When creating a new website, you need to work out your website's linking structure before you go anywhere near your HTML editor.
Draw a plan of your site on paper, with arrows to show how the sections and pages within them will link together. Links should fan out from the home page, with visitors able to reach any page within three clicks (and return home in one).
Think of a supermarket: You pass the checkout on your way in, you pass it again on your way out and it's always easily accessible from wherever you are in the store. Is your order page this easy to reach? It should be.
Have a navigation bar on every page which leads directly to each of the main sections of your site. Break each section of your site into further subsections, so that pages extend from your home page like the branches of a tree.
When making your internal links, don't use the target="_blank" attribute so that the links open in a new window. Apparently some people think this is a good idea, but for your visitors it's extremely annoying to have a window pop up every time the want to move to a different page.
Ensure all of your hyperlinks are clear to your visitors. It's up to you to decide whether or not you need to stick to the conventional link format (usually underlined blue text indicates an unvisited link and underlined maroon or purple text indicates a visited link).
When making your decision, think about your target audience; not your own personal preference. If a visitor doesn't "get it," and misses links, you're the one who loses out.
Contextual links (hyperlinks within body text) should be clearly defined from the rest of the surrounding text. If you decide not to follow convention in your choice of colors, it's a good idea to use some other means of making your links stand out. Some options include the use of bold text, an underline or even an overline or both.
Tip: If using a tables-based layout, put navigation links and drop-down menus, etc., to the right of the page. If you put them on the left, the code will appear at the top of your HTML file.
Search engines place a lot of emphasis on the information they find at the top of a page, so why start at a disadvantage? Have your keyword-rich content there, not links.
If navigation must be on the left, clever use of the 'rowspan' command can order your code, but ensuring consistent alignment of the tables in different browsers is tricky.