Send Email Notifications for Broken Images Using jQuery AJAX

By  on  

It's usually best to repair broken image paths as soon as possible because they can damage a website's credibility. And even worse is having a user tell you about it. Using jQuery and PHP, you can have your page automatically notify you of broken images.

The PHP

if(isset($_POST['image']))
{
	$to = 'errors@yourdomain.com';
	$from = 'automailer@yourdomain.com';
	$subject = 'Broken Image';
	$content = "The website is signaling a broken image!\n\nBroken Image Path:  ".stripslashes($_POST['image'])."\n\nReferenced on Page:  ".stripslashes($_POST['page']);
	$result = mail($to,$subject,$content,'From: '.$from."\r\n");
	die($result);
}

I keep the email short and to the point; it contains the broken image's src attribute and the page it was requested by.

The jQuery JavaScript

$(document).ready(function() {
	$('img').error(function() {
		$.post('ajax-image-error-jquery.php', { 
			image: $(this).attr('src'), 
			page: window.location.href 
		}, function() { 
			//hide the image? 
		});
	});
});

For every image, we listen for the error event. When a broken image is discovered, an AJAX request is sent to the above PHP script.

Of course, if the page experiences high traffic before you can fix the image path, you'll have quite a few emails. You may prefer to store the error in a database table and check that often.

Recent Features

  • By
    Page Visibility API

    One event that's always been lacking within the document is a signal for when the user is looking at a given tab, or another tab. When does the user switch off our site to look at something else? When do they come back?

  • By
    CSS Filters

    CSS filter support recently landed within WebKit nightlies. CSS filters provide a method for modifying the rendering of a basic DOM element, image, or video. CSS filters allow for blurring, warping, and modifying the color intensity of elements. Let's have...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Reverse Element Order with CSS Flexbox

    CSS is becoming more and more powerful these days, almost to the point where the order of HTML elements output to the page no longer matters from a display standpoint -- CSS lets you do so much that almost any layout, large or small, is possible.  Semantics...

  • By
    jQuery Wookmark

    The first thing that hits you when you visit Pinterest is "Whoa, the columns are the same width and the photos are cut to fit just the way they should."  Basic web users probably think nothing of it but as a developer, I can appreciate the...

Discussion

  1. Thanks! I am not going to use this for finding broken images – but I was looking for the error event. I had a requirement to hide a message if an image is invalid – and I forgot about the error event. Thanks for the reminder

  2. Does MooTools also has this error event? I’ve searched the moodocs but I couldn’t find anything about a error event.

    Great post!

  3. hmm nice little trick here… ill be sure to put this in the book of code for later use! thanks again :)

  4. Louis W

    Nice little post! This is something I had never even considered but it seems like it would come in quite handy. I love it when there is such a simple and elegant solution for a problem.

  5. Great !!!

  6. revive

    This is great.. we currently use a customized 404 page scripted in PHP to alert us of these items (even though the user may never see the 404 page for a missing image, the 404 error triggers the email).. great for dev purposes and has also proved invaluable for finding those long lost link-backs to pages that no longer exist! Makes it super easy to 301 redirect those old links and get the users to the correct spot !! Cheers

  7. It is probably good to also note this jQuery coed needs to go within your HTML head element for it to correctly work.

  8. Paul

    Maybe its just me, but I think this is a really poor idea. Why check for broken images on client-side, its just lazy development. You have web logs, just grep them for any image which returns 404.

    Even if you think its a good idea, you should not use this code. Its vunerable to email injection meaning spammers can use it to completely replace the From address, and the full message body, and start sending you spam via your own PHP code.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!