Unknown Link

Question: When I go to some web sites I see a small square containing a red X. When I click on this I get taken to another site but I have no idea what site it is until it opens. What is wrong?

Answer: The square containing the red X indicates a missing image. The web page cannot find or does not have access to the image that is supposed to display there. If the image reference is to a local image then the site owner either forgot to upload the image or uploaded the image with a different name (eg. Img.GIF instead of img.gif). If the image reference is to another web site then either the owner of that site has removed or renamed the image or that site does not allow remote loading of images.

If the image is used as a link then the link will still work but you and other visitors will have no idea of where the link will take you until you actually get there. What you need to do is to contact the owner of the site where you found this problem (hopefully they have an email address or contact form somewhere on their site) and let them know that their page has this problem.

Of course that the broken image provides no useful information as to what is supposed to be there also indicates that the owner of the site isn't writing valid HTML for their web page. All images in web pages are supposed to have an alt attribute that provides text that should be displayed if the image is unable to be displayed for any reason. If they had coded their web page properly then you would see that alternate text when your browser is unable to display the image and would then know what the intention of the image is supposed to be. The page would still be broken because of the image not being found but at least it would still be usable.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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