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A is for Anchor

A is for Anchor <a>

The internet is a world wide web held together by anchors. Am I mixing my metaphors? Well, no, they were well and truly mixed by the inventors of the web.

Try again: the vast worldwide system of interlinked computers is known as the web (strictly speaking, the internet). But the links, as far as we are concerned, are between the pages of the vast number of websites that populate the web.

The links are created by the <a> (the anchor) element of HTML.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the basic programming language of the web.

The anchor (the <a> element) fixes a place on a web page and links it to another web page (or to another anchor on another web page) using the href attribute of the anchor element.

The value of the href attribute, which is normally a url, provides the address of the page or of the page and its anchor, that the first anchor is linking to.

Complicated? Well, yes, but seems worse than it is.

Url means Unique Resource Locator, which in the world of the web normally means a web address, such as www.thisbrighton.co.uk

What's an attribute?

The elements of the HTML language, such as the <a> element have various properties, purposes, dimensions, things they can do or be; that is, they have attributes.

So, for comparison, let's suppose we think of a book as an element. Then having pages would be one of its attributes, as would having a front and back cover, a spine, and a title.

The attribute of an element also has a value. A book has a certain number of pages. That number (say, 236) would be the value of the page attribute of the book element.

The value that the href attribute of the <a> element is usually a web address, a url.

Href is short for hypertext reference.

So we have an anchor element which contains a hypertext reference to another web page address or to an another anchor element on that page.

It's written like this:

<a href="url">put text here</a>

And as an example:

<a href="http://www.thisbrighton.co.uk">click here</a>

On your computer screen you see this:

click here

Or take the Brighton Quiz by clicking here