
How to use it
Insites displays the list of broken pages as a table:
For each page, you can see:
- Magnifying glass – this opens the Inspector, which shows you how Insites saw that page.
- Live page – click on the web address to view the page as it appears now.
- Status – this is the type of broken page (see below)
- HTTP code – technical information that can help understand the problem – see HTTP status code
Some broken pages may have been caused by the website being unavailable at the time it was tested.
Types of broken page
- Missing pages. These are pages which used to exist (i.e. Insites tested them in the past) but which do not exist anymore. As a general rule, you should redirect old pages to newer alternatives to avoid link rot.
- Empty pages. Pages which contain no visible content, i.e. no text, images, or video. These are usually the result of an error by the website.
- Error messages. Pages which display a recognized error message, such as a database failure or code error. These should never be visible, and can indicate a security risk with the website – hackers may be able to identify information about the website’s servers where error messages are displayed, and it is likely that the page is not working as expected.
- Malformed pages. Pages which claim to be HTML, but are not. For example, a page without any HTML tags.
- Other pages. Any other error, such as a fault with the server returning the web page (specifically, any HTTP status code beginning with 4 or 5, excluding 404).