Template talk:Dead link

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WikiProject Inline Templates
This template is within the scope of WikiProject Inline Templates, a collaborative effort to improve and manage Wikipedia's inline footnote, cleanup and dispute templates. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
Some discussion of this template may take place at the project's talk page, rather than here.


Dispenser stated that If "last known good version" is needed then it should be done using {{waybackdate}}. We wouldn't want this to become permanent like dlw* has become. Why not? Λυδαcιτγ 01:15, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The problem was that editors had in the past used templates {{dlw}} and {{dlw-inline}} to replace the dead links. This defeated the purpose of having {{wayback}}, {{waybackdate}}, and {{waybackref}}. So to increase the distinction between the wayback templates and this template we cut back the usefulness. This emphasized that the template is suppose to merely inform other editors that the link is dead and it should be replaced with a working one. And onto that end the history is just suppose to help them find that working link again. —Dispenser 01:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Links in references[edit]

How can this be combined with citation templates such as {{cite news}}? For instance, the following citation appears in the article Jessie Gilbert:

"?". AOL. 2006-12-16. Retrieved Down?. 

The "Down?" was clearly an attempt to indicate that the link listed no longer works. When I saw it I wanted to replace the date field entry "Down?" with the last known date that the link worked (probably 2006-12-16) and flag up the linkrot using {{dead link}} instead but couldn't work out how to, since the url is not enclosed in square brackets. Does anyone have any advice? Purgatorio 17:16, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Just append {{dead link}} after the template, my tool converts the cite template to the bracketed formated before doing its processing. So in most cases it should "just work". The only problem arises with multiple links in a template but those are uncommon. —Dispenser 17:06, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Soon to be dead parameter?[edit]

Links to news.yahoo and some other news sites die after a few days, aren't cached, and aren't archived. Can a new parameter e.g. "badsite=yes" be added that adds the page to a category the bots can patrol? Bots going thru that category should be less server intensive than going thru all text in the article namespace. -- Jeandré, 2008-07-12t13:50z

Its more effective to have a bot watch #wikipedia-en-spam agianst a wikilist for shortly lived links, or even to use the linksearch. — Dispenser 00:10, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Time outs[edit]

Is it appropriate to use this template for sites that time out? --Adoniscik(t, c) 01:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


[dead link]

Protection sign[edit]


Change the semi-protected icon to a full-protected icon. MC10 | Sign here! 04:15, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It's cascade-protected from the Main Page. No need to change it for that. --- RockMFR 05:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Poor Documentation! Help![edit]

The documentation should explain what using this template does, i.e. what bots it interacts with/triggers. E.g. I imagine a bot going out and checking to see if a dead link was available in archive, such as the Internet Archive, webcitation.org, etc. I imagine a bot going out and checking to see if a link came back from the dead too. I'd like to know if such bots exist, and the existing dox hint that there are bots doing SOMETHING... --Elvey (talk) 22:44, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Well to some extent that is orthogonal. SmackBot dates the tags as a housekeeping chore, and I believe there is a bot that checks the validity of links over several days. Look at WP:BOT to find more about the active bots. Rich Farmbrough, 00:30 19 May 2009 (UTC).
Well, if they don't interact, they should. I don't think they are orthogonal in meaning; if they are orthogonal, action-wise, there's an opportunity for a useful bot or two! Are you saying you're confident that there's no bot that looks for use of this template, and that there's no bot that places or removes this template?

Re: Using the url= parameter should affect category placement?[edit]

When used, shouldn't this cause the article to be removed from Category:Articles with dead external links since the deadlink has now been 'fixed'? How does one go about cleaning out the Category:Articles with dead external links backlog? Should we be replacing {{dead link}} with {{Wayback}}? If so that would make the url= parameter a bit useless if that's the goal. -- œ 00:45, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

