How necessary are in text links?

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Madeleine's picture
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Here's my dilemma - it was brought to my attention that something I never think about (red-green color blindness) is a problem on my website. (Thanks Arks!) So, I am trying to change the text color on linked words. The background of my page is yellow so I can't do white or yellows for the text link color. Red and green disappear for Arks and other guys with that color problem. Blue is 'internet link color' so I don't want that, either.

Now for the actual question - do YOU look for links embedded in text and click on them? (Check out our fantastic breakfasts!) Would you expect to find a link at the word 'breakfasts'? If the text was the same color and the font the same size would you hover over it to see if there was a link?

I guess what I'm asking is this - does anyone but the search engines care if the link is there AND discernable?

All the links are now black. Same color as the standard font. Are you all going to wonder where the links are in the text? Do you even care?

I'm not sure it matters to the average reader unless you are writing something especially to lead them to another page where they will get the info they came looking for.

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Arks's picture
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Crying, sad I miss typewriters. http://youtu.be/g2LJ1i7222c

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swirt's picture
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Links should stand out as different than ordinary text.  The do exist for humans and SEO.  The benefit to both is not mutually exclusive.  People do read, as much as we assume they don't, and they do follow links in the body copy.

 

Styling them, style them using your css file, not using the editor in your WYSIWIG  (break the sins of the past). ;)

Joey Camb's picture
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I would also say this is a good thing to mention from all of our points of view - lots of people had red/green colour giftedness - so don't make it diffucult for them to use your web site! -

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Flower's picture
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If you want them to use the  link . Then you have to try and let them know it is a link. I would suggest by putting a line under the words. That way it shows it is a hyper link.

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underlining hyperlinks is OLD SCHOOL. How many REALLY professional websites do you see with underlines...think about it.

swirt's picture
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Google does.  (sites that want people to move through lots of content swiftly use them)

I would also argue that all links should respond with an underline when hovered, regardless of the other style treatment they get on hover.

The other issue since most are going responsive now, is to consider that if you rely on people identifying something is a link by altering your mouse pointer or doing a hover effect, then you are completely forgetting about touch users.  On tablets and touch screens there is no pointer and no hover effect, so a good practice for usability is to underline links.  There is a reason they are oldschool, and there is a reason they are making a comeback.

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I believe the style for many themes is to have the underline show when moving over the internal link. I think hers does. My big pet peeve is when folks put underlines for titles etc and then...it is not a link....a carry over from the old typewriter days Smiling

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EmptyNest wrote:

I believe the style for many themes is to have the underline show when moving over the internal link. I think hers does. My big pet peeve is when folks put underlines for titles etc and then...it is not a link....a carry over from the old typewriter days Smiling

AMEN!

Don't indent and don't underline anything.  and...don't BOLD and ITALICIZE...pick one. Smiling

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Madeleine's picture
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Yes, the links change color and underline on hover. And they are a different color than the regular text. Only slightly different as I find it very distracting to try to read anything with very obviously highlighted text. So, some people may not see the difference in the text.

Arks's picture
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swirt wrote:

...if you rely on people identifying something is a link by altering your mouse pointer or doing a hover effect, then you are completely forgetting about touch users.  On tablets and touch screens there is no pointer and no hover effect, so a good practice for usability is to underline links.  There is a reason they are oldschool, and there is a reason they are making a comeback.

Thank you swirt, the voice of reason.

Indeed, my theme makes hyperlinks look like reguar text, so I FORCE it to look like a link by underlining it. Long live the link. It had has a purpose.

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It is mainly for search engines in my opinion. I never click on the internal links..people do it because it is supposed to be good for SEO. You don't want to make links black. and you don't want to show underlines...old school Sad

Why don't you try a dark shade of the gold  #be9030 or maybe a brown #724f1a

Madeleine's picture
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Thanks for the color ideas AND for mentioning Analytics! I FORGOT to add GA code!!!

OnTheShore's picture
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I disagree that is mainly for search engines. It's the whole point of the world-wide web to have information hyper-linked in an interconnected web of links, so that people can follow their interests and explore. In order for that to happen, the links have to be discernable (and obvious) as links by the people viewing your site.

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Well out of curiosity, it would be interested for folks to use their google analytics to view them in the active page mode and see just home many clicks those in page interna links get. 

