Conjure in your mind the image of a spider web. Nevermind, you can look at the drawing too. Its filaments travel from the center in all directions. Each strand is linked with another strand, and another to form the whole. Such is the Internet, banded together as a series of millions of networked webs.
The HyperText Transport Protocol is the spider to the World Wide Web. Ever notice how nearly all web addresses begin with the characters HTTP? That tells your computer to link to the WWW, and HTML is the language you use to do this hyperlinking.
It all starts with the anchor tag, abbreviated <A>. Here is how you would create a hyperlink to this web site:
<a href="http://internetbrothers.com/">Internet Brothers</a>
What does all this mean? As stated above, A is for anchor, it denotes a link. HREF stands for Hypertext Reference, and assigns the URL or Uniform Resource Locator to follow. http://internetbrothers.com/ is the FULL address, or URL, of the home page of this site, and must be enclosed in double quotes. Internet Brothers is the literal text you want displayed as the hyperlink, it could just as easily say click here. Finally, the </A> closes the anchor tag. Below is what appears on the page with the use of this anchor tag set. Click on it, a new browser window opens to the Internet Brothers entry page.
You may have noticed as you hovered your mouse cursor over the words Internet Brothers, the cursor changed into a hand with the index finger extended (before you ask, no you can't change which finger with HTML). This is your browser's way of telling you this text or image is a hyperlink. Also, if you were really paying attention, you observed the URL address appearing in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window. This will tell you where on the web you are going. Pretty cool, huh?
Another type of hyperlink is mailto:. When your browser detects this Hypertext reference, as opposed to HTTP, it launches your default email program. Try it by clicking here. You code the mailto: anchor as follows:
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">Send Us Mail</a><
Getting connected, that's what the Internet is all about. Through the use of hyperlinks you connect the dots of your site, and link it with the rest of the World Wide Web. Take some time now to work with this very important concept in HTML. Remember the vision of the spider web. When you feel comfortable, go ahead and proceed to the next tutorial, fun with graphic images.
Proceed to HTML Basics Tutorial 5.
Return to HTML Basics Tutorial 3.