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Hyperlinks

Make every webpage user friendly and accessible by properly using hyperlinks within the text of a webpage. Hyperlinks are strongly encouraged; follow these best practices to be most effective:

  • Choose words that are identical, or at least very similar, to the name of the webpage to which the hyperlink is referring. In other words, the words a visitor clicks on should mirror the words at the top of the page once they arrive at their destination. Examples:
  •  Good use of hyperlinks:
    • The mission statement of the University of Missouri System includes a commitment to promote lifelong learning, foster innovation and economic development, and advance health, cultural and social interests.
    • Note that the words “mission statement” are hyperlinked. Last updated: 05/11/2017 31 | Page
    • When visitors click on those words, they are directed to a webpage with “Mission Statement” as the page name.
  • Bad use of hyperlinks:
    • Click here to read the mission statement, which includes a commitment to promoting lifelong learning.
    • This is a poorer example of using hyperlinks. Visitors are less sure of where the link will take them, not to mention that this sentence is less powerful and engaging.
  • In most cases, avoid using “click here” as a hyperlink. It is vague and therefore does not easily signal to visitors what webpage they are about to visit. Furthermore, repeated use of “click here” on a single webpage can become confusing to individuals who are visually impaired and use a screen reader to read the webpage.

When inserting hyperlinks in documents other than webpages, the same tips generally apply. However, it is important to consider whether a document will be printed and therefore lose the hyperlinks’ functionality. If so, consider adding the URL in parentheses after the hyperlink, in footnotes or in an appendix. This style guide serves as an example.

Reviewed 2017-05-16.