Links Writing for the Web The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Contents • Definitions and types • Formatting • General tips
Definitions & Types The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Link • Jump to. . . • Internal links: other places in the document • Intra-site links: other documents in site • External links: other documents on Web
URL CLICKABLE TEXT <AHREF=“HTTP://WWW.CNN.COM”>CNN HOME PAGE</A> OPENING TAG CLOSING TAG Parts of a Link Tag (HTML) • <A HREF</A • URL • Text or graphic the reader clicks
Text Links • HTML can link text & images to another document. • A browser highlights these regions (usually with color and/or underlines) to indicate that they are hypertext links.
Internal Links • Use when more than two pages. • Balance the pros and cons of long vs. short Web pages. • Consider making a document available two ways: as short separate documents or one long one.
Long Pages Long pages are easier to • Print • Scan and compare information; topics on the same subject can be near one another and visible simultaneously. • Navigate with less mouse clicks.
Short Pages Short pages • Are easier to make modular. • Load quickly. • Do not require scrolling. • Make it easier to find information.
Scrolling • Minimize the need to scroll by fitting information on one screen. • Put the most important information at the top.
Distinguishing External & Internal Links • Warn readers that links are external.(e.g. [Offsite]). • Indicate internal links (e.g. down arrows).
Formatting Links The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Forms for Links • Text • Images • Image maps
Size Links Appropriately • Don’t make links too short or too long • Short links are difficult to click. • Long links are distracting.
Link Tips • Avoid too many links. • Avoid beginning with same words: make link text easy to skim. • Make it obvious what is a link. • Avoid links that wrap onto two lines.
Formats for Text Links • Link lists • Embedded text links
Link Lists: Tips • Use when you have a lot of links. • Put items in a logical order. • Group long lists.
Embedded Links • Have a more informal, conversational style. • Can be used to describe/give context for the link.
Tips for Embedded Links • Avoid overusing links within a paragraph. • Make linking words or phrases part of a meaningful sentence. • Write about your subject as if there were no links in the text.
Use Natural Wording • If you are interested in the text of all patents that have been granted since the beginning of the year, here is a link to the patent office archives. • The patent office archives contain the text of all patents that have been granted since the beginning of the year.
General Tips For Links The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Explaining Links • In general, don’t tell people how to use links unless your audience is new to the Web.
Related Links • Separate out related links, especially to external sites.
Wording Links • Make it clear where links go. Tell me more! (opens in new browser window)
Example • What type of information does the link go to? Definition? Place to get plug-ins?
Wording Links • Avoid ambiguous terms. Example: Tour Web Graphics Free Images Help Catalog
Wording Links • Use terms most users will understand or that are not dependent on a certain context • Push Technologies • Internet Appliances • Secure commerce and shopping carts are available. • Avoid abbreviations. • ISP locator
Wording Links • When possible, use active verbs, especially on sales sites. • Download Free Software • Get The Latest News • Buy Internet Products
Click here Go to Here is Link to Press this button Select here Select this button This link will take you to To read more about Links to Avoid
Repeating Links • Don’t repeat links. • For glossary links, use a link the first time the term appears on the page.