The url= parameter is for bot use (or lazy people). However, if there is a valid version (i.e. matching the accessdate) in the archive it should be pointed to that version so the link is stable. I would discourage use of {{Wayback}} (the lazy people again wont fill it in correctly) and use the directly Internet Archive URL or in {{Cite web}}'s archiveurl=. — Dispenser 14:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes but this does not answer my question regarding category placement. Regardless of whether a bot or a human uses {{deadlink}} with url= and/or {{wayback}}, when either are used then the link is no longer 'dead' and therefore usage of url= or wayback or archiveurl= should automatically cause the article to be removed from Category:Articles with dead external links, am I right? Otherwise, how else are we to clean out the backlog? By removing {{deadlink}} entirely and replacing it with the new archived link? Once again, this would make the url= parameter and wayback useless towards that goal. -- œ 21:44, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I've never seen the url= parameter used. It does seem a bit odd - possibly it was used by a bot at one time?
I just remove the {dead link} template once I've fixed the problem. (either: (1) update the deadlink if the same content is just at a new url; (2) add the archiveurl= link if it's in the wayback archive; (3) replace the link entirely with a new source that verifies the same information). HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:07, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Protection template[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please change the incorrect protection template to the correct {{Pp-template|small=yes}}. Debresser (talk) 00:50, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks. Skier Dude (talk) 03:16, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


I find the procedure confusing where it says, "The notice would then appear in the body of the text instead of in the footnote reference—this is not recommended." Which is not recommended, the former or the latter? Should one do the preceding or not? Hertz1888 (talk) 15:14, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I am also confused by this. A quick look at pages using this template didn't really show a consensus, though give or take, 7 of 10 put {{dead link}} in the footnote rather than in the prose (as such, that is what I'll do). -M.Nelson (talk) 03:28, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it means that you shouldn't put it after the /ref. Put it immediately after the link or template (e.g., {{cite web}}) that contains the link. —Mrwojo (talk) 04:20, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I've copyedited the procedure to specify using this tag immediately following </ref>, which I believe was the original intent, and to take out other unnecessary complexities of the wording. I hope this correctly clarifies the matter. Hertz1888 (talk) 01:28, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
The original intent was to have it before </ref> since this is the easiest for bots to read, modify, and insert. A short while later users started using after </ref> (as it's more prominent in the body) and I updated Checklinks and the documentation indicating partial support. If we're standardizing on notation then we should place it before </ref>, as it does not affect the articles verifiability or any other major issues merely indicating an inconvenience so it doesn't need prominence. — Dispenser 03:33, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
You sound like the first one here who understands what's actually involved, on the programming level. Would you please reword the procedure to clearly reflect the one best way to apply the notice? It was previously worded in a way that bewildered me and others. Utmost clarity, please. Hertz1888 (talk) 03:44, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks—that looks better. An example would cinch it. Hertz1888 (talk) 03:48, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

"Wikipedia:Dead external links" has been moved to "Wikipedia:Linkrot"[edit]

{{Editprotected}} Following the move of Wikipedia:Dead external links to Wikipedia:Linkrot, shouldn't this template now link to that page directly? I know about WP:NOTBROKEN, but I feel that a different standard might apply to templates, especially heavily used ones. If it doesn't, and it is determined that I used the template {{Editprotected}} unnecessarily, I apologise. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:53, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Done. Thanks, Rambo's Revenge (talk) 13:51, 26 October 2009 (UTC)


Would this be better if it were in color, specifically, red? Like {{error}} does. Something like this:

[dead link]

If you take a look at Microprocessor#Notes and references, there are some dead links there, but this tag is hard to spot in all the other text and links. If it was red, it would stand out nicely. Thoughts? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 17:30, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

That would be confusing with other WP:Red links. Plus it's an editor-aimed template, and isn't critical-to-fix as anything wrapped in {error} should be, so shouldn't be quite as unmissable as that for all readers. I'd suggest adding a css id name to the template, so that we could add a class to our monobooks so that these get highlighted. I'll try to get back to rethink this once I've had sufficient coffee... -- Quiddity (talk) 20:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, that's a good point, I didn't even think of redlinks. Duh. I didn't mean to suggest that these be considered as serious as most {error} usages, just that it's hard to spot the blue "dead link" in a field of also blue working links. Hmmm. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 22:06, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Can't follow placement instructions[edit]

Citation templates sometimes contain 2 URLs, or a URL generated automatically: see the following example.

Placing the dead link parameter after the citation is clearly problematic: which link is dead?

Placing it after the broken URL is also problematic:

The format paramter in this case is useful:

but this is discouraged at User_talk:Citation_bot#Placing_a_dead_link_template_in_a_ref.

What is the optimal behaviour?

Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 15:25, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Placing it after the end of the {cite} template is the preferred method (as in the /docs). The urls can easily be checked by clicking, and the automated links (ISBN PMID) aren't likely to be the broken links! It's not perfect, but none of the alternatives are either. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:19, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Propose double placement[edit]

I think this tag should be placed both inside the <ref> </ref> markups and immediately following the closing </ref>. That way the url itself will be marked and the broken link will be identified to the reader of the text. __meco (talk) 10:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

I thought this was the rule. At least, if the material is disputed, it needs to be with the dispute (outside the ref), even if inside the ref. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:08, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
{{dead link}} isn't for marking disputed claims. It's for indicating that the URL given in the reference is no longer available. As such, it should be placed in such a way that on the rendered page it is visible close to the dead link. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Editprotected request involving this template[edit]

This message is to inform people monitoring this talk page that there is an "editprotected" request involving this and several other templates at Template talk:! cymru.lass (hit me up)(background check) 20:08, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Why double categories?[edit]

I noticed that this template puts articles using it into two categories. See for example Chris-Craft, which is in both Category:All articles with dead external links and Category:Articles with dead external links from October 2010. Since the relevant Wikipedia guideline Wikipedia:Categorization says in part in the "Categorizing pages" section Pages are not placed directly into every possible category, only into the most specific one in any branch. This means that if a page belongs to a subcategory of C (or a subcategory of a subcategory of C, and so on) then it is not normally placed directly into C. I was wondering what the rationale for such double categorization is. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:37, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Category:All articles with dead external links is not a parent cat of Category:Articles with dead external links from October 2010; both of these are sub-categories of Category:Articles with dead external links.
This dual categorisation is in common with most other cleanup templates. See, for example, {{Unreferenced}} (Category:All articles lacking sources and Category:Articles lacking sources from Month Year); {{Citation needed}} (Category:All articles with unsourced statements, Category:Articles with unsourced statements from Month Year); etc.
The "All articles..." category is useful for assessing the general scale of the problem; the cats for specific month/year combinations show for how long the problem has remained unsorted.
Also, note that Category:All articles with dead external links is not a normal encyclopedia category; see the blue box at the top. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:19, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks - I figured it was something like that (assume most users never even see the hidden cats). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 21:47, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
No... they're hidden... you need to be a registered user and have gone for Special:Preferences, "Appearance", and checked "Show hidden categories". Otherwise people generally only know about them if they read the template documentation. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:09, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi! Are there any bots that place this template on dead links automatically? --DixonD (talk) 08:18, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Have a look at MW:Manual_talk:Pywikipediabot/weblinkchecker.py#deadlinks-*.dat_syntax. JackPotte (talk) 16:48, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Is the template code working correctly?[edit]

Several templates display the string "from <date>" in the tool tip. I can see from the code that there is some attempt to make this happen in {{Dead link}} but when I float my mouse cursor over the {{Dead link}}'s link I get the string "Wikipedia:Link rot".[dead link] Fix this?

--Trappist the monk (talk) 13:04, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

The tooltip works here (Firefox 12) if the correct parameter |date= is used: [dead link]. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:00, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Here is the HTML markup (taken from your post):
<sup class="noprint Inline-Template"><span title=" since May 2012" style="white-space: nowrap;">[<i><a href="/wiki/Wikipedia:Link_rot" title="Wikipedia:Link rot">dead link</a></i>]</span></sup>
As you can see, there are two title parameters in that markup. The first is the "since May 2012" string and the second is the "Wikipedia:Link rot" string. Both titles can't be used at the same time so the browser must choose one. Chrome chooses the second, as does IE7. Still, this isn't a browser issue but rather a server-side issue. The template should only issue one title parameter for this markup.
--Trappist the monk (talk) 14:27, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I see your point. Still, when I'm logged in (and thus use MonoBook and have WP:POPUPS enabled), I see the tooltip "since May 2012" floating over the popup to Wikipedia:Link rot. When I'm not logged in (using the Vector skin), I see only the tooltip "Wikipedia:Link rot". Mystery. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:54, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Aye, a mystery. For comparison, here is the markup from a {{citation needed}}[citation needed] template:
<sup class="Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[<i><a href="/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed" title="Wikipedia:Citation needed"><span title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from May 2012">citation needed</span></a></i>]</sup>
Here again, two title parameters. The big difference though is that the default text ("Wikipedia:Citation needed") comes first in the {{cn}} markup whereas in the {{Dead link}} markup, the default text, "Wikipedia:Link rot", comes last.
Still, in both cases, there should not be two title parameters.
--Trappist the monk (talk) 15:33, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm using Firefox 3.6.28 (still), and with care I can see either of two tooltips. If I hover over the link, I get "Wikipedia:Link rot"; if I hover over either of the two square brackets, I see " since May 2012". --Redrose64 (talk) 17:59, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
In fact, that is what I get with {{Dead link}} output but not with the {{cn}} output. It is still wrong and still needs to be fixed. There should be only one title parameter in the html markup.
--Trappist the monk (talk) 19:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Returning to this issue I've noticed that the {{dead link}}tooltip presents correctly when the template includes |url= :

