Link Design: 9 Examples from Actual-Existence Web sites (Incl. CSS)

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Etcetera | 0 comments

Learning examples of hyperlink design is additional important than chances are you’ll assume. Links are what turn the Internet into “the web” and fasten another way unrelated pages and websites to each other. As well as they lead visitors spherical your site, allow them to seek out additional of it, and dive deeper into the themes they’re serious about. Plus, as oneway links, hyperlinks are desired as an SEO signal.

In short, without links, web websites and the Internet wouldn’t be what they’re.

We have already discussed the way to genre hyperlinks the use of CSS in a prior article. On the other hand, just because you understand how to make use of it, that doesn’t suggest you recognize what styling to offer your links. Because of this, that’s what we want to quilt in this submit.

Beneath, we will be able to cross over examples of the best way different web websites make certain that their links are noticeable and good-looking. We will be able to moreover learn in regards to the underlying markup and speak about how they achieved the design for their hyperlinks. With a bit of luck, together it’ll come up with a pleasant understanding and ideas for the links on your own internet web page.

Why Suppose About Your Link Design at All?

hyperlink design examples
Image provide:
Edge2Edge Media/Unsplash

Let’s first speak about why you should invest in the design of your site’s hyperlinks to begin with. Till you may well be inside the internet design business, you may well be most probably so acutely aware of using them, that you just in no way in point of fact consciously idea the best way wherein they seem quicker than.

However, whilst you pay attention, you quickly notice that links appear very different from internet web page to internet web page. They use moderately numerous colors, some are underlined, some no longer, however, you still instinctively know {{that a}} piece of text is a clickable link. At least, in the best case state of affairs.

Inside the worst case, the link design is so unhealthy that you simply’re having a hard time understanding them and which may be a disadvantage.


On account of, first of all, few folks actually be informed all your pages and articles, maximum of them scan. That means they soar from one anchor stage to each and every different to go looking out only the parts of your content material subject matter that interest and are associated with them.

nielsen page scanning eyetracking study
Image provide:
Nielsen Norman Workforce

Along side headings or pictures, links are a kind of anchors. In case you occur to don’t make them stand out and identifiable, it makes your content material subject matter harder to grasp for a large part of your readership. And that’s in no way a good idea whilst you need them to stay round.

Finally, you moreover want to believe link anchor text, which lets them know where the link will take them on the other hand that’s a subject matter for a complete other article.

Aside from that, your links are part of your web design, so you want to make sure they’re in step with the rest of your site.

How one can Purpose Links

As already mentioned inside the advent, we’ve now an complete article on find out how to style links by way of CSS that I extraordinarily advisable you check out. On the other hand, on account of some of the important concepts in it are vital to grasp the examples beneath, listed below are the cliff notes.

The first thing that is vital to grasp is that, in HTML, links are created with the a or anchor tag.


As consequence, that’s moreover find out how to objective their styling in CSS:

a {
	colour: #3af278;

Secondly, besides simply a, links go through various states when used.

link default styling example

You’ll be capable to style them separately using pseudo categories:

  • a:visited – A link that the patron has visited quicker than, this means that it exists in their browser’s history.
  • a:focus – A centered link, for example, is one {{that a}} buyer has navigated to using the tab key.
  • a:hover – The styling that is visible when shoppers hover their mouse cursor over a link. hover and focus are often styled together.
  • a:full of life – In short visible styling all over the moment of a link click on on.
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Hyperlink Design Examples to Inspire Your Private Imaginable alternatives

After this rapid discourse, let’s have a look at the other ways you’ll be capable to design hyperlinks on your internet web page.

Smashing Mag

We’re starting off with Smashing Magazine. As a widely known web design magazine, chances are you’ll assume their link-design sport is on stage. Because of this, it’s suprising to appear that they beautiful so much went with the standard risk, at least for their in-content links. They’re blue, underlined, they typically don’t even change when hovered over.

smashing magazine hyperlink design example

On the one hand, this is in point of fact great as it makes certain somebody can recognize them as links. On the other, it’s reasonably disappointing on account of the rest of the internet web page has numerous microinteractions, on the other hand the links don’t.

Then again worry no longer, when set to focus, somewhat playfulness and branding does come by means of with a dotted line around the link in Smashing Magazine pink.

smashing magazine focus

How They Did It

If you want to use a similar outline affect as Smashing Magazine, proper right here’s the CSS markup:

:focus {
      outline: 3px dotted var(--THEME_COLOR_HOVER,#d33a2c) !vital;
      outline-offset: 2px;

It’s now not the rest too crazy. A simple dotted outline with a defined width, colour (using CSS customized homes), and an offset to make it wider.


