How often do you check your site for 404 errors?
The average I've heard is once a week, for active websites. For websites that are less active, webmasters say they check about once a month.
Is that enough? I don't think so. Here is a pattern of 404 activity on one of our customer's websites:
This is a pretty active website, and they end up with lots of 404 errors from old pages, from improperly shared URLs, and broken links from third party content. As you can see in the chart, an average day has a few hundred visitors reaching a 404.
You'll notice, though, that there are a few spikes in 404 activity around the middle of the month. On that first spike on the 10th of the month, the webmasters fixed a 404. It seemed to get better the next day. But, two days later there was a major spike again.
The webmasters running this site fixed that 404 error problem as well. After fixing that major spike, things went back to normal for about a week, before there was another small spike in 404 activity.
Different 404 errors caused each of these spikes and each of those 404s came from different sources. Nevertheless, this site had regular problems with 404s and was never able to completely get rid of 404 errors.
That is the way it goes on almost every website. Unfortunately, though, most people I talk with don't check their website's 404 errors frequently enough to find these spikes in 404 visits. If you don't find the spikes, you'll lose customers.
To find those spikes, you have to track your broken page activity every minute of every day. That way, you fix your site's broken pages before visitors reach those pages.
Of course, nobody can monitor their website's activity that often. Your developers and webmasters have lots of other things to do besides sit there waiting for a new error to occur.
That is why SpringTrax was built to have regular monitoring of 404 activity. Our tool watches your website every minute of every day for issues with your website's 404 errors. If we see an issue come up, we'll alert you to it.
With SpringTrax, you get all the benefits of checking your website's 404 errors every minute of every day, without actually checking your website's 404 errors every minute of every day.