Please note this article was first published in 23 Nov 2009. Its content may now be out of date. We recommend taking a look at more recent website building blog posts or check out our comprehensive support pages. If you are looking for information on our 14 day free website builder trial we have a large number of webpages that guide you throug the process.
When your website needs to provide pages with lots and lots of text information on a number of different subjects it’s important to avoid creating excessively long text heavy pages. Viewers faced with lengthy pages of text will frequently click away as they rarely have the time to trawl through all the information to find what they are looking for. There is a way in which you can avoid long scrolling pages when you build a website and its done using links and anchors.
Page jumps or links to certain sections of a page are an ideal way to break up and organise long pages. Certain parts of your readership may not scroll very far down a page and so only the very tops of your pages will be read. A group of page jumps at the top of your page can provide a very helpful miniature table of contents and allows readers to quickly get to the sections they’re most interested in.
Questions and Answers pages are perfect examples of times when page jumps are necessary. Rather than creating a long scrolling page of questions and answers, start the page with a list of the questions, which viewers can click and be taken to the relevant answer.
In other cases you may have lots of paragraphs of descriptive information for various products. In this situation a list of the products featured at the top of the page will offer viewers a quick and easy way to find the information for the particular product they want to read about.
Lets assume you have a long page of either Q & A, Product or Service descriptions or a page of Terms and Conditions, all with a number of questions of headings.
First of all, arrange your page content by copying and pasting each of the questions or headings of each paragraph or section into a list at the top of the page. Leave the original questions or headings above their respective paragraphs of information on the page so that it is clear the viewer has jumped to the correct section. Place a line rule under your heading list to seperate it from the answers / information below.
TIP: It's best to set your anchor in a line (P) of its own above the relevant section and heading. If you set the anchor on the same line or beneath the heading, the heading will be right at the top of the page or even out of sight when viewers click through to it rather than having a neat amount of space between the top of the page and the heading, which is easier to read and looks better! Place your cursor directly in front of the heading and tab it down to a new line. Then click to place your cursor back up in the clear line you have just created above and click the Insert / Edit Anchor Link button on your editor icon bar. Click “Create an Anchor” and in the box provided type a name for your anchor.
Choose names, which are directly relevant, simple and easy to remember. Choose a name with just one word if possible as there can be no gaps in your anchor name so if you use two words you’ll need to take space out between the two words i.e. “anchorname”.
TIP: open a blank notepad document ( Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad) and paste each anchor name you create here to make a quick reference note for yourself.
Repeat the process above to create all the anchors required for all the sections.
Go back to the top of the page and highlight the first heading, then click the Insert Edit Anchor icon and this time choose “Link to Anchor”. You will see a drop down box, which now contains all the anchors you created. If you chose simple, relevant names you should be able to find the right one. They will also be in the order in which they were created, which should also make it easy for you to select the correct anchor for each heading. Select the correct heading and click “Add to Website”. Each Heading will now be underlined to show viewers that it is a link but it doesn’t hurt to include an instruction at the top of the page to guide your viewers. Something along the lines of: “Please click the questions below to view the relevant answers”
Repeat this for each of your headings then click Save Page. Now try out your links.
You can go back to each to edit if required by clicking the same Anchor Button
Please remember, this article was first published 23/11/2009. The content may be out of date and you cannot post comments any more. Please check out our new blog.
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