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Broken images can be frustrating and affect your site’s aesthetics, performance, and credibility. As a site owner, finding and fixing these broken images is essential to provide a seamless user experience and keep your audience engaged.
What Are Broken Images?
When an image on your web page fails to load or display correctly, it is considered a broken image. Broken images often appear as a small icon in place of the intended image, indicating a loading error. Broken images are a common website issue and can significantly impact the user experience.
Common Causes of Broken Images
File Naming Issues
File naming issues can also result in broken images. When naming your image files, it is crucial to be consistent with formats, casing, and spacing to avoid potential problems. Some common mistakes include:
- Using upper and lower case inconsistently
- Including special characters or spaces in file names
- Misspelling the filename or the extension
To prevent broken images due to file naming issues, always double-check your file names and ensure they match exactly with what is referenced in your code. While you’re at it, double check your images have alt text.
Hosting and Server Issues
Server issues or problems with your hosting provider can cause broken images on your website. If the server experiences downtime, experiences a bug, or if your hosting package limits are exceeded, the images on your website might not load correctly.
If the server issue is not in your control, it is essential to communicate with your hosting provider to resolve the issue promptly. Regularly monitoring your server performance and optimizing it will help minimize the occurrence of broken images due to server problems.
Incorrect File Paths
One common cause of broken images on a website is incorrect file paths. When specifying the location of an image in your code, you might use relative file paths that reference the current directory or the exact URL that points to the image’s location.
If the directory structure of your website changes or an image is moved to a different folder, the image path in your code can break, causing the image not to load properly. Be sure to check and update the path in your code if any changes have been made to your folders or file locations.
Changes in URL Structure
This can happen when you:
- Move the website to a new domain
- Modify the permalink settings of your website
- Implement a new theme or redesign your site
To fix broken images resulting from changes in URL structure, update the image paths in your code or use tools like a broken link checker to find and correct the broken image paths on your website.
Keep in mind that search engines tend to penalize websites with broken images, so ensuring all images load correctly is essential for your website’s SEO.
What Is “Mixed Content” and How Does It Relate to Images?
Mixed content occurs when a website tries to load both secure (HTTPS) and insecure (HTTP) content, creating a vulnerability for malicious attacks. This error can prevent images from loading and look unprofessional.
Common causes include third-party services not supporting HTTPS and old images not uploaded with HTTPS URLs. Fix options include converting all images to HTTPS URLs or using a Content Security Policy.
How To Tell If You Have Broken Images
One way to check for broken images on your website is through manual inspection. Visit your web pages and look for any images that are not displaying correctly. Broken images may appear as a blank space, a broken image symbol, or a 404 error.
Pay close attention while scrolling to ensure you don’t miss any images. Manual inspection, however, can be time-consuming, especially for large websites with numerous pages.
A more efficient way to identify broken images is by using automated tools. Several online tools and browser extensions can quickly scan your website and detect broken images. Some of these tools include:
- Broken Link Checker: A free online tool that scans your website and identifies broken links and images.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider: A downloadable software crawling your website and checking for broken links, images, and other issues.
How To Fix Broken Images On Your Website (Detailed)
Broken images on your website can negatively impact user experience, increase bounce rates, and affect your website’s rankings in Google search results. Follow these steps to fix broken images and improve your website’s performance.
1) Identify broken images: Use Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to find broken image links, or explore your website in different browsers and see if the image loading issue persists. Alternatively, take advantage of various online services for checking broken links.
2) Check file format and size: Verify that the images are saved in a supported format (such as PNG, JPG, or GIF) and are not excessively large. Large images can slow page load times, while unsupported formats may not display correctly.
3) Utilize plugins: If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, plugins like Broken Link Checker can help quickly find your broken images. Provides you with a list of broken image URLs that you can go through WordPress’s media library with the manual check and fix one-by-one.
4) Optimize images for performance: Compress images to reduce their file size and use image formats like WebP for better performance. You can also implement a content delivery network (CDN) to serve your images efficiently.
5) Update your website regularly: Regularly updating your website’s content and ensuring that all images and links are functional will prevent issues with broken images in the future. Check for any changes in your website’s coding or structure that could break image links.
6) Check image location: Once you’ve identified the broken images, verify their file location. Ensure that the images are present in the expected location on your web server. You can do this by accessing your website files through FTP or your hosting control panel.
7) Verify HTML code: Inspect the HTML code of your webpage to ensure the image path is correct and that the <img> tags are properly formatted. If the image link is pointing to the wrong location, correct it.
How to Resolve Mixed Content Issues
- Verify SSL Certificate Installation: Ensure that your WordPress website has a valid SSL certificate installed and activated. An SSL certificate establishes a secure connection between your website and visitors’ browsers, preventing mixed content errors.
- Force HTTPS URLs: Configure your WordPress website to force HTTPS URLs for all connections. This can be done by modifying your website’s .htaccess file or utilizing a plugin like Really Simple SSL.
- Update Internal Links to HTTPS: Replace all HTTP URLs within your WordPress website’s content and database with HTTPS URLs. This can be done manually or using a plugin like Better Search Replace.
- Utilize a Mixed Content Plugin: Install a plugin like SSL Insecure Content Fixer or Really Simple SSL to detect and fix mixed content issues automatically. These plugins scan your website’s code and replace insecure HTTP URLs with secure HTTPS URLs.
- Manually Update Image URLs: If you manually uploaded images to your WordPress website, check their URLs and ensure they use HTTPS. You can modify the URLs directly in the WordPress Media Library or through your theme’s template files.
- CDN with HTTPS Support: If you are using a content delivery network (CDN), ensure it supports HTTPS and that your image URLs are configured to deliver images over HTTPS.
- Clear Browser Cache: After making changes, clear your browser’s cache to ensure it is loading the updated version of your website’s code and images.
Conclusion: How To Find and Fix Broken Images On Your Site
Broken images can negatively impact your website’s user experience, bounce rates, and even search engine rankings. To find and fix these issues, follow these steps:
- Identify broken images: Use a browser plugin, a CMS plugin, or a standalone broken link checker to identify broken image URLs on your website. These tools will help you find 404 errors and missing images, simplifying the troubleshooting process.
- Check file paths: Ensure that the file path for each broken image is correct. This includes verifying the folder structure and file names. Incorrect file paths commonly cause broken images, and fixing them can resolve the issue.
- Check permissions: Ensure your images have the appropriate permissions on your server or hosting environment. With the correct permissions, your pictures may be displayed on your webpage, resulting in broken images.
- Monitor analytics: Keep an eye on your website’s analytics data to identify any broken images that might have gone unnoticed. Regularly monitoring this information will allow you to quickly address any issues and maintain a clean website infrastructure.
- Optimize your images: Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up the delivery of your images, improving both the user experience and your website’s technical SEO. Additionally, ensure that your images have descriptive file names and use the title attribute, which can provide context to both users and search engines.
Following these steps, you can find and fix broken images on your website, enhancing its overall performance and user experience. This will create a better impression on your visitors and contribute to your website’s growth and performance in Google search results.
At Diffuse Digital Marketing, we’re committed to maximizing your online visibility. Don’t let broken images or website issues hinder your potential. Over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. Our SEO services will ensure your website ranks, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Let us help you secure your place on the first page of Google and outperform your competitors.