My sound like a daft question about anchors.

  AcidBurn7uk 15:25 22 May 2004

I am currently working on a site for a family members. Basically he wants a basic html site which will have two categories. Nissan & Toyota. Under the 2 different categories he will have repair tips for varioud aspects of different models. Now my question. How is it possible to have a link, like:


or similar. He wants plain HTML if possible so he can use the webspace that comes with his ISP.

He wants the windpw to open in a popup window as well, but I have advised agains this as alot of people use popup blockers! Would you agree.

Thanks in advance. Jay

  Sir Radfordin 20:18 22 May 2004

Think that anchors within a page as you are suggesting use a # and not a ? but the idea is there. This system is often use on FAQ pages where you have the FAQ at the top and then it links to the answer lower down the page.

Once you run to several pages of text may want to split it so you don't have to wait for that very long page to load!

I would advise against using a pop-up window since lots of people do your popup blockers, and I think even the next release of IE(SP2 for XP) will block popups without a third party plugin.

  Charence 22:16 22 May 2004

You will need to insert "Bookmarks" into your code.

Wherever you want to put place a bookmark insert the code e.g. <a name="dipstick"> in front of the line you want it to be linked to.

On the link on that page, your coding would be e.g. <a href="#dipstick"> (on page currently viewed)

If you are linking from another page you would have to write this e.g. <a href="toyota.html#dipstick">


  AcidBurn7uk 23:56 22 May 2004

What I want though is so that only that bit of text would show I.E.


Would show ONLY tip number 1, then you would need to go back to an index page. Much like you see in systems such as phpBB and the likes.

In the short term, I would imagine that this would be fine, but as more tips are added, I think a database would be useful (along with some 'PROPER' hosting) so figure the '?' would need to replace the '#'

Would I be best buying a book about mySQL and PHP for this?

My area of design is the layout and positioning of elements (The Frontend) but am more-or-less a complete n00b when it comes to the backend code!!

  Taran 00:47 23 May 2004

The point where you decide to take a site to dynamic content is either a personal choice or is driven by necessity.

The question mark in the hyperlink is a big issue in itself and indicates that the content has been pulled from a database using a query It is also not very search engine friendly, as links go, but a good part of that is where the engines deliberately take a slower pace indexing pages with ? in the URL. The question mark identifies the page as dynamic content and most dynamic sites have a great many pages (often in the tens or even hundreds of thousands) so the last thing the search engine wants to do is index every page all at once. Think of the load this would out your site under, if every single page was requested in a short burst for indexing.

There are ways of combatting this up to a point by using clever trick like mod_rewrite to rewrite a friendly URL that the search engines can cope with more easily. You can also use intelligent PHP coding and by not using certain features like SELECT * (select all) - you should use specific query selections instead, or try duplicated code in your loops instead of using low iteration loops. Placing static values into your loops allows the value to be generated once, before the loop begins, rather than generating each value each time it is called as the loop cycles.

Anyway, I've gone off on one here on a PHP tangent so, to pull this back on track....

I've seen some pretty long static pages that very successully use anchors to jump from section to section and back to the top. It's quick, easy and works pretty well. Try saying the words "quick" or "easy" when trying to wrestle with PHP and MySQL for your first dynamic content...

Until or unless the pages get really huge I'd stick with bookmark anchors for now, especially given your admission that backend coding is a mystery to you. I fail to see any urgent requirement for you to learn online databases to manage a tips and tricks section of a site.

Of course, if you turn it around and declare your intention to display 10,000 tips and hints I'd say find a web database specialist or learn the subject pretty sharpish.

It's a balancing act and is often driven, as I mentioned above, either by preference or pure necessity.

  AcidBurn7uk 01:59 23 May 2004

Why is it your advice is ALWAYS most helpful. (You helped my mate with his ColdFusion problems a few weeks ago, but he still hasn't registered :(

Anysways, with all this taken on board, I think I will set out with bookmarks in mind. And learn the dynamic part along the way. Slowly, but surely. As with all tips 'n tricks sites, it would be a while before there are so many tips that a database to house them all, and hopefully this will give me enough time to learn the basics (and not so basics) of PHP, databases etc.

Thanks all for your advice.

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