Linking in HTML Using HREF Tags

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the main language used for creating web pages. Web browsers use HTML to understand text and images and translate them into web pages. HTML got its start in the 1980s. HTML grew out of ENQUIRE, a system conceived of and prototyped by Tim Berners Lee, a physicist contracted by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. ENQUIRE was supposed to be a system for researchers at CERN to share documents between one another, and in 1989 Tim Berners Lee wrote a proposal for using an internet based system utilizing hypertext for this purpose.

CERN ultimately declined the proposal, but HTML became publicly available in 1991 in a document called simply HTML Tags. This document described the initial eighteen features that comprised the earliest forms of HTML.

Since then HTML has grown and expanded tremendously, and is a ubiquitous and integral part of the World Wide Web. Any internet user who has frequented an internet forum or message board has likely had a little bit of contact HTML and HREF tags. For those who are not familiar with the uses of HREF tags, HREF tags are primarily used to connect two documents in the same directory or connect two documents from separate directories. HREF tags can also be used to connect a part of document to another part of the same document. For example, in a web page that makes heavy use of footnotes, the writer could use HREF tags attached to each asterisk to bring the user directly to the related footnote, instead of forcing the user to frequently scroll down to the bottom of the page.

A HREF tag specifies the location of a resource on the Web. In HREF tags, HREF stands for hypertext reference, and HREF tags are necessary for any sort of HTML linking. Typical HREF tags will follow this HREF tag syntax:

In this example, something.html represents the document in the same directory that is being linked. Whatever follows HREF tags formatted this way will be the link, generally speaking. A HREF link will then end with a forward slash and the character A, enclosed in angle brackets < >. Using HREF tags enables you to quickly link users to other content without cluttering up a webpage with full URL addresses.