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EmptyNest wrote:

Well out of curiosity, it would be interested for folks to use their google analytics to view them in the active page mode and see just home many clicks those in page interna links get. 

I am going to seek out an answer to this, I am also curious.

Joey Camb's picture
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I was thinking Brown as well - would show up on the yellow

Iris's picture
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Can't you change the link words to italic to make the stand out?  Arent' links underlined? ( I am too lazy to go and check) blush

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Madeleine's picture
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IrisoftheWayfarer wrote:

Can't you change the link words to italic to make the stand out?  Arent' links underlined? ( I am too lazy to go and check) blush

I'm sure, like bolding, I can make the links italics if I can figure out how to code it once so every link is the same. Maybe underlining is an option I turned off somewhere.

I'm kinda tired right now so it might have to wait until tomorrow. I was just curious if anyone cares if there are links in the text or if they'd be happy just clicking on the obvious stuff at the top and bottom of the pages. The links are all there in the text, you just don't know it right now because the font and color are the same for plain text and link text.

 

Iris's picture
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Ok, for me it is not necessary to be hit over the head with links. I always find what I am looking for. My mouse goes over text and if there is a link, I am happy. But I do not need it to stand out

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Red and green disappear for Arks and other guys with that color problem.

To clarify, for people with my special color vision gift, red and green don't disappear, they just both look the same, or nearly the same, so red text on a green background is hard to read, and green text on a red background is hard to read. The problem goes away, though, if there's a lot of value (contrast) difference. For example, dark red on light green isn't too bad. Neither is light red on dark green. It's just when they are about the same value (darkness) that they are hard to tell apart.

Years ago I wrote a letter to Time Magazine complaining because they were printing charts with red lines and green lines and I couldn't tell a thing about them. They didn't care enough to respond!

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Arks I knew a chap who had your gift and was actually sought after in the military as he could easily determine camouflage in a forest/jungle. Artificial greens stood out to him. Do you have this same ability?

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Artificial greens stood out to him. Do you have this same ability?

Not that I know of. But I'm convinced that blue is much more vivid to me than to the un-gifted.

Regarding underlined links and old school, sometimes I think we're losing a lot of good function by giving form the upper hand, trying to be new and cutting edge at the expense of what functions well.

The theme my website uses has in-text links look exactly the same as regular text, and I hate that. I refuse to make readers wave their mouse over every word as they read it to see if there's more information available on a subject. That's just ridiculous.

To me, getting the information out is more important than following the lead lemmings over the cliff. Somehow, though, that's a mixed metaphor. <--in-text link

Madeleine's picture
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I think the color combo now works better. The in-text links are differently colored so indicate there is something there to be aware of.

 

Innkeep's picture
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Your live website looks great!  Makes me want to book a room immediately (I wish I could).

On the recipe page, some of the ones that are listed aren't linked yet.  I suspect that you're still working on recipes?

Madeleine's picture
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Innkeep wrote:

Your live website looks great!  Makes me want to book a room immediately (I wish I could).

On the recipe page, some of the ones that are listed aren't linked yet.  I suspect that you're still working on recipes?

Yes, still working on them. They weren't on the old site, either. Slacker!

Innkeep's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

 Slacker!

No way.  Follow me around here for a day or two if you want to know what a real slacker looks like cheeky

Madeleine's picture
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Sorry, color vision gift.

I thought you said you couldn't see the red on the green, or couldn't really tell there was something there. That's why I've been trying to change it. For you. Eye-wink

It's now black on green. But the black link font looks the same as the black text font so it's not working for everyone.

I'll try to go with bolding all the in text links.

Would light green on dark green show up ok?

Madeleine's picture
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I want WP to do its job. I have already done stuff individually I know can be coded. I *wish* I could just code in 'all in text links are bold' and I'm sure I can. Somewhere.

OK, 1 vote for 'yes, make the links obvious'!

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I found that in the wordpress CSS there was a couple font hyperlinks that do not show up at all. So I manually go and change them, as I want people to know they are clickable.  I don't like hidden mouse over hyperlinks.

So yes, I want to see a link. Every time. For example we have the links in brown on the park's blog platform here. (See you would think the "here" is the link, but it is not, it should be though)

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