Web Navigation

With your web browser as your space ship, you can navigate through a universe of information on the Internet. The elements of web navigation are summarized below — there are four directions you can surf, and five basic techniques.

Directions. From any page you can surf in one of four directions:

  • Back. Go back to the previous page — press the Back button, right-click on the window and select “Back”, or press <alt><left arrow>.
  • Forward. Go forward to a new page after going back — press the Forward button, right-click on the window and select “Forward”, or press <alt><right arrow>.
  • Link. Click a link and jump to a new page.
  • Jump. Select a new page from an external source such as your bookmarks.

Techniques. The five basic surfing techniques are described below:

  • Surfing. You don’t have to wait for a page to load to either click a link, press the back button, or select a new link from your bookmarks. You can take action whenever you are ready. Jumping ahead of the browser is recommended if the link you want is already loaded but the rest of the page is lagging behind. When you click on a link as soon as it is available, you speed up and accentuate the feeling of surfing from wave to wave.
  • Chains. After you click on several links and proceed through several pages, you create a chain of web sites accessible with the down-arrow beside your browser’s Back button. You can click on the browser Back button to return to a previous page and read it again, and then repeatedly click Forward to return to the last page without the trouble of finding the links you used last time. If you click a new link from any page, you start a new chain from that point on.
  • Reloading. You can stop and then reload a page at any time if it is having problems loading or to ensure you have the latest copy of a page that updates regularly.

       Explorer: Click the Refresh button, right-click on the window and select “Refresh”, press <ctrl>-r, or press F5.

       Firefox: Click the Reload button, right-click on the window and select “Reload”, press <ctrl>-r, or hold the shift button and click the Reload button.

  • Stopping. You can stop the load of any page at any time by clicking Stop on the toolbar or pressing <Esc>. The browser will display as much of the page as it loaded, and all of the displayed links will be operational.
  • Restarting. If a page seems to be taking a long time to load, don’t hesitate to stop the connection and then select the link again. As long as the messages in the bottom border show that some parts of the page are loading then you should let it continue, but if nothing happens for more than a minute then something is likely stalled, and you should stop and reload the page again. HTTP connections often get dropped on busy web sites, and requesting the page again will often load it quickly on a new connection.