Linking is what makes websites so powerful. There are numerous important things to know about linking to other pages, documents and websites.
Links are made using the Web URL, or Uniform Resource Locator. It is an Internet address, for example, http://www.utexas.edu/. The URL usually consists of:
- the access protocol – https,
- the domain name – www.utexas.edu, and
- optionally the path to a file or resource residing on that website.
Important things to know about links
- The best practices for link words, labels and appearance, includes:
- Context or setting a clear expectation of where the link will go in the text used for the link is critical and required.
- Duplicate link text (clickable text on a page using the same words), should never point to different URL Web addresses.
- The way clickable elements are designed to display on the website must make them obvious.
- Mitigating issues with Changing URLs after a page is live.
- The format for links to content on the same site should use a relative path vs. links to external websites that us an absolute path.
- Tips for organizing and labeling menus.
- How to use a link to jump to content, with an anchor, that is lower on a page.
- Requirement for links to PDF documents.
- Best use of color and other visual cues for links.
- Testing for broken links.
- HTTP vs. HTTPS
- Make telephone numbers clickable on smartphones.
- Tracking links from external sites.
- Choosing URL Address names.
- Requirements for links to file types that require a plug-in.