Use descriptive, meaningful text to hyperlink a URL. The text should tell readers what content they'll get if they select that link.

It’s also important for Section 508 compliance. People who use screen readers do not want to listen to a web address read aloud.

Never leave a URL un-hyperlinked unless a platform does not allow for hyperlinking (Twitter, Instagram).

For the same reasons, avoid

  • Follow this link
  • Click here
  • Read more

These terms are vague and unhelpful.

Be careful not to use too many links. They can distract users.

When a webpage contains multiple links to the same item, the link label must be the same. Conversely, when linking to different items, the link labels must be different.

If the text you want to link ends with an acronym, include the acronym as part of the link text.

Linking format for downloadable files

All downloadable files must go through 508 remediation before OC will upload them to HRSA sites.

When linking to a file, the content management system (CMS) will automatically add the file type and size (for example, PDF – 65 KB) after the link text.

Files names should

  • Not have any special characters, spaces, or extra periods
  • Use only lower-case letters
  • Be fewer than 30 characters
  • Use dashes to separate words (not underscores)

Convert PowerPoint (PPT) files to PDF, except for those meant to be templates.

Linking format for images, video, and audio files

Use the same linking format as for downloadable files. Do not use an image as a stand-alone link. Instead, use explanatory text as the link.

When linking to a third-party video site (such as YouTube), include the title and length of video.

Example: Watch Garden (30 seconds) in English or Spanish

Linking to external webpages

Use the title of the page, followed by the name of the source organization.

Separate the title and the source organization by the word at. If that sounds awkward, use the word from rather than at.

Example: People Who Use or Inject Drugs and Viral Hepatitis from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If the title of an external webpage is not in title case, apply title case for the link anyway.

Date Last Reviewed: