How to Automate Link Checking for System Testing

How to Automate Link Checking for System Testing

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Working with legacy websites can be challenging, especially when updates break links or cause unexpected issues. Automated link checking can save time and ensure comprehensive validation of your website. In this guide, we’ll explore a robust solution to automate link checking, ensuring no part of your site is broken.

Manual link checking is tedious and prone to human error. Automated link checking offers numerous benefits:

  • Efficiency: Quickly identify broken links across your entire site.
  • Consistency: Ensure that all links, including those to CSS and JavaScript files, are verified.
  • Comprehensive Reports: Generate logs of all errors, such as 404s and 500s.

Based on extensive user feedback and practical effectiveness, LinkChecker is a highly recommended tool for automated link checking. Here’s why LinkChecker stands out:

  • Open-Source: Free to use and modify.
  • Python-Based: Easily integrates into your existing workflows.
  • Command-Line Interface: Suitable for scripting and automation.
  • Deployable Locally: Ideal for checking intranet sites.
  • Comprehensive Output: Generates reports in various formats, including XML.

How to Use LinkChecker

To get started with LinkChecker, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install LinkChecker from the official website.
  2. Run LinkChecker using the command line with appropriate parameters for your site.
  3. Parse the XML output to generate custom error reports.

For example, you can use a Ruby script to query your database of internal websites, initiate LinkChecker, and process the results.

Alternative Tools

If LinkChecker doesn’t meet all your requirements, consider the following alternatives:

  • Xenu’s Link Sleuth: A Windows application that checks for broken links, images, and more. Note that it requires manual initiation.
  • W3C Link Checker: A reliable option for verifying links, though it may not cover all use cases.
  • wget: A versatile tool that can spider a site and log errors, available on multiple platforms.

Enhancing Your Testing Workflow with Repeato

While automated link checking is essential, comprehensive testing involves more than just verifying links. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that can significantly enhance your testing workflow.

  • Fast and Efficient: Quickly create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps.
  • Intuitive Interface: Use the no-code interface and test recorder to simplify test creation.
  • Advanced Capabilities: Utilize the scripting interface for complex use cases.
  • Web Testing: Test websites inside an Android emulator or device, with explicit web testing support coming soon.

By integrating Repeato into your workflow, you can ensure robust and comprehensive testing, beyond just link verification. For more information, visit our documentation or contact us.

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