This is a link. We also call it a HyperLink, Web Link, or Anchor.

This is also a link: http://shoutleaf.com/2013/02/what-is-a-hyperlink/ ‎

We call that a HyperLink, or Web Link. When we can see the details like that, we also call it a URL or Web Address .

When you see it up in the address bar of a browser, we usually call it a URL, Web Address, Path, or Web Location. They’re all kind of the same thing though.

Q: Why do we call it a “link“?

A: Because it’s kind of like a chain link in the way it links various pages together.

Q: Why do we also call it an “anchor“?

A: Maybe because chains come from anchors? I don’t know, honestly, why we need a nautical metaphor for this. Though functionally it makes sense, because a link hooks or “anchors” the URL to some arbitrary text, like this.

Q: What about Hyper Reference? What’s that?

A: I know. I’m sorry. It comes from the fact that HTML is based on HyperText. In Hyper Text, pages could connect to other pages. They didn’t have URLs back then, but they did have ways to reference the other page. Text becomes HyperText, references became HyperReferences. The remnant of this today is in the <a> element which has the attribute href, which stands for HyperREFerence.

<a href="http://shoutleaf.com/2013/02/what-is-a-hyperlink/ ">That HyperReference is Anchored to this HyperText!</a>

It would be a lot less confusing if we just called it url.
You could call a modern URL a “web reference” if you really wanted to, since it’s a reference to something on the web, though there is really no need to be that confusing. Please. There is no need.

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