Next up is how we care for link design proper right here on TorqueMag. In case you occur to examine any of the links on this or other pages, you’re going to to determine the following:

  • Hyperlinks are blue and underlined in a vibrant way
  • Hovering turns them black and as well as changes the color of the underscore
  • When centered or full of life, a link gets surrounded by way of a box with a drop shadow
torquemag hyperlink design examples

CSS Markup

How is all of this technically achieved? Let’s get began with the obvious famous person of the show, the gradient used for underlining the links, every in their usual state and at hover and full of life. Beneath is the code that creates it.

a {
    colour: #5568aa;
    text-decoration: none;
    font-weight: 700;
    background-image: linear-gradient(45deg,#ffc08c,#aa278c 30%,#0ecad4);
    background-position: 0 100%;
    background-repeat: repeat-x;
    background-size: 100% 2px;
    transition: background-size .3s;

a:hover {
    colour: #252d4a;
    background-size: 400% 2px;
    -webkit-animation: underline-gradient 4s linear unending;
    animation: underline-gradient 4s linear unending;
    text-decoration: none;

Proper right here’s the breakdown: Initially, the CSS markup gets rid of the usual underline (see text-decoration: none;) and then creates a background image with a gradient that makes use of three colors. This background image is then located completely at the bottom and set to repeat. In spite of everything, it receives a duration, which is 100% horizontally and 2px vertically.

There may be a transition property that’s sought after for the hover affect, which, suprsingly, is achieved by way of increasing the scale of the background image. That way, the colors stretch out, which, along side transition, give it some way of motion. The latter is amplified by way of the fact that the hover affect moreover uses an animation that causes the colors to stick moving while the cursor is on the link.

Numerous stuff going on for a simple link, isn’t there?

By contrast to that, the focus design is slightly simple with merely an outline and a drop shadow to the outdoor:

:focus {
    box-shadow: 0 0 6px #75a1f2;
    outline: 1px solid #75a1f2;


I’ve to admit, I in point of fact like this next hyperlink design example. While it’s slightly simple, personally, it’s moreover very tastefully carried out.

The initial design seems simple enough: links are colored in pink with a grey line underneath.

wpkube hyperlink design example

While you hover over it, the grey line takes on the similar shade of pink, with merely the slightest extend between the two states.

wpkube hover

The Underlying Code

Naturally, the markup for this sort of look isn’t very refined:

a {
    border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd;

a:hover {
    border-bottom: 1px solid #f05928;
    text-decoration: none;

The eye-grabbing issue is that they achieve it with the border property. This was once as soon as an element because it gave you additional control over find out how to style the street. On the other hand, these days have new CSS options that can objective text-decoration houses in an instant, like text-decoration-offset or text-decoration-thickness, so hacking it by way of border isn’t vital.

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Notice that the transition affect is part of a catch-all declaration for a lot of site portions, along with buttons, and so forth. It’s small on the other hand makes a difference.

Targeted links on WPKube simply have a dotted line spherical them.

wpkube focus

We have already spotted this in each and every different example, so there is no want to cross into how to succeed in this in CSS another time.

Nerd Health

Next is one in every of my favorite well being web websites. As well as they do a pleasant procedure making their links stand out by way of coloring them inside the emblem’s pink.

nerdfitness hyperlink design example

On the other hand, I in particular decided on this hyperlink design example because it has a cultured affect for the hover state. The link colour becomes rather desaturated to offer shoppers feedback.

nerdfitness hyperlink design example hover

Proper right here’s How one can Do It

This is a simple affect, so it moreover doesn’t need numerous markup to succeed in. You simply have a color for the anchor tag and each and every different for a:hover while there’s a sitewide transition property to make the change a lot much less abrupt.

* {
    transition: all ease-in-out .25s;
    transition-property: all;
    transition-property: background,colour,border,opacity;

a {
    colour: #c73737;
    text-decoration: none;

a:hover {
    colour: #d35e5e;


I included this example to show you that even the biggest corporations with principally unending design worth vary can cross with a very basic way. On the Apple homepage, links simply appear in blue and transform underlined when hovered over (as it should be, by way of text-decoration). The outline for the focus state is just rather thicker than usual.

apple hyperlink design examples hover focus

The Markup

Right here’s the code if you want to do a similar issue:

a {
    colour: #2997ff;

a:hover {
    text-decoration: underline;

:focus {
    outline: 4px solid rgba(0,125,250,0.6);
    outline-offset: 1px;

Males’s Well being

This magazine internet web page brings a brand spanking new idea to the table. First of all, it seems business as usual: links on the internet web page simply have an underline. The only issue that is noteworthy is that the street is rather thicker than usual.

mens health hyperlink design examples

On the other hand, they’ve a trick up their sleeve for whilst you hover over the hyperlinks. To signal that, Men’s Smartly being have decided on to use a background colour as a trademark. The links turn yellow with merely the tiniest of delays. A number one among our hyperlink design examples.

mens health hover

CSS Code

The underlying markup for this may be noteworthy for another reason. To achieve the initial line for their links, the site uses the aforementioned and reasonably new houses for controlling text-decoration.

a {
    text-decoration: underline;
    text-decoration-thickness: 0.125rem;
    text-decoration-color: #d2232e;
    text-underline-offset: 0.25rem;
    -webkit-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
    transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;

As you’ll be capable to see, every text-decoration-thickness, text-decoration-color, and text-underline-offset play a role in making the design look the way it does.

