Smarter Links With jQuery: Catch404

Within time, links on our websites can become invalid as the URLs they point may not be existing any more.

Catch404 is a jQuery plugin which adds a layer between the web page and the link to detect this issue with the process:

  • when a link is clicked, it sends a request to the page
  • if a 404 message is returned, displays a modal box mentioning that the page does not exist. Else, redirects to the URL.

Catch404 jQuery Plugin

It has pros and cons like adding an extra request to links which ends up in a slower browsing experience but prevents redirecting readers to non-existing pages.

The plugin does not require any scripting language as the query is sent via Ajax to the Yahoo YQL (which is mostly the reason of the slower experience).