One task that no webmaster looks forward to is checking their site for broken links. In terms of popularity, I’d say it’s the web equivalent of flossing (and is done about as frequently by most site owners too).
So it’s nice to find a tool that makes this task a little less painful, and one that checks your site for spelling errors too.
I’ve been using Inspyder Insite ($49.95) for a couple of weeks and overall I’ve been quite impressed by it.
The tool is certainly easy to use — to check your site you simply type in the root URL and hit go.
It then indexes your site, catching broken links and spelling errors along the way. A custom dictionary allows you to exclude certain words, so that the spell checking part becomes quicker and easier each time you crawl your site.
InSite is also full-featured enough to be able to access password protected pages, exclude individual pages, create customized HTML and CSV reports and be set to run on a scheduled basis.
If InSite finds a broken link, you can right click on the line in question within the tool and choose from the context menu whether you want to open the page in a browser or an editor. It’s as straight-forward to use as it sounds.
One improvement that would be helpful is for the link anchor text to be captured and displayed. This would make actually hunting down and fixing those broken links a little easier, especially on content-heavy pages.
My solution for this has been to use the LinkChecker FireFox extension, which makes it a snap to find the broken link.
The real selling point for Inspyder InSite is the price. Most commercial link checking tools are more expensive, and many charge you according to a sliding scale based on how large your web site is. With InSite you can check any size of site.
Of course, there is a free link checker alternative, which works just fine, but it isn’t as full-featured and doesn’t have a user-friendly interface.
There is also another commercial alternative that I would recommend, although it is rather more expensive.
All-in-all Inspyder InSite is a solid, full-featured tool that does what is supposed to do well, and at an affordable price.