The internet has come a long way, and links are now an integral part of the web. They are the primary means in which people navigate through the bowels of the internet, and yet many people don't really know what they are. In this website, I will talk about what hyperlinks are and how they work, and the magic behind them.

So what are hyperlinks? To put it simply, they are the link connections between multiple websites or in a single website that join the pages in them together. Wikipedia defines it as "  a navigation reference in a document to another part of the same document or to another document that may be on or part of a (different) domain."

Most hyperlinks manifest in the typical blue underlined text that you see on a webpage, but they can take all shapes and forms, including images and fancy text. One example of a hyperlink would be this, which is really a link pointing to the webpage on When you click on it in a browser, the instructions in the link will tell you browser where to load the next page from (the URL).

A link typically would have two ends, called anchors, and a direction which it points. You could think of it in terms of a tunnel linking two islands together, and the tunnel is one way from one island to the other. When there are tunnels both to and from the islands, it has both inbound and outbound links. When two islands link to each other, its called reciprocal linking.

The most common destination anchor is a URL from the World Wide Web. This could be point to a document (like a website) or other digital resources, such a audio files, videos and images. Some links can even point to the same page as the origin, such as a different section of the page.

 Deep link occurs when a website links to a page on another website that is not the main page. For instance, linking to the "about" page from another website would be considered deep linking. When in doubt, it is better not to use such hyperlinks as they may be frowned upon.

 Okay so now that we've cleared the basics, what now?

Yeah that's pretty all there is to hyperlinks. A few more things I will talk about:

Link length:

Sometimes a link can be very very long such that it becomes almost impossible when sharing it with someone else. This is due to scripting languages such as ASP, CGI and PHP which will store variables (a.k.a information) in your URL. This will make it very long, such as Thats not very good even if you can copy and paste it, and it looks unsightly.

 The solution? Use a link shortening service. One very good one that I use and recommend I will share with you soon.

 Link Rot.

Links may not be organic in nature but they do rot. Not literally, but links to other websites from websites gradually get invalid over time due to the ever changing and dynamic nature of the internet. Links that are valid now may become invalid when the target page changes or sites get closed down. Especially in deep linking which I discussed earlier, content may get archived and thus no longer available through that link.

There is no real way to prevent link rot except continually upkeep the links on your website by checking if they are still valid (visiting them one by one.) 

Thats about it. Hope you enjoyed your time here. See you again soon!