The World Wide Web was built on the principal of hypertext. Prior to hypertext, documents were all standalone. They might refer to each other in text, but there was no direct connection between one document and another. With hypertext, readers were suddenly able to quickly jump from one document to another, which revolutionized the way we access information.
Links to web pages refer to the address, or URL (Uniform Resource Locator), of the web page. URL's consist of various parts. For example, consider the following URL, which is the home page for this course curriculum:
This URL consists of four parts, separated by forward slash (/):
The file name index.htm could be ommitted from the above example. When the server discovers that student is a directory rather than a file name, it would check the student directory for one of the standard home page file names, and in this case would find index.htm.
At the completion of this exercise:
Links are inserted into a document using the <a> tag which stands for "anchor". However, this tag by itself does nothing. At a minimum, it requires the "href" attribute, which defines the destination of the link.
When you link to external websites, you use an absolute path, as in the following example:
<a href ="http://www.your.school's.url.edu">school's name</a>
Note that the destination path (contained within quotes) gives the browser complete directions to locate the web page. If you were to copy all the characters between the quotation marks and insert them into the address bar of a browser, the browser would open the website. This type of link is referred to as an absolute address because it is the full address of the web page.
After you have saved the changes to index.htm, open the file in your browser. Refresh your browser and test the link. Show your instructor your results before starting Lesson 2.
Copyright © 2005-2008 by University of Washington. Permission is granted to use these materials in whole or in part for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged. This product was created with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education (grant #H133D010306), and is maintained with support from the National Science Foundation (grant #CNS-0540615). The contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the U.S. federal government, and you should not assume their endorsement.