Status Bar Messages

When you roll your mouse over a hyperlink, you generally see the link path (i.e.. appear in your windows status bar. This gives you an idea beforehand where that link will take you. Try it now. Roll your mouse over this link and watch your status bar.

Hiding link paths is not something we would advise as a global way to design your web site. You want your visitors to easily travel through your site and know where they are going before they click. Having mystery corridors will only discourage and frustrate your visitors, and they will likely leave. Everything on the web is NOW. No one has time to play the "where-am-I-going-now game". If you are selling a product or service, you always want to make your web site simple and comfortable to navigate. As painful as it may be for some designers to read it, site visitors are also not impressed that the designer knows how to use the status bar message trick. There is a time and place for everything and using these type elements only when needed is a must for effective web design.

However, on occasion it may be necessary to hide your link paths to keep someone from stealing, direct linking or accessing an area where you don't want them to go. Here is a quick way to do this using JavaScript. Keep in mind that some folks who surf the web have JavaScript turned off on their computer systems. If so, then the code below will not function as intended.

Within the hyperlink tag add the code shown in red below. Change "Link Message" to whatever you want it to be or a description of the link. Now roll your mouse over this link and watch your status bar.

<a href="" onmouseover="window.status='Link Message'; return true">Your Link</a>

Here is what our link looks like within the source code:

<a href="" onmouseover="window.status='About our Web Templates and Membership Service'; return true"> Now roll your mouse over this link and watch your status bar.</a>

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