HTML Linking Basics
By Stephen Bucaro
There are many "wysiwyg" webpage design applications that let you create a webpage as easy
as typing text. But many people have difficulty linking their webpage to other webpages and
media. The stumbling block is knowing how to use absolute and relative links to webpages
and media files.
In this article you'll learn how to use absolute and relative links to link to webpages
and media files in the same folder, different folders, different websites, and even to
specific locations within the same webpage or a different webpage.
Use the <a> tag to create an html link. The basic <a> tag has the href
attribute, which specifies the protocol (http), URI (path) to the target object, and the link
text, as shown below.
<a href="http://bucarotechelp.com/default.asp">Bucaro Techelp</a>
• URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier, which used to be called the URL
(Uniform Resource Locater). Why they changed it, I don't know. I'm sure there's some subtle
difference between URL and URI, in either case, it's the address of the webpage or media file
that you want to link to. A URI cannot have spaces or certain other characters and, unlike
Windows paths, uses forward slashes rather than "backslashes" to denote different directories.
For instructional purposes, let's assume that the file name of your webpage is mypage.htm
and that it's located in a subdirectory named content of your website which has the domain
name www.mydomain.com. The location of your webpage is then:
Therefore, anyone who wants to link to your webpage would use the link shown below.
<a href="http://www.mydomain.com/content/mypage.htm">Link Text</a>
Now, let's assume that you create another webpage named page2.htm and place it n
the same folder as mypage.htm. A diagram of the directory structure is shown below.
Let's further assume that you want to place a link in mypage.htm that loads
page2.htm. The code for this link is shown below.
<a href="http://www.mydomain.com/content/page2.htm">Page 2</a>
The link shown above is an absolute link because it contains a fully qualified URI,
in other words, the complete path to the webpage. You can always use an absolute
link to link to other webpages or media.
The base URI of a webpage is its URI minus the file name. Both webpages have the
same base URI: www.mydomain.com/content/. So you could use a shorter
relative path in the link. The code for a link in mypage.htm to page2.htm
using a relative path is shown below.
<a href="page2.htm">Page 2</a>