{{dead link|date=October 2013 |url=http://www.example.org}}[dead link]

That, and the fact that neither {{dead link}} nor {{fix}} have any code that emits a second title, led me to speculate that the second title is produced by the Wikimedia parser as part of its normal operation. Yet, other templates that use {{fix}} don't have the problem so it must be a result of how {{dead link}} applies the title to the links. Taking a hint from {{citation needed}}, I changed how title is applied to both the external url and the internal wikilink:

{{dead link/sandbox}}[dead link] (default tool tip because no |date=)
{{dead link/sandbox |date=October 2013}}[dead link] (since October 2013 tootltip)
{{dead link/sandbox |url=http://www.example.org}}[dead link] (no tooltip because no |date=)
{{dead link/sandbox |date=October 2013 |url=http://www.example.org}}[dead link]

Is there a better way to fix this?

Trappist the monk (talk) 16:57, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

There being no response, I have synched the live version from the sandbox.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:23, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Revise 'Usage' text?[edit]

Should we not update the text under 'Usage' to encourage people to not use this, but rather try and fix dead links (e.g. with use of Wayback links)? I know, many times this template is added by a 'bot, but if it's a human (who, after all, will be the only entities to actually read the 'Usage' section) doing it, it would be nice if they'd actually fix the link, not just tag it. Noel (talk) 16:59, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I have added the following sentences: "Please also consider doing a search for an archived copy of the dead link and thereby avoid using the tag altogether. This is of course the best solution when you find a dead link." Please feel free to revise. Debresser (talk) 18:55, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Dead domain[edit]

It could be useful to add a parameter which indicates whether or not the entire domain is dead as well as whether a robots.txt block is known to have been in place. For instance, in the case of Template:AJmuni, which transcludes one dead link to dozens of articles, the entire domain "belediyye.org" is gone; the site further was not indexed by Internet Archive due to a robots.txt block. So, the two parameters might be "robotsblock=yes" as the only valid value and "domaindead=yes" as the only valid value. This would help with prioritizing future attempts to fix the link, perhaps. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 18:00, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

New parameter suggestion - fixtry[edit]

Suggesting the inclusion of a new parameter to indicate that an attempt has been made to fix the link and the attempt has failed. the blank template with this expansion:

{{deadlink|date=(Month Year)|fixtry=(yes/no)}}

For a transtion from template {{deadlink|date=September 2008}} to {{deadlink|date=September 2008|fixtry=yes}}, the article would be moved from Category:Articles with dead external links from September 2008 to Category:Fix attempted for articles with dead external links from September 2008. The deadlink bot would by default enter "no" in the case where either {{deadlink}} or {{deadlink|date=(Month Year)}} were used. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 14:26, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

This has potential. I've had similar thoughts for this before, actually.
There are many ways to repair dead links, be it internal to the website or external. What do you propose would be the criteria? Wayback and WebCite? — possibly Archive.is? Though I think the point of not saying "I've tried it already" is for people to have a fresh “go” at it, I can see this as time-saving for news articles, e.g. the New York Times. Then we know not to check internet archives (due to its Robot-exclusion policy) but to instead do a web search. meteor_sandwich_yum (talk) 10:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Dead link should be used as an in-line template, like citation needed.[edit]

As both a warning and an invitation for correction. So I think we should remove this text:

If the article uses clickable footnotes, then this tag should be placed just before the </ref> that contains the dead link. The notice will then correctly appear in the reference section (instead of in the body of the text, which is not recommended).

Thoughts? PraetorianFury (talk) 17:30, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Per WP:MULTI, let's keep this at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Shouldn't dead link be an in-line template, like citation needed?. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:51, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Date optional[edit]

I think it's misleading to describe the parameter |date= as "optional". It may be a technically correct description because the template works without it, but I think there's not a single undated template out there. Changing the description here to "required" might encourage users to provide a date and thus avoid a bot edit. -- Michael Bednarek (talk)

Parameters are either mandatory or optional. It is optional, but note that the "Common form" example has the date. I think that is the most we can do. Debresser (talk) 08:04, 30 June 2013 (UTC)