As for the hover affect, one thing that stands out is that it simply uses yellow as its colour denomination.

a:hover {
    background-color: yellow;
    -webkit-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
    transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;

Outside of examples and take a look at web websites, it is a very unusual way of stating colours in CSS and it’s funny to appear it out inside the wild. Aside from that, you naturally to seek out the transition property to make the appearance and disappearance of the hover background a lot much less abrupt.

Nationwide Geographic

National Geographic is going for a similar affect as Men’s Smartly being, however, they achieve it very differently. Proper right here, too, the hyperlink design is initially simple with thicker underlines. On the other hand, on hover, they cross on to cover the entire attached word or phrase.

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national geographic hyperlink design examples hover

The eye-grabbing issue right here’s that the background turns out to increase from the bottom up, so let’s check out how they did it.

How is This Possible?

Initially, right here’s the markup for the links in their usual state:

a {
    background-image: linear-gradient(120deg,#fc0,#fc0);
    background-position: 0 100%;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 0;
    border: none;
    border-bottom: 2px solid #fc0;
    text-decoration: none;
    -webkit-transition: background-size .125s ease-in;
    -o-transition: background-size .125s ease-in;
    transition: background-size .125s ease-in;

As you’ll be capable to see, like in numerous hyperlink design examples, they achieve it with a simple border-bottom declaration. On the other hand, at the similar time there’s a background image located all the strategy to the bottom on the other hand with 0 vertical duration.

That is actually how they get the affect of expansion, as on hover, it will 100% vertical duration while the ease-in transition takes care of the fact that it kind of feels that often from the bottom.

a:hover {
    background-size: 100% 100%;
    border-color: #fc0;
    colour: #000;

Twenty Twenty-Two

For the general examples, let’s check out how two WordPress default topic issues care for hyperlink design. The principle one is Twenty Twenty-Two. There is also now not the rest too spectacular going on, essentially the most frequently solidly underlined links have a dashed line underneath on hover.

twenty twenty two theme hyperlink design examples

On the other hand, we haven’t spotted this sort of manipulation however, so I thought it may well be a pleasant issue to cover.

This is How it Works

The theme handles this in the best way wherein you may well be anticipating. The anchor tags have text-decoration: underline assigned to them and as well as values for their thickness and offset. Upon hover, it turns to text-decoration-style: dashed. That’s it.

a {
    text-decoration-thickness: 1px;
    text-underline-offset: 0.25ch;

a:focus {
    text-decoration-style: dashed;

Twenty Twenty-One

Our final example is Twenty Twenty-One. It has a similar hover affect as its predecessor, however, as a substitute of a dashed line, it uses a dotted one.

twenty twenty one theme hyperlink design examples

Then again that’s no longer the explanation why I’m mentioning it proper right here. Instead, the crowd pleasing segment is its focus affect. Instead of the usual outline, the designers determined to use a contrasting background colour to make it stand out.

twenty twenty one theme hyperlink design examples focus

The Accompanying CSS

How they achieved it’s also crowd pleasing. As you’ll be capable to see from the markup beneath, the background colour is principally white, however, it has its opacity set to 90%.

a:focus {
    outline: 2px solid transparent;
    text-decoration: underline 1px dotted currentColor;
    text-decoration-skip-ink: none;
    background: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);

That way, you get this additional delicate look that provides a clear difference on the other hand isn’t too harsh.

Use The ones Examples for Your Private Hyperlink Design

Without links, what we title the Internet or International Huge Web would no longer be what it’s. Because of this, hyperlinks deserve as so much attention for your web design as other portions. After buying groceries at the hyperlink design examples above, let’s summarize what we will be able to take away from them:

  • Mark your links clearly so that they’re easy to recognize, the most common apparatus for which may also be colors, underscores, or every.
  • Use hover effects to ensure that shoppers can see their interaction at the side of your links. There is also various chances for that.
  • Don’t overlook the focus state! Make it easy for patrons with different talents to navigate your pages.

That’s it. Now you’ll want to have a pleasant basis to make design alternatives about your own hyperlinks.

Which of the hyperlink design examples above do you favor or dislike one of the and why? What other design chances for links do you revel in? Tell us inside the comments beneath!

The submit Link Design: 9 Examples from Actual-Existence Web sites (Incl. CSS) gave the impression first on Torque.

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