Q. Help! I have a friend who drives me crazy. She keeps sending me cool webpages, but when I click on the website’s address in her email nothing happens. I have to copy and paste the web address which is annoying and nearly impossible to do on my phone, which is where I almost always read my email.
I asked her to link to the websites so I could open them easily but she said she didn’t know how to do that. The websites she sends me are always really cool, so could you tell me and her how to create a link? Then I can send her a link to The Wonder of Tech!
A. Great question. You’re right, it’s much easier to open a website if you’re sent a link instead of just the website address. Many people don’t realize that website addresses don’t automatically get sent as a link. Often you have to create a link, also called a hyperlink.
What Is a Hyperlink?
According to Merriam-Webster Online, a hyperlink is: “a highlighted word or picture in a document or Web page that you can click on with a computer mouse to go to another place in the same or a different document or Web page.” Want an example of a hyperlink? In the first sentence of this paragraph, “Merriam-Webster Online” is a hyperlink: when you click on that link, you’ll be taken to the page with the definition for “hyperlink.”
Hyperlinks make it easier to open new web pages without having to copy and paste the website address, which can be especially challenging on a mobile device. Just click (or tap) on a hyperlink and you’re taken to the website.
Hyperlinks make navigating much easier. Opening a new page is simple with a hyperlink, but requires a few extra steps by the author to create the hyperlink. If the author wants the reader to go to the website, a hyperlink will make that action much more likely.
How to Create a Hyperlink
You have two choices for creating a hyperlink:
Use a Shortcut to Create a Hyperlink
Many sites offer shortcuts to creating links so you don’t have to know coding to create a hyperlink.
Also see, Small Business, How to Create a Hyperlink for Your Mac OS Desktop
If you’re sending an email, look for the link icon at the bottom of the message box when you’re composing the message. Click on the link icon to open a new window with places for you to insert the web address and the name of the website. If you leave the name of the website section blank, the website address will be displayed as the link text.
For Yahoo Mail:
If you use a different email service, look for the hyperlink icon when you’re writing an email to insert a link into your message.
When you enter a link in your Facebook status update, Facebook will display a preview so your Friends can see a glimpse of the website and click through to it.
All you have to do is copy and paste the website address into your status update to create the link and preview on Facebook. Note that not all websites will show a preview but the web address will be shown as a hyperlink.
In Word, click on Insert => Hyperlink and enter the website address and the name of the website.
You can also highlight text then right-click on it to display a menu. Click Hyperlink to make that text into a hyperlink.
For more information, check out Microsoft Office Create, format, or delete a hyperlink.
Use Coding to Create a Hyperlink
Sometimes shortcuts aren’t available to create a hyperlink, so you’ll have to create the code yourself. If the word “coding” strikes fear in your heart, I completely understand, but don’t worry. I swear, you can do this. I’m not a coder either but coding a hyperlink is as easy as cutting and pasting.
Hyperlink code looks like this:
Not all sites will turn coding into a link, but many will. Flickr, for example, doesn’t give you a shortcut to add a hyperlink in comments but you can create one by using coding.
To create your own hyperlink, copy and paste this code, replacing the capitalized letters with the website address and the name of the website:
<a href=”http://INSERT WEBSITE ADDRESS HERE”>INSERT NAME OF WEBSITE HERE</a>
Note that the website address has to include the entire address, including the http or https part of the address.
You must use the entire link:
DO => http://www.wonderoftech.com or http://wonderoftech.com
DON’T => www.wonderoftech.com or wonderoftech.com
The text that’s displayed as the link is called Anchor Text. Most links use the name of the website or the title of the article but you can use other words as Anchor Text. You can put any words as Anchor Text, such as “Click Here” or other text you want to display as the link.
You must include Anchor Text in the hyperlink. If you don’t, nothing will be displayed, not even the website address.
Be Careful When You Click on a Hyperlink
Beware! Evil spammers might put misleading words as Anchor Text in a hyperlink, leading you to believe you’re opening a safe website when instead you’re headed to one filled with malware.
Be very careful when clicking on links in emails. Hackers often put misleading links in messages and use names of safe websites as Anchor Text when they hijack email accounts. Almost everyone has seen spammy emails from hackers with only a link in the message.
If you’re suspicious about a link, don’t click on it. Better to be safe than to get hacked because of a malware link.
See, PC World, How to Tell if a Link Is Safe Without Clicking on It
Did you know how to create a hyperlink? Have you ever been frustrated by getting a web address that wasn’t a hyperlink? Have you tried coding a hyperlink? Have you ever clicked on a link with misleading Anchor Text? Let us know in the Comments section below!