Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Web

Marketing & Communications with Computing Services

Links Best Practices

Link relevant text, and not words like "click here"

  • Bad practice: To take the Virtual Tour click here.
  • Good practice: To learn more about the CMU campus, please take the Virtual Tour.

New window vs. same window

  • Links taking users away from your website (including links to other CMU-affiliated websites) should open in a new window.
  • Links to pages within your website should open in the same window.
  • Links to documents (e.g, PDFs, Word Docs, etc.) should open in a new window as users will typically close a window when they're done viewing a document.

Label document links

Links to documents (e.g., PDFs, Word Docs, etc.) that launch applications should be labeled, such as: Campus Map [pdf]

Warn users when links require a login

Good example: Staff Information [login required].

Reserve underlined text for links

The CMS will automatically style links to be underlined; it is not recommended to assign an underline to any other type of text.

Be selective when using anchored links

In the past, anchored links were used to "jump" a user to a specific section of a lengthy page containing a lot of content. As shorter, easily-scannable pages have become preferrable, the use of anchored links has fallen out of favor. However, there may still be a practical need for using anchored links, such as an alphabetical directory. Learn how to create anchored links for this purpose.