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Links are everywhere and extremely valuable. However, the often pose a number of readability, usability, and accessibility issues. How does navigate these waters. 

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Link content

We link to:

  • relevant content on our website before we link to external websites 
  • the actual page with helpful content on external websites – we don’t just link to the home page 
  • the best source of information for you. 

Placement of link text


  • put links directly below the sentence or list they refer to (not in the sentence)
  • don’t use bullet points to format links (unless it is a table of contents)
  • group multiple links from a paragraph of text 
  • never link headings.

We’ve found links in sentences affect comprehension and encourage people to click away before they have read all the context. Separating links from text also means they are easier to select on mobile devices.

For example:

  • The issue of data soveriengty remains a challenge across the globe. In particular, countries with indigenous peoples and a history of colonisation must seek to understand how balance the needs of all peoples. For example, in Aotearoa NZ, we must work toward a model of data sovereignty that address our responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

    Māori data sovereignty network - Te Mana Raraunga
    Te Tiriti o Waitangi

More information

Maximizing the values of the link: Credibility, readability, connectivity
Experiments in delinkification
The web shatters focus, rewires brains

How we write links 


  • use words only 
  • write descriptive links that tell you what you’ll find when you follow them – we do not use words like 'click here' 
  • don’t use repetitive phrases or words like 'read more about' or 'see' at the start of links 
  • include the name of the website or organisation we're linking to if we think you'll find it useful. 

We write our email addresses in full, in lower case, and link the entire address. We avoid linking to personal email addresses - the only exception would be a temporary blog post, but we review these regularly to make sure they remain accurate.  

For example: 

More information 

Writing link text 

Opening links in a new tab or window 

We don't set links to open in a new tab or window. However, there are some exceptions which need to be decided case by case. For example, sometimes forms or images will work better in a new tab so that you can see both the context and the form. 

Using anchor links 

Anchor links are links that take you to a different part of the page you're on, rather than a new page. 

We often break our content up onto multiple pages so each page is focused on completing a single task or answering a single question. 

In some cases, we may also use anchor links for long pages. More and more people are using our site on a mobile device, where very long pages are harder to scan and navigate. In this circumstance, anchor links would help you get to the information you need faster. 

More information 

Anchors OK? 
Anchor links dos and don'ts 

Broken links 

When we find broken links on our site, we try to update them. If we can’t find the new link, we remove the link from the text. 

Linking to documents or files 

When we link to documents or files, we: 

  • use the title of the document to create the link text 
  • include information about the document’s file type and size in square brackets at the end of the link (using KB for kilobyte, MB for megabyte, and GB for gigabyte) 
  • round file sizes to 1 decimal point and use MB (not KB) for anything 1 MB or bigger. 

For example:

Algorithm assessment report - full report [PDF 10.1 MB] 
Algorithm assessment report - one-page summary [PDF 151 KB]

More information 

Guidance on linking to non-HTML files – NZ Government Web Standards

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 21 October 2020.