Tutorial 27: The Care and Feeding of Hyperlinks, Part III - HTML with Style | WebReference

Tutorial 27: The Care and Feeding of Hyperlinks, Part III - HTML with Style

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Tutorial 27: The Care and Feeding of Hyperlinks, Part III

Sketching out your links

The first thing you need to consider with navigational, as with informational links, is which resources to link to. Instead of just coming up with a list of links on your own, it's best to start with the various types of link relations. Link relations were introduced in Tutorial 2, so you might want to have a short refresher on their use.

Since it's always a good idea to include LINK elements, what you should do first is create these LINK elements, taking the most common relations one by one and deciding if you're going to include them, and where they should link to. After you're done creating these elements in the document head, you should replicate them in your documents for the majority of people whose browsers don't understand LINK elements.

Almost all sites today have some kind of hierarchical structure that resembles a tree structure. At the top of the tree is the homepage, which leads to the index pages for various sections, which may lead to smaller subsections, and so on until you reach the "leaves" of the tree, which are individual pages.

First, start with the Next and Prev link types. If your document is part of a series, such as the tutorials in HTML with Style, there will be a page that logically follows the one you are designing, and one that precedes it. You should also include a Start link to the first page in the series.

The next link you should look at should be the Up link. Up means one level up in the hierarchy of your site. Usually, the only page that wouldn't have an Up link would be your homepage. Up links are also meaningful in other situations. For instance, in a page displaying search results, the Up link would probably point to the page that contains the form used to search for the results.

Next is the Home link, which should point to the topmost page in your hierarchy. As with Up, the only page that shouldn't have a Home link is your homepage.

Now you should consider the Contents, Section, Subsection and Chapter links. If your site is several layers "deep," you can use these to point to the index pages several steps up in the hierarchy.

Links of the type Index, Glossary, Copyright and Help can be used to point to pages that offer assistance with the current document.

Finally, and most importantly, you should always include a link to the author or anyone who should be contacted about the page, using the Author link type.

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URL: http://www.webreference.com/html/tutorial27/1.html

Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: October 31, 2000
Revised: November 1, 2000