Internal (within Extension) and external links are handled differently within the body text of a news item or article.

General Best Practices

There are times when we want to link to related items, provide links to referenced materials, or provide a link to an upcoming event or webinar. Below are some key points to follow.

Descriptive Words as Link Text

Always use "Descriptive Words" as the linking object within the body text. Do not use the URL.

Providing the descriptive text rather than the URL allows people to know where the link will take them if they click on it.

When you print a page containing links, the system is set up to also print out the URL after the words (Example: Penn State [http://www.psu.edu])

Using the URL (http://www.psu.edu vs. Penn State) as the linked text will be flagged as a content issue.

Internal versus External Links

You must determine if your link is Internal or External.

Internal links are to other products within the Extension site, for example the Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide.

External links are to outside sites, such as USDA, etc.

Linking to sections of the Extension site (e.g. "the Dairy section") should be avoided, and External links to the Extension site (e.g. using the URL rather than selecting a product) will be flagged as a content issue.

Why we use Internal links

Internal links are used to reference other products within the CMS system. The internal links use a unique internal key rather than a public URL, which prevents broken links if the public URL changes.

Email Addresses

Emails should be active links ( )

Adding a link to the body text

Highlight the word(s) or email that you want to become the link.

In the toolbar above the body text, click on the "Insert/Edit Link" icon that looks like "chain links", which you can click to add a link. Clicking on the broken chain links will eliminate the link.

Chain icon for adding links

When you click on the "Insert/Edit Link" icon, the pop up box will give you three options or tabs:

  • Internal
  • External
  • Email

Select the appropriate tab.

Internal-links

Internal

Once you click on the Chain icon, you will see a popup that looks like the image below, where Internal is highlighted.

Start typing the title of the item you are looking for in the search box and search results will show up below the box.

In the example below, I am looking for the "Tree Fruit Production Guide". As I continue to type the title, the search results narrow to three.

Click the radio button to select the correct item.

Click the "OK" button in the lower right of the screen.

Internal link

External

Once you click on the Chain icon, you will see a popup where Internal is highlighted, click on the External tab so it is highlighted.

In the External Link box, either type or cut/paste the URL of the link.

Click the "OK" button in the lower right of the screen.

External Link

Email

Once you click on the Chain icon, you will see a popup where Internal is highlighted, click on the Email tab so it is highlighted.

Either type or copy/paste the complete email into the email box.

Click the "OK" button in the lower right of the screen.Email link

Addressing Link Content Issues

Once you save your article or news item, it is important to check for Content Errors. This table is found at the bottom of your webpage. The example below shows an internal link that was added as an external link. To Fix, the link must be changed from an external link to an internal link.

Content issues

Additional Examples

Internal Link

Landschoot, Peter. Weed Management in Turf. Penn State Extension. (https://extension.psu.edu/weed-management-in-turf )

*This is a Penn State Extension article. To link to this article within the body text of an article or news item, you would highlight the words "Weed Management in Turf", click on chain icon, then use the "internal" link option and type "weed management in turf" in the search box. Click the radio button next to search result listing that matches.

Online Result: Landschoot, Peter. Weed Management in Turf. Penn State Extension.

Printed Result: Landschoot, Peter. Weed Management in Turf. [https://extension.psu.edu/weed-management-in-turf] Penn State Extension.

External Link

Dunwell, Winston and Robert McNiel. Getting Started in the Nursery/Landscape Industry, University of Kentucky (http://www.ca.uky.edu/hla/dunwell/nlgetstart.html )

*This is a non-Penn State Extension article. To link to this article within the body text of an article or news item, you would highlight the words "Getting Started in the Nursery/Landscape Industry", click the chain icon, then use the "external" link option and copy/paste the url into the first box.

Online Result: Dunwell, Winston and Robert McNiel. Getting Started in the Nursery/Landscape Industry, University of Kentucky

Printed Result: Dunwell, Winston and Robert McNiel. Getting Started in the Nursery/Landscape Industry [http://www.ca.uky.edu/hla/dunwell/nlgetstart.html], University of Kentucky