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Web Publishing

Links: An Overview

One of the most useful features of the Web is hypertext links. You can create links to specific places within a page (target links), other pages in your collection, other pages on the Web, and to specialty links (e.g., email links).

For instructions on creating links, see one of the following documents: Creating Target Links, Linking to Pages in Your Collection, or Linking to Internet Resources.

This page provides information on the following:

return to topUniversal Resource Locator (URL)

This is the location of the document that the link will take the user to. You need to understand the three basic parts of a URL to be able to create links. If the document is within the same directory as the master document, the site address and path is not required. the filename must include the .htm or .html extension. Also keep in mind that many servers are case-sensitive. We will begin with an example URL:

http://www.weather.com/weather/local/54701

Internet Tool Type: http://
Host Name: www.weather.com/
Path and Filename: weather/local/54701

There are two types of URLs:

Absolute URL
The complete location of a file that includes the Internet tool type and the host name (e.g., http://www.uwec.edu/Orientation/orientation.html). Absolute URLs are used for links to documents created by others.

Relative URL
The partial location of a file that only includes the path (if there is one) and the filename (e.g., Orientation/orientation.html). Relative URLs are generally only used for files that you create.

For additional information about absolute and relative URLs, please review Naming Files and Understanding URLs in the UWEC Web Development Tools.

return to topReferencing Your Link

How the links in your document are referenced reflects on you, the Web developer. Using the phrase "click here" should be avoided because some users do not have the ability to click and they may be using the [Tab] key to move from link to link. Therefore, linked words or phrases need to make sense out of context. When using word links, the text for the link should closely match the title and page heading of the document that is being linked to.

The following table includes examples of how links can be identified within your document. In these examples, linked text is indicated by color. A brief evaluation of the sample is also included.

Example Comments
Click here to see a description of rich-text format. Bad: The linked text is not meaningful. Adding the word "click is unnecessary to identify it as a link and may impede users that are using a text-based browser that does not support "clicking" on links.
This file is also available in a graphic-rich format. Good: The content of the sentence indicates what the link will take the user to.
We recommend that new users review our key to symbols. Bad: The entire sentence does not need to be identified as a link. A key word or phrase (as in the next example) is sufficient and easier for the user to read.
We recommend that new users review our key to symbols. Good: The content of the sentence indicates where the link will take the user.
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