On websites, a clickable link is a highlighted word or words, that when clicked on with a computer mouse, takes the surfer to information associated with those words. A clickable link is also called a hyperlink, and is typically embedded in webpages to make surfing easier and cleaner.
Web pages are written in a code known as HyperText Markup Language (HTML). While the code itself is plain text, Web browsers interpret the textual code translating it into the attractive graphic pages we see as we cruise the Web. HTML makes it possible to embed underlying commands in Web pages without requiring the surfer to know code commands or even see them. Instead, HTML creates a “point and click” environment to take the surfer from one place to another with nothing more than the click of a mouse.
In Web pages, a clickable link is most often used for one of four basic actions: It can take a surfer to another point within the same webpage as an index might; it can take a surfer to another page within the same website; or it can take the surfer to a new website. Finally, when a hyperlink is associated with sending mail, it will trigger open the surfer’s email client and automatically address a new message to the target in the clickable link. In this case the hyperlink might read, contact support, send mail, comments, or Webmaster, to cite a few examples.
While clickable links are used for navigation, clickable graphics often carry out a function. For example, a video interface features buttons for stopping, starting and pausing video. This interface is made up of clickable graphics associated with commands.
Merchant sites feature many clickable graphics because they’re more attractive than textual hyperlinks. At online retailers, customers can click product images to see additional information, click bright buttons to add items to a virtual shopping cart, and clickable graphics are also used to confirm sales transactions. Gaming and virtual reality communities embed clickable graphics to do everything from creating avatars to firing weapons.
While the clickable link is geared towards navigation and clickable graphic towards functionality, this isn’t a hard fast rule. A clickable graphic can be used to send a surfer to a new page or site, and a clickable link can be tied to a function, such as “watch this video.” In most cases, however, links indicate where a surfer can go, and graphics, what a surfer can do.