Find Broken Links and the Publishing Portal

July 8, 2008

It is possible to get a report on broken links in a SharePoint Collaboration portal.  You can do this in a site based on a Publishing Portal as well, you simply need to activate the appropriate feature.  To do this, go to your Site Collection Features and enable the "Office SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection Features" feature.   Now create a new site and use the "Site Directory" template (under the Enterprise tab).  In this new site, go to the Site Actions menu and you should see "Find Broken Links".  Note that you will only see this in the Site Actions menu in the Site Directory site; the Site Actions menu in the parent site and every other site will not show "Find Broken Links."

Now, why isn’t this feature enabled out of the box?  My thought is the ramifications of Anonymous Access permissions.   So ensure that you’ve set up your permissions appropriately for Anonymous users after you create this site.

I’m very happy to update this post — originally I was very disappointed (ok, angry) to believe  that you could not enable the Site Directory on a Publishing Portal, in spite of activating all available features.  So time to eat a little humble pie; somehow I neglected to realize that on this site I didn’t have the permission to see the Site COLLECTION features, which is where the features were that I’d needed.  On the plus side, while I was ranting about this to another developer, he took a glance at why the Site Directory would be available based upon a feature being enabled, and created his own blog post about possible fun uses of the VisibilityFeatureDependency.

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