When one of my old answers receives an upvote or a downvote, I go back and reread the posted answer—mainly because the elapsed time enables me to approach the post as an editor rather than as its author, and I can see errors in it that escaped my attention earlier.

Today I reviewed my answer to What is the origin of the phrase "A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On"? and was surprised to discover that, of the seven links cited in the answer, five (the first three and the last two) appear underlined and in maroon type but two (the fourth and fifth overall) appear underlined and in black type. It took me a moment to realize that the black links were in fact links (as opposed to underscored regular text).

Does anyone else see this inconsistent treatment of the links? If so, why is it happening? Is it a bug or a feature of the new site design?


1 Answer 1


This is a feature. Whenever you visit a link, your browser remembers it. Then, if a website is programmed a specific way, a link you visited will be a different color than a link you didn't visit. (See here for more explanation.)

You can see this here by clicking on only one of these links:

If you clear your browser history the links will all be the same color again.

The links on ELU have always changed color when you visited them, but before it was a less noticeable pink/red color:

  • You got here before me, drats!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:54
  • 1
    I'm not sure it's a useful feature, I think links should still look like links regardless pf they are visited or not. A visted link should be violet, or a darker red (just like it used to…sigh)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:57
  • Thanks for the answer, Laurel. I guess my followup question is this: should the color of visited links be sufficiently different from the (black) color of nonlink text to make clear that the visited links are links? On Meta, the change in color is obvious—and obviously not black. But the color of the visited links on the main site are virtually indistinguishable (to me) from the color of the surrounding black nonlink text.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:08
  • @SvenYargs Yeah, I think it should be changed, but for right now you can use the underline to tell what's a link and what's not. We can suggest that the link color be changed here since it's one of the specific things that we were told could be changed on request.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:15
  • I'll do that, Laurel—thanks!
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:15
  • Except don't actually suggest it there, @SvenYargs; you have to make a new question about color changes, and suggest it in an answer on your new question (I got confused by that the first time around; see my answer and comments on the linked question).
    – 1006a
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:20
  • @1006a: Thank you for your good advice. I've posted my request question as a new Meta question, following your excellent model, but I'm inclined to stop there. There are only so many hoops I'm willing to jump through of a sunny day.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:29

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