Read Me Page
Validate WCAG, Section 508, HTML, CSS, Links, and Spelling

Introduction

All of the options that appear on the Links tab of Total Validator Pro are described below.

Links tab

top

Report redirects

When checking for broken links you can use this option to additionally report warnings for any links that are 'redirects' to another place.

These are reported as warnings as they are not strictly errors. But because a redirected link can often become obsolete and so broken it may be wise to replace any such links with the ones being redirected to.

Three types of redirects are reported: Permanently Moved (301), Temporarily Moved (302), and See Other (303).

top

Link test method

The default option is GET, which means that Total Validator sends a HTTP GET request to the web server to test links. This is the same as a browser uses, but can be slow because the web server sends back more information than required just to test that the link is not broken.

To speed up link checking you could try the HEAD option. This sends a HTTP HEAD request to the web server to test links. This is a fast test that just asks the server if the resource exists and receives no other response. However, some servers may not respond to HEAD requests at all, so you may have some false positives for broken links which are not really broken.

If the server responds to most HEAD requests, but a few resources require GET requests, then you could try the 'Automatic' option for the fastest link checking. This will first try HEAD, but if that fails it will try using GET.

top

Timeout

When checking for broken links or validating more than one page, then if a page doesn't respond within 20 seconds it is recorded as broken. If you link to pages on particularly slow Web Servers, then you can use this option to increase the time Total Validator waits before recording it as a broken link.

You can also reduce the time down to 5 seconds if you wish. The advantage of doing this is that the whole process may finish a lot quicker if you do have broken links, but there is a danger that some slow links will be reported as broken.

The value that you enter here must be an integer (whole number) from 5 to 120 representing the number of seconds to wait for a response for a link before reporting it as broken. If you leave it blank it will default to 20 seconds.

top

Concurrency

When checking for broken links or validating more than one page some routers cannot handle high numbers of concurrent requests. Also some web servers cannot cope with a lot of concurrent page requests. This option allows you to set how many simultaneous links checks will be performed.

If you have a modern router and are checking a fast site then increasing this value will generally make the validation run faster. Leave blank or set to 0 to remove all limits for the fastest results.

The value that you enter here must be an integer of 0 or greater.

top

Link pause

If you really wish to minimise the impact on your server you can set the concurrency to 1 and then set this option to the time in milliseconds to pause between testing each link. By pausing in this way the rate of requests hitting the server will be reduced. If you are testing more than one page you can also use the Page pause option to set a delay between retrieving pages for validation.

top

Strip query

Some websites are constructed such that query parameters are dynamically added to links on their pages such that the links are different each time the page is served. This is a problem for Total Validator which treats these links as being to different pages because the URLs are different. This means that it will test the same page(s) again and again.

If this happens to you then use this option to prevent it. The links will then be stripped of all query parameters before being used. Note that this may mean that not all pages are checked, depending on how the query parameters are used.

top

Strip session

Some websites are constructed such that session ids may be dynamically added to links on their pages. These links typically add these session ids to the end of the link using a semicolon ';' to separate them like so:

http://thewebsite.com/path/page.html;jsession=123456

This can sometime be a problem for Total Validator which may view two links to the same page as referring to different pages because the URLs are different. This means that it may test the same page(s) again and again.

If this happens to you than use this option to prevent it. The links will then be stripped of the semicolon and everything following this up to the start of any query parameters or to the end of the URL if there are none.

top

Ignore other hosts

This option will ignore all links to resources that don't have the same host name as the starting page.

This may be useful if you do not have access to the Internet, or remote sites are blocking link checking, but you still wish to check for broken links to resources on the same website as the starting page.

Note that for comparison purposes, all resources, including the starting page, that use an IP address or "file:" will be treated as if their host name is blank, i.e. "".

top

Ignore other domains

This option will ignore all links to resources that don't have the same domain name as the starting page.

This may be useful if you do not have access to the Internet, or remote sites are blocking link checking, but you still wish to check for broken links to resources to your own websites.

Note that for comparison purposes, all resources, including the starting page, that use an IP address or the "file:" protocol will be treated as if their domain name is blank, i.e. "".

top