HTML External Links

In this section of our HTML tutorial, we will explore how to create links to external websites using the <a> element. Linking to external websites is a fundamental part of web development, allowing you to connect your web pages to valuable online resources. We will also include a note about the HTTP and HTTPS security protocols.

Introduction to Linking to External Websites

Anchor tags, represented by the <a> element in HTML, are used to create hyperlinks that connect web pages and resources. These links can either navigate users within the same website or direct them to external websites. Understanding how to create links to external websites is crucial for web development.

Basic Syntax

Here is the basic syntax for creating an anchor tag in HTML to link to an external website:

  • href: The “href” attribute specifies the destination URL or resource the link points to.
  • Link Text: This is the visible text of the hyperlink, which users can click to navigate to the specified URL.

Linking to External Websites

To create a hyperlink that leads to an external web page, you use the <a> element with an absolute URL in the href attribute.

HTTP and HTTPS Security Protocols

It’s essential to consider the security of the websites you link to. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) are two common protocols for transferring data over the internet. HTTPS provides a secure and encrypted connection, while HTTP does not.

  • HTTP (Unsecured): Links to websites with “http://” are not secure. Data transmitted between the user and the website is not encrypted, making it vulnerable to eavesdropping or tampering.
  • HTTPS (Secured): Links to websites with “https://” are secure. Data is encrypted, ensuring the privacy and integrity of information exchanged between the user and the website. It is the recommended protocol for most websites, particularly when handling sensitive data like login credentials or personal information.

As a best practice, it’s advisable to link to websites using HTTPS whenever possible, as it ensures a higher level of security for your users.

Code Examples

Here are examples of creating links to external websites with different security protocols:

Unsecured Website Link (HTTP):

Secured Website Link (HTTPS):


Creating links to external websites is an essential part of web development, enabling you to connect your web pages to valuable online resources. It’s important to be aware of the security protocols (HTTP and HTTPS) and the implications of linking to websites using these protocols. While HTTPS is the recommended choice for secure data transmission, the choice of protocol depends on the specific website and its security practices. By understanding these concepts and best practices, you can enhance the user experience and ensure the security of your web visitors when linking to external websites.