Troubleshooting: Links Aren’t Working

If one or more of your links stop redirecting, please reference this list for quick answers to common issues.

This article will help users to start the troubleshooting process if links are not redirecting as expected. Read on to learn more about common reasons that links may have stopped working. 

The Destination URL Has Changed or Was Not Entered Correctly

If the link is not redirecting as expected, the first step in troubleshooting is to check the destination URL that was set when configuring the short link.

Start by logging in to BL.INK, and navigating to Links > My Links on the left. Then find the link in question from the list. Click on the short link to open the link’s dashboard. 


Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 11.20.38 AM

Check the second line on the BL.INK dashboard for spelling errors, spaces or characters that should not be included. To test the long URL, highlight it and then copy and paste the link into a browser. Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 11.22.50 AMIf the long URL loads the same error or page as the short link, it’s the long URL that is causing the issue. 

Editing a 301 Redirect

When troubleshooting link redirects, it is important to check the redirect type. By default, BL.INK links are 307 Temporary redirects. If this was changed in the account settings or if the redirect type for the individual link was set to a 301 Permanent redirect, anyone who had clicked the link when it pointed to Destination A would have likely cached the destination in their browser (or local proxy server).

When the link was changed from Destination A to Destination B, the change did happen immediately, but if the link was clicked, it may be cached locally, therefore loading Destination A when navigating to the link. Anyone who had not yet clicked the link would immediately see Destination B. Using a 301 or 307 are both perfectly fine, but a 307 redirect avoids caching and is useful if the link changes destinations frequently.

To resolve the issue, try clearing the cache in the browser, checking the link from a different browser, or using a smartphone (not connected to WiFi) to test the link. The cache should automatically update within 24 hours.

For more information on the redirect types, please check out this article

Contact Information has not been Verified

When acquiring a domain, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) requires that users verify the provided contact information. Click here for more information about ICANN.

After acquiring a domain name through BL.INK, users will receive an email to the account owner’s email address set in the account preferences to confirm the email address. If the data is not verified within 15 calendar days, ICANN mandates that the website be suspended pending the verification. This will cause the links to show a 404 Not Found page, and the root domain will show the following page:

ICANN-verification-1

For information on verifying the contact information and restoring the links, please check out our article on domain contact information.

Once the contact information has been verified, the links and domain should begin working again within 24-48 hours. For more information on ICANN’s required contact verification, please click here.  

DNS Was Not Configured Correctly

When setting up a domain to use with BL.INK, we require that users point either the A record (for the primary domain) or a CNAME (for a subdomain) to BL.INK so that BL.INK can route traffic correctly to the short links. If this step is skipped, links will return a 404 error. 

To troubleshoot this, users can check the DNS settings within the domain registrar account or the settings can be searched on free online DNS check sites. We like whatsmydns.net.

The DNS settings for a domain or subdomain added to BL.INK can be found in this article.

If you’ve verified that the DNS is correct and the links are still not working, please reach out to BL.INK Support at help@bl.ink.