Jekyll Part 14: How To Validate Links and Images

Welcome the continuing series on using Jekyll. In this tutorial we are going to go through how you can validate your link and image references.

As your blog grows and you get more posts, it becomes harder to validate images and links are still valid on older post. On new post it is pretty easy since you only have one last to look for. However, this is a process that can be fully automated so got don’t even have to worry about it anymore.

Since Jekyll is Ruby based we are going to use a ruby gem called html-proofer. Html-proofer is a command line utility that will run a set of tests to validate your HTML output. These tests check if your image references are legitimate, if they have alt tags, if your internal links are working, and so on. It’s intended to be an all-in-one checker for your output.

Installation

You can either install the gem as part of your Gemfile or as another ruby gem.

Add this line to your Gemfile

gem 'html-proofer'

and then execute

bundle 

or install it yourself, just like any other ruby gems

 gem install html-proofer 

Generating Report

To generate a report open up the command line and run the command the corresponds to how you install html-proofer.

Gemfile

bundle exec htmlproofer ./_site/ --only-4xx

Ruby Gem

htmlproofer ./_site/ --only-4xx

The –only4xx parameter above tell it to only reports errors for links that fall within the 4xx status code range. This would capture not found (404) and not authorized (401) errors but would ignore 500 internal server errors. The reason to ignore 500 errors is that we don’t want validation to fail if their web server is throwing an error since we are only testing that the link went some place valid.

You will now get a report of any broken links or image tags. Since html-proofer is evaluating the Jekyll output, you may need to look at some of the include or layout file to fix links.

Once you get the initial set of issues fixed, you will mainly have to worry about the new updates to your blog.

Overall, this will help improve the quality of your blog by ensuring that you fix broken links and images before your users spot them.

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