Making a Content Web Site

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Hyperlinks
Why they are important

Click to Hyperlinks - How to do them

Opening Statement Text Image Tables Hyperlinks Navigation Artistic Concerns Content Conclusion

 

Hyperlinks are the backbone of web pages. It wouldn't be a web page without a hyperlink - otherwise, it's just like the pages of a term paper - flat and non-interactive. That interactivity is paramount, but it can be abused in a content-based web site if it is not something that (1) leads your audience to more information and (2) allows your audience to move around your web site freely exploring the information provided.

There are two kinds of hyperlinks : external and internal.

Internal hyperlinks or "bookmarks" let your audience move within the web page that is visible. This is important if the web page is lengthy. For example, the Text: How to Do It web page of this web site is very long; however, there are bookmarks at the top of the page that link to sections with in the page. Go here to see that page again. Although this may not be the best design ever created, it does serve its purpose. When considering whether to put everything on the same page in such a lengthy manner, place yourself in your audience's shoes. Do you want it all on the same page or would you find it easier to comprehend on separate pages? Your answer depends on a few factors like the subject-matter itself and personal preference. Don't forget the time it takes to download a huge, lengthy web page. People don't like to wait for pages to load. In my case, I didn't want to separate the How To text page and decided it would be best to leave it intact to keep the same subject on the same page. Another person might decide that each individual skill on that page deserves its own separate page. Which is better? Well, mine of course, but I'm biased.

External hyperlinks: these can be the greatest enhancement to your purpose or your demise depending on how well they are used. External hyperlinks link your web page to other pages within your web site or to web pages other people have created. Moving from page to page within your web site is great (see Navigation hyperlink). It gives your audience freedom and choice. Linking outside your web site can give your audience additional information related to your web site's content. The danger lies in linking outside your web site to information you should have collected and described within your own web site. Linking to external sites can also allow your audience to leave the confines of your web site and not return to your web site that you spent blood, sweat, and tears creating. With a click, they might be gone forever surfing the Net. So, be careful. Are your outside links illustrating or enhancing your web site's content? Are they necessary? One pitfall web creators face is the ease to which they use hyperlinks to external information rather than combining and collecting then manipulating that information in their own words and for their own purposes. Click here for an example of a web page that offers no content, just hyperlinks to other stuff. This example shows how someone just links outside his web site and does not categorize, shuffle, or enhance the information. If we go back to our metaphor of the research paper, this would be equivalent to stapling together the xeroxes of the research out of journals and books and turning that in rather than the student's own written work. Do web pages like this have a purpose? Yes, but not in a content based web site.

Next on the agenda: Navigation

Opening Statement Text Image Tables Hyperlinks Navigation Artistic Concerns Content Conclusion

Making a Content Web Site

Site Map

Hyperlinks
Why they are important

Click to Hyperlinks - How to do them