Help:Link

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See http://meta.wikimedia.org/ Meta-Wiki HelpIntro for basic MediaWiki usage!

Text Links to other web pages

Types of Links

There are several types of hyperlink you can use:

  1. a simple internal link within Wowpedia to [["target"]] where "target" is the title of the page such as Argent Crusade - [[Argent Crusade]]. These links may be classed as:
    1. an existing page (no class)
    2. a stub page with the template but very few details - see "Stub Feature" below (class = 'stub')
    3. a non-existing page (class='new')
  2. an interwiki link to another wiki (class='extiw'):
    1. a URL label - [[wikipedia:URL|URL label]]
    2. a page link - "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target"
    3. a file transfer link - "ftp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File..."
    4. but not a file link, as it is not allowed - file://...
  3. a link to an external web page (class='external')
    1. as a URL http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/ - [http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/]
    2. as a labelled URL World of Warcraft Forums - [http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/ World of Warcraft Forums]
    3. as a reference to the source of information used in a wiki page<ref>"title of page in quotes" - full URL - Author, month year</ref> and include a references heading followed by <references/>. For example:
  • Example [1] - <ref>"URLs in external links" - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:URL#URLs_in_external_links - Meta Wikimedia, May 2008</ref>
  • Example [2] - <ref>"Cite" - http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Cite/Cite.php - Media Wiki, April 2009</ref>

Example URL References

  1. ^ "URLs in external links" - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:URL#URLs_in_external_links - Meta Wikimedia, May 2008
  2. ^ "Cite" - http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Cite/Cite.php - Media Wiki, April 2009

Classes

The classes enable web pages using CSS to highlight the different types of link using different colours or fonts. This gives the reader a visual means of identifying when a page will take them outside of the wiki, but should not be relied on. See also the Security guide.

Labels

A label enables complex page titles or URLs to be simplified to something more intelligible. There are different ways of allowing the link label and the (eventual) link target to be chosen independently. A label can be specified in case:

  • internal and intrawiki links, using the exact title of the target page title
  • internal and intrawiki links, using a label ''target'' ''label'' with a blank space in between
  • external links, as e.g. Blizzard's World of Warcraft website - [http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/index.xml World of Warcraft]

See also: Help:Piped link

By using a piped link and a redirect, the label, title, and target can all be chosen independently.

Special Characters in URLs

Spaces

For external URLs (Universal Resource Locators), you cannot use the space character " ". For Wiki pages, the blank space can be replaced by an underscore. In general, the space should be replaced with "%20".

Plus sign +

In internal and interwiki link style, a plus sign in a page name is not allowed, the HTML and hence the rendered page just shows the wikitext, e.g. a+b.

In external link style a plus sign in the URL is retained. It is often equivalent to a space.

See also "other conversions" below.

Image Links to Web Pages

There are several ways to use an image as link to a page:


In case 3, links like [ target ] are automatically labelled with serial numbers 1, 2, 3, ...

For link type 1 there is an existence detection feature: it will be a link to the viewing page if the page exists at the time of loading or previewing of the referring page (no class or class='stub'), otherwise to the edit page (class='new').

Hover tooltip links

If you use the {{loot}} template and the article it points to uses the {{tooltip}} template as described by Help:Tooltips, the loot link should show a hover tooltip from the target article when moused over.

Hover tooltip example loot link: [Snowmaster 9000]

Linking from an image

There are several ways to link from an image:

  • Default internal image page link from an internal image. See http://www.wikimedia.org/image linking.
    • Code example: [[ Image:<image_name> ]]
  • Linking to the internal image from itself. See image linking.
    • Code example: [[ :Image:<image_name> ]]
  • Linking to an internal page or external URL from an internal image.
    • As of MediaWiki v1.14, code example: [[ Image:<image_name> | link=<internal_page_name_or_external_URL> ]]

For more detail and examples, see Help:Navigational image.

