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Should links be blue?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Anveto, Dec 7, 2014.

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Should links be blue?

  1. Yes

    10.5%
  2. No

    10.5%
  3. If the links stand out its no problem

    78.9%
  1. #1
    I have a blog where my links are simply bold but with the same color as the text (black). I don't use bold wording for any other parts of my site in the same way so I don't think it is confusing to the user. Hovering over the word will show the cursor for the link.

    But it got me thinking, should I change the links to the standard blue? Perhaps underline them as well? Which brings me to the question...
    SEMrush
    Should links be blue?
     
    Anveto, Dec 7, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. KangBroke

    KangBroke Notable Member

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    #2
    Good subject for discussion. I feel as long as they blend well with the theme and users actually can tell that they are links; all that should matter.

    I do not feel they should be the same color of the standard text.
     
    KangBroke, Dec 7, 2014 IP
    Anveto likes this.
  3. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #3
    bold but not underlined is relatively mainstream so I think users intuitively know what they are. I put an underline or broken underline on them for :hover
     
    sarahk, Dec 7, 2014 IP
    Anveto likes this.
  4. infectisites

    infectisites Member

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    #4
    maybe a lighter shade from black will do with an underline hover
     
    infectisites, Dec 7, 2014 IP
  5. sarebots

    sarebots Active Member

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    #5
    I think users might get used to it, maybe try adding a little transparency and shade of blue. General underline does not really look good, so don't do that. Underline on hover, however is not a problem. In the end, choose what suits your site the best.
     
    sarebots, Dec 9, 2014 IP
  6. ketting00

    ketting00 Well-Known Member

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    #6
    I think lighter shade with underline makes it look like text link ads. Personally, I don't click those links when skimming through an article. But maybe it's just for me.
     
    ketting00, Dec 10, 2014 IP
  7. emdubl

    emdubl Member

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    #7
    I think bold or a different color works. I prefer a blue color still, as long as it somewhat fits the color scheme of my site. I think most users these days are smart enough to hover and figure out what is and isnt a link.
     
    emdubl, Dec 10, 2014 IP
  8. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #8
    I spent an hour yesterday clearing crap off my sister in laws laptop because she'd clicked links on a page that led to malware. Like when you want to download something and there's an ad screaming "download" where you'd expect the actual download button to be. Walking her through the process there were lots of things installed that she'd never wanted. The tech-savvy-ness of your readers is definitely a consideration.
     
    sarahk, Dec 10, 2014 IP
    wiicker95 likes this.
  9. emdubl

    emdubl Member

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    #9
    I agree that there will always be people that cannot distinguish between what is a good link and what is an unsafe link... that's what Adblock is for.
     
    emdubl, Dec 10, 2014 IP
  10. Anveto

    Anveto Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Yes, some of the content I write will have suggestions for themes, software or services which I recommend and most of the time I make these links affiliate links if it is possible. So in my case I would like as many people to see the link instead of just thinking that it is some bold text. I am considering doing some A/B testing to see if there is a difference in clicks if the links are simply blue (perhaps underlined) vs bold as they are now.

    Thanks for all the help so far! :D
     
    Anveto, Dec 10, 2014 IP
  11. ketting00

    ketting00 Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Certainly true, some web sites forced download some file when you visit them. Even I myself scare of those files, can't imagine for those naive users.
     
    ketting00, Dec 10, 2014 IP
  12. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #12
    For me it depends on where the link is -- if it's in the copy (print term for flow text that's the actual content), I want to see an underline on the blasted things. When it's a menu item or styled as a button it's fine so long as the visual queues are doing their job, but in flow text "bold" typically should be conveying a semantic meaning (like "more emphasis" <strong> or a proper title/organizational proper noun <b>) just like it would in professional writing -- after all that's why we have HTML tags in the first blasted place!

    Color should NOT be relied upon for a whole host of reasons; not the least of which being legibility issues not just for the color blind, but even for the normally sighted.

    That's just accessibility 101, as promoted by accessibility guru's like Jakob Nielsen and guidelines like the WCAG... in other words **** we all should be following but most people vomiting up websites either ignore, never heard of, or come up with lame excuses not to follow even the spirit of. Far too many sites are counter-intuitive crap thanks to their not using underlines and relying on color people may or may not see. Joe forbid you have underlines in your paragraphs clearly showing what's a link and what isn't.

    That's just more artsy fartsy bull pissing away usability. Though to be fair, I'm the guy who thinks colour syntax highlighting of code is an illegible incomprehensible acid-trip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    deathshadow, Dec 11, 2014 IP
    Anveto likes this.
  13. Millen

    Millen Member

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    #13
    Any eye catching color, if you want people to stay on your website you gotta get em to that next page, and the next... Something that stands out is always better IMO.
     
    Millen, Dec 12, 2014 IP
  14. awakebutnapping

    awakebutnapping Active Member

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    #14
    I like to use a shade of blue that I find to be aesthetically pleasing on my site, and just do a subtle color change on hover - no underlines for me - they look too ad-like or cluttered for my tastes.

    Play around with it and go with what you feel adds quality to your site.
     
    awakebutnapping, Dec 12, 2014 IP
  15. KewL

    KewL Well-Known Member

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    #15
    I think as long as its a color (since my normal text is always a shade of grey) and a stronger font weight (or underline) its all good.
     
    KewL, Dec 13, 2014 IP
  16. Axumata

    Axumata Greenhorn

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    #16
    Just measure how often do your visitors click on your links, then change it to blue and unerlined, measure again and compare the results. It would work for you better than any theoretical advice.
     
    Axumata, Dec 13, 2014 IP
  17. Mehrdad[

    Mehrdad[ Greenhorn

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    #17
    I would say stay away from changing the color, instead underline them (DOTS or DASH)

    a:link {
         border-bottom: 1px dotted #000000;
    }
    a:hover {
         border-bottom: 1px solid #000000;
    }
    Code (CSS):
     
    Mehrdad[, Dec 13, 2014 IP
  18. Axumata

    Axumata Greenhorn

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    #18
    Dotted underline is more suitable for <abbr> tag.
     
    Axumata, Dec 13, 2014 IP
  19. crystak

    crystak Well-Known Member

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    #19
    I don't think they should all be bold, otherwise it can impact your SEO.
     
    crystak, Dec 13, 2014 IP
  20. UglyMug Reviews

    UglyMug Reviews Greenhorn

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    #20
    altered keyword are definitely bad for SEO
     
    UglyMug Reviews, Dec 15, 2014 IP