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How to create accessible links

Using links properly online

Our advice on this page helps you to write accessibly, but also incorporates ways to help users to scan-read online. It contains several inaccessible links so if you are on a screenreader, we apologise.

Imagine a screenreader reading your links out loud. Would 'click here', 'read more', or just 'here' make any sense to you? How about several 'click here' links scattered in one paragraph? When there are lots of links on a page or several in a row, how do you feel if you are in a hurry or confused about which one to choose first?

  1. How should I name links?
  2. How should I position a link?
  3. How many links should I include?

How to name your links

Links should always be described properly so that users know where a link will take them. This helps people who use screenreaders but also helps regular readers who scan quickly, or have trouble clicking tiny links on mobiles.


Always describe your links


Describe your downloads

You should minimise your use of PDFS and documents, but if you do use them, describe them and their file size:


Do not write out full URLs


How to position your links

There are several good ways to position your links.

Put separate sentences after a paragraph

Before:

'It is a University strategic priority that all staff and students must have access to equal opportunities to thrive and progress at Warwick.'

After:

'It is a University strategic priority that all staff and students must have access to equal opportunities to thrive and progress at Warwick.

See how we prioritise inclusion at Warwick'


Add small sentences at the start of paragraphs:

Before:

'It is a University strategic priority that all staff and students must have access to equal opportunities to thrive and progress at Warwick.'

After:

'Inclusion at Warwick: it is a University strategic priority that all staff and students must have access to equal opportunities to thrive and progress at Warwick.'


Do them any way that Gov.uk does

Gov.uk leads the way for digital accessibility in the UK. They have invested heavily in making their websites usable for anyone.

How many links on a page?

There's no one answer to this as it depends on what you need to convey.

Ideally a page should have one clear call to action. When there are lots of things going on, it's easy for the message to get confusing. When you have lots of links, it's harder for users to know what to to choose.

If you have multiple calls to action, it's better to segment your information, choose a purpose for each part, and use short bullet point lists. Do not worry about making your page longer.


Task: which would you find easier to scan and choose from?

Option 2: Segmented information with limited calls to action

The mental health charity Mind offer more information on:

Your Mind Plan on the Every Mind Matters website sends personalised tips and advice to your email inbox.