Performing Orphan Analysis
First of all, please make sure that your website does not have any broken links and can be verified completely.
1. Click on the down arrow by the New button and select New Profile on the list that appears.
2. Enter one or more Starting URLs (just make sure Web Link Validator can access all of the website links).
3. Open the Orphan Analysis section. To perform Orphan Analysis, right upon completion of the website verification, activate the corresponding setting. You can also perform Orphan Analysis upon completion of the website verification using the main menu item: Action -> Orphan Analysis.
4. Open the Server Information section and specify your web server files location. That can be an FTP server, the local or a network computer.
5. Open the Initial Paths section and click the Add button.
a) Select or enter the Initial Link. Normally, Initial Link is the same as the Starting URL, which can be selected from the drop-down list; e.g.:
b) Specify the Initial Directory.
If the website files are located on an FTP Server, specify the path from the root directory to the folder with the files that corresponds with the Initial Link value specified before; e.g.:
If the website files are located on the local or a network computer, specify full path to the folder with the files that corresponds with the Initial Link value specified before; e.g.:
C:\My Websites\REL Software
c) Click the Add button.
Two or more pairs of Initial Link and Initial Directory are required if parts of a single website are located in two or more different Initial Directories; e.g.:
Pair No. 1:
Initial Link: https://www.relsoftware.com/
Initial Directory: /usr/local/relsoftware
Pair No. 2:
Initial Link: https://www.relsoftware.com/cgi-bin/
Initial Directory: /usr/local/cgi-bin
If the second pair is not entered, Orphan Analysis will be carried out improperly; the program will "think" that the link files
are located in the folder:
6. Open the Exclude Files section.
a) Sometimes, it is necessary to exclude the index files when they are not explicitly specified in the links. For instance, the web site has the following link:
"https://www.relsoftware.com/wlv/" instead of:
In this case, the program doesn't "know" which index file is used with the website; therefore, such files are to be excluded by the mask:
b) A website may have various service files, which are not indicated by links but are required for proper operation of the website. For example, the "robots.txt" file can be one of those; other examples may include templates for the SSI, data files for various CGI-scripts, etc. Exclude all the service files.
7. Click OK to start the verification.
8. Upon completion of the verification, select Action -> Orphan Analysis.
Starting at the points you have specified (Initial Link and Initial Directory), Web Link Validator compares the URLs found during the verification with the files found on an FTP server or the local or a network computer.
Deleting Orphaned Files
IMPORTANT: Before deleting a file from the web server, make sure you have checked the following:
1. A reason for having an orphaned file can be a broken link to the pages that contain the link to the file. Be sure to have fixed all broken links before performing orphan analysis. Once all the broken links have been fixed, verify the entire website once again before performing Orphan Analysis.
2. If the website doesn't have links to the orphaned file, links from other websites to the file may still exist. Before removing the file, make sure (e.g. by reviewing the logs) that there are none of whatsoever links to the file.
3. Make sure that the orphaned file is not a service file, and deleting it will not affect the website's operation.