You spent time writing a post that will interest your readers and even included links to related material. You have lots of pretty widgets with even more links to ads, other blogs and visitor profiles. Your page screams ‘click here‘. Well, when visitors click for more information, they may get lost and not find their way back, i.e. just vanish into the blogosphere. Why? Because most links open in the same window, wiping out your page. Visitors then get caught up in more clicks down the line and never press that back button or look at the browser history to start over! (not that your post was not worth the try!)
What can you and your visitors do about it?
For the Visitor and General Surfer: There are a couple of ways to open a new window or – tab to mark you place in the original blog before you click a link! First in you prefer tabs within the same browser window you need to specify that in your settings. Then your computer knows how you want it to respond if the blogger specifies ‘open in new window.’
- If your mouse has a wheel, you can click the link with the wheel.
- Use the right click on the mouse and then select one of the options for ‘‘open link in a new window/tab.”
- Learn to use the keyboard combination of CTRL + left click of the mouse. For example when exploring visitor profiles or opening several links on a google search results page — no need to keep going back to the source page. Just hold the CTRL key and click the mouse on the link.This is faster than the right mouse click above, but requires both hands (for most people).
For the Blogger (others read at your own risk): If you learn nothing else of html source coding editing, write down the following and memorize it!
You need to place that phrase after the html code that specifies the url of the link, to tell your computer to open a new window or browser tab — . e.g. to open Google in a new window code href=”www.google.com” target=”_blank”. You need to do this for every link to another site and even modify widget source code wherever possible!This sounds like a pain and it is, but it’s your choice! It’s easier for visitors to find your open window than to remember how they got to that most interesting link you gave them!
You can also add a reminder above or below the links, as I did for the recent visitors widgets, i.e. “(right click to open links)”
Pros and Cons: A quote from ProBlogger – “I’d rather keep people engaged with content that they just can’t live without coming back to. If they do leave the site and want to come back they’ll use the back button.” He feels visitors would be annoyed that you automatically create a new window. One person commented on his post as follows – “I prefer to force the opening of the EXTERNAL links in a new window, because I believe the external link is a reference for your post.” Another said “Many of my readers are still new to the web and tend to get confused about what site they’re on. Forcing a new window helps them make the distinction.”