A method for preserving the existence of a control during the lifetime of its container application is provided. A naming control is specified in an HTML document prior to specifying the target control. The naming control receives as a parameter a control identifier, which is passed to the class factory of the target control prior to creation of the target control. The class factory maintains a control list, with an entry for each control identifier corresponding to a currently active control. When a Web page is exited, the control is not deleted. Upon returning to the Web page and prior to creating a new control, the control list is checked to determine whether a control with a desired identifier is currently active. If so, a pointer to the corresponding control is returned, rather than create a new control. In this manner, a connection between a control and a host computer over a network can be maintained, without the necessity to destroy the connection and create a new connection each time the corresponding Web page is exited and revisited.