Blogging Don’ts: Open New Window
Now we come to item number four on my list of ‘what annoys me about your website’.
Again, these are only my thoughts and opinions based on my twenty years of web design. I’m not fragile 🙂 your thoughts and opinions are welcome even if they oppose mine and especially if they are well thought out and not just abusive.
Number four: Links that don’t open in new windows, (especially external links)
This is not a hard and fast rule and there are many sites, including massively popular