External cross-references directly link to external resources like websites or documents hosted on servers external to your content library.
Consider using external cross-references in the following scenarios:
- When you don't want to duplicate information from a website in your documentation.
- When you want to link a document or a file hosted on a server external to the content library.
Depending on the link targets, external cross-references may require a considerable level of maintenance. Keep the following guidelines in mind when using external cross-references:
- Link only to reliable external resources.
- To reduce maintenance, if possible, insert a link to the home page of a website (for example, https://dita-ot.org) rather than a deep link (for example, https://www.dita-ot.org/dev/topics/pdf-customization-example.html).
- If possible, link to external resources by using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) rather than the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
Keep these guidelines in mind when using external cross-references:
- If you insert a link to an external resource, consider entering custom link text.
- Do not enter custom link text if you plan to print hard copies of the document.