How to style an HTML link like a button?

I have some HTML links and I want to display them as buttons. I spent a few hours appying CSS styles, but never got something that appears identical to a button.

So this is what I’m doing now. It is obvious to read, and seems to work.

The W3 validator approved it in HTML 4 strict. So, all signs suggest that this is the way to go, but I don’t follow the semantic web conversation very closely.

So, for those of you that do pay attention to all that stuff, what’s bad about this approach?

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My name is Matt Wilson and I live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I love random emails from strangers, so get in touch!

  • Aaron Oliver

    Is your button inside a form? Reading the spec (….) implies button elements are a flavor of input. So from that perspective, I'm not sure it's clear what linking a form input means.

    I HAVE seen examples of people making a “mini-form” containing a single button input, and the form's “action” attribute is the desired URL to link to. I guess this is kind of abusing the meaning of “form”, but may end up being a little more reliable.

  • Matt Wilson

    Nope, the button is not inside a form. I suppose I could replace the
    a tag with a form that uses the “get” method. Clunky.


  • Aaron Oliver

    Yep. I agree there's probably no perfect way to do it. Are you SURE there's no styling out there that you can slap on?

  • Matt Wilson

    No, I'm not sure that I can't style a link to appear like a button.
    I'm pretty confident that eventually I could figure it out. But I
    burned as much time as I am willing to spend, so I'm using a
    workaround and keeping a low-priority ticket to remind me later.


  • Helder Magalhães

    > what’s bad about this approach?

    Nothing is particularly bad and (at least for me also) I'd expect it to work flawlessly: nevertheless, Internet Explorer (6 to 8) doesn't follow the link, although it seems to trigger link events (such as an “onclick” handler). 😐

    Firefox and other browsers seem to work as expected, but Internet Explorer can't easily be ignored (at least, not yet). 😉

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  • Seo India

    Simple, It's a piece of code only. 🙂