Stub feature

A link in internal link style to an existing internal page will be in class 'stub' iff all the following are true:

  • the page is in the main namespace
  • the page is not a redirect
  • the number of bytes of the wikitext is less than the value of the "threshold for stub display" specified in the preferences

The idea behind this is that such pages are "stubs" which need fixing, or which are less worthwhile to go to. Alternatively, with a higher threshold value, the feature allows indication that a page is large (with a slow connection perhaps a reason not to go to it). However, note that due to the possible inclusion of templates and images, a small wikitext does not necessarily mean a small composite page in terms of amount of information, or amount of bytes to load.

Also, by specifying a very high value as threshold, this feature allows, instead of the intended use of distinction according to size:

  • distinction according to namespace (in the main namespace or not); however, redirects in the main space are marked "as if in another namespace", regardless of the namespace of the target of the redirect
  • for links to the main namespace, known from the hoverbox or status bar, an indication of links having a redirect as target

However, linking to a section of what according to this criterion is a stub does not seem to work, except when external link style is used!

When to use an External Link Style to an Internal or Intrawiki page

Reasons to use type 3 to link to an internal page or a page on a sister wiki include:

  • linking to the edit or talk pages of an existing internal page
  • linking to an edit page on a sister wiki (including a non-existing page, the link being an invitation or preparation for creating one, just like is common for internal pages)
  • linking to a page for which internal link style is not possible, such as an old version of a page, a diff of two versions, Recent Changes or Watchlist with parameters, Backlinks page, etc.

A redirect to a section of a page does not go to the section. One can use it anyway as a clarification. At least it works when clicking on the link from the redirect page.

A link that specifies a section of a redirect page corresponds to a link to that section of the target of the redirect.

On some browsers, putting the mouse pointer over a hyperlink will show a hover box with the title attribute in the link anchor in the HTML code. This is the page name (without the possible section indication) in case 1, the page name with prefix in case 2, and the URL in case 3.

This can be switched off in the http://www.wikimedia.org/preferences. The browser may also show similar info, but with the possible section indication, in the address bar.


Other URL Conversions

In accordance with the rules explained in http://www.wikimedia.org/Help:Page name, some other character conversions are made. This is demonstrated in the following examples:

[[__%20_%70RoJecT %20 :  a   b   :  c  #  d___%20]]
[[__%20_%70RoJekT %20 :  a   b   :  c  #  d___%20]]

[[  wikipedia:__%20_%70RoJecT %20 :  a   b   :  c  #  d___%20]]

become links to

http://meta.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Meta:A_b_:_c_&action=edit
http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=PRoJekT_:_a_b_:_c_&action=edit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pRoJecT_:_a_b_:_c_%23_d

while in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/__%20_%70RoJecT_%20_:__a___b___:__c__#__d___%20

nothing is changed (except that when the browser reports the link target, %70 is converted to p).

Note that a project does not keep a record of namespace prefixes or capitalization settings of sister projects, therefore less conversions can take place in an interwiki link than in an internal link.

Linking to a page

A plus sign in the page name in the URL is equivalent with a space, e.g. https://wow.gamepedia.com/wiki/a+b leads to the page A b.

Apart from linking to the top, one can link to a section, see http://www.wikimedia.org/section linking. If one wants to link to a position that is not suitable for starting a (sub)section, one can not use a HTML element "a" (see Help:HTML in wikitext), but one can make a div tag <div id=".."></div> or add id=".." to the start tag of any existing HTML element. See e.g. the three rank links in wikipedia:Netherlands and their targets.

If, on applying the link, the page name has to be converted, e.g. capitalized, then section linking still works, but the anchor part of the address disappears from the address bar. A consequence is e.g. that one can not conveniently bookmark the URL with anchor, after applying the link.

This is not applicable for internal links, because the conversions have already taken place on Preview or Save of the referring page.

Consider e.g.:

The anchor part of the address disappears from the address bar in the 2nd and 3rd case.

Conversions:

http://meta.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Meta:A_b_:_c_&action=edit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pRoJecT_:_a_b_:_c_#_d
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/__%20_pRoJecT_%20_:__a___b___:__c__#__d

lead to MetaWikiPedia:A b : c and twice to wikipedia:Wikipedia:A b : c

Link titles

As shown by the examples a#b, wikipedia:a#b, http://a.b#c, giving the link titles a, wikipedia:a, and http://a.b#c, respectively (also for the piped link versions), the anchor is in the title in the external link style, but not in the internal link style and not in the interwiki link style. However, even if the anchor is not in the title and even if the browser does not show the URL in the hover box, the anchor can still be seen in the status bar.

Since the HTML element "a" is disabled when put directly in the wikitext, one can not choose the link target and link title independently. This would be useful e.g. to link the word "inch" to the article "inch", with link title "2.54 cm", so that one gets informed through the hover box even without following the link. A workaround is to link to a page named "2.54 cm", which redirects to "inch".

Subpage feature

Depending on the project, for certain namespaces a subpage feature is enabled. On Wikipedia this is in talk namespaces, and the user and project namespace, on Meta also in the main namespace. The default set in DefaultSettings.php [1] is:

# which namespaces should support subpages? See Language.php
# for a list of namespaces
# default: only discussion ("talk") namespaces and user pages
# allow subpages
# 0=no subpages, 1=subpages
$wgNamespacesWithSubpages = array(
	-1	=> 0,
	0	=> 0,
	1	=> 1,
	2	=> 1,
	3	=> 1,
	4	=> 0,
	5	=> 1,
	6	=> 0,
	7	=> 1
);

Settings per project are done in LocalSettings.php [2].

A page with a name of the form A/b is considered a so-called "subpage" of the page A.

From the parent page it can be linked to with simply [[/b]] or the corresponding piped link. In namespaces for which the feature is disabled, the slash is ignored and not displayed. On this project in this namespace (Help) it gives: /b.

At the top of the subpage body a link to the parent page is shown automatically, without any corresponding wikitext. The link shows up even if the page A/b does not exist, provided that the page A exists.

Like most letters of a page name, the first letter after the slash is case-sensitive, A/B and A/b are different.

Subpages can have subpages themselves. Links to the whole hierarchy line of pages from the top is shown on the page.

What links here and http://www.wikimedia.org/Related changes ignore these automatic links.

See also wikipedia:Wikipedia:Subpages.

External vs. Internal Links

External links should usually be used for content that cannot be put on Wowpedia. If the information already exists within Wowpedia an internal link should always be used. If the content doesn't exists in Wowpedia, but can exist then there are many factors to consider. For example, if you are linking offsite to mob, quest, or item information that doesn't exist within Wowpedia then that information has less of a chance of getting created. By using an internal link the page has a much higher chance of being created.

  • Everyone who sees that page will see that the article needs to be created
  • The page will be added to the wanted pages list.

Many people use the wanted pages list to find out which articles need to be created or browse their favorite pages looking for dead internal links. Using internal links is a great way to help the wiki expand, but not the best solution for the users of Wowpedia. Instead of being able to click on a link and access off site information they now have a dead link with nothing and are forced to go offsite and search for the information.

You can create the article and add the required stub tag. In addition to the stub create a section called External Links and add links to external resources for the page. Users will now have more choices than before, instead of being forced to use whatever external link the article writer choose they can now select from a list of external links to go to their preferred site. The page will also be added to the appropriate stub category and anyone expanding it will already have links to the resources to get the information from, this way it can bee seen by contributors as needing expanding on and won't go ignored.

See also: Wowpedia:Policies#Preference_for_internal_links

Self Link

A self link is a link to the page itself. It appears as bold text when the article is viewed. Examples:

Self links should not be used to create bold text, see Help:Editing

An indirect self link is a link to a page that redirects back. Though it is undesirable, it is shown as a regular link.


Additional effects of links

  • http://www.wikimedia.org/Related changes
  • http://www.wikimedia.org/Backlinks
  • Date format - since this effect applies for every link occurrence independently, a convention to avoid multiple linking to the same page within one page typically does not apply for date links.

See also