Some web sites cause a pop up window (often used for adverts) to appear or create hyperlinks that cause a new browser window to be opened when a specific hyperlink is accessed. This is not permitted. When creating hyperlinks to other web pages - either within Hantsweb, Hantsnet or on an external web site - the hyperlink must never open a new browser window. This breaks the functionality of the back button, confuses visitors and can be especially troublesome for screen readers.
In the web page content (main body) links must use the standard corporate default settings for colour and appearance. If using a sidebar as part of web page navigation you may provide more dynamic links. These links must be recognisable as links and readable before using them e.g. before you place your mouse on them. They must work if scripting is switched off. The style and format must be consistent throughout your collection.
Users tend to scan web pages so use link text that is clear, easy to read, relevant and concise.
Using raw URLs or ‘click here’ or 'more' as link text, or any similar words or phrases (here, read more, further details, etc) is one of the most common examples of bad practice. A user should click on a link because that is where they want to go, not to find out where it goes.
A good piece of link text is one that is meaningful when taken out of context. For example:
When people read a webpage they will instinctively scan for the links in the page. Example B makes it very easy to identify quickly where the links will take you. Example A forces you to read the entire sentence before you know where you are going.
Screen readers have the ability to present the page simply as a series of links, so that the navigation is read separately from the content of the page.. If text links on your page use phrases such as 'click here', 'full story' and 'read more' they tell the user nothing about the content behind.
Within a page the same text must never be used for links to different pages.
Email mailto links should be formatted as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org. This ensures that if users do not have their email software configured with their browser they have the opportunity to cut and paste the address into another package. Also, when a page is printed, the email address will appear in full.
Search engines pay a lot of attention to links. The text on links tells users and search engines very useful information about the linked to URL and also provides information about the scope and nature of
the website through building a picture of related information.
The same link text cannot be used for different link destinations. For example: Contact us can only go to one destination. In Hantsweb's example to the corporate contact us page. On your site you cannot use contact us for your team's page as this has already be used on the page. You can instead use contacts or contact the team.
A broken link is when the site you are pointing to either changes address or no longer exists. Links have to be kept up to date and must be reviewed regularly. Also, be aware, if you are deleting a page, that there may be many links pointing to your web page. Please let your web manager know if you are removing a web page.
Caution - A link from a Hantsweb page to a Hantsnet page will show a log in screen to the HPA page and all external visitors to Hantsweb will be unable to access these pages.