How do I fix broken internal JavaScript and CSS files?

URLs that contain JavaScript and CSS files with HTTP status codes of 4xx or 5xx are tough to fix. The vast majority of the time, these are JavaScript and CSS files that have code that’s corrupted, links that are missing, and other problems. When this occurs, the crawler cannot read or render any of the corrupted files. 

If you’ve come across a Javascript and CSS file problem keep reading for a better understanding of how to fix the issue.

What causes internal JavaScript and CSS files to break?

When the code has corrupted CSS or JavaScript files, an HTTP status code of 4xx or 5xx is returned to the search engine or browser crawler. Let’s take a look at a few common examples:

  • The Not Found error (or 404 status code) indicates that the file has been deleted or relocated and cannot be located at the specified path. However, the file’s corresponding URL has not been modified.
  • The 403 status code, also known as the “Forbidden file” error, is another common example. Because of this issue, the crawler cannot read the JavaScript files. During a crawl, the server has shut down the crawler or its requests.  

Why are internal JavaScript and CSS files important?

Broken JavaScript and CSS files will either not appear on the website or may cause the website to appear differently than expected depending on the browser and search engine. Therefore, they can have a direct impact on how the end-users experience the website. Site visitors may encounter information that differs from what they were anticipating. It may result in an unpleasant interaction for the user.

How to fix broken internal JavaScript and CSS files

It’s never good to see that your website isn’t rendering properly. Every improper pageview is an opportunity that’s lost. You can get things looking right by following the tips below:

  • With the help of a broken link checker, the JS files that aren’t working can be found in the linked JavaScript column. Swap them out for ones that result in a successful 200 HTTP response. Instead of trying to fix the broken JavaScript files, you could simply get rid of them if you’re not utilizing them.
  • The external website might not have been accessible during the crawl because the CSS files have been reorganized, renamed, or removed. Therefore, links to broken CSS files should be updated or removed from your pages.
  • Here’s a tip on resolving a 404 error: If the JavaScript file was deleted, you can try retrieving it and then updating the link on the page to point to the new location. Be sure it’s referring to the right place; else, you’ll just be starting the cycle of error again.
  • It’s common for a firewall or server to prevent crawlers from accessing resources when a 403 HTTP status code is returned. This can also occur if your JavaScript files are hosted on a server other than yours. Allowing the required IP addresses and performing a new crawl should fix the problem.

Final thoughts on broken internal JavaScript and CSS files

In short, broken JavaScript and CSS file links can badly impact your website performance. They not only make users less likely to stick around and revisit your site, but they can also damage your visibility in search engine results. For those reasons, all internal JavaScript and CSS file issues should be addressed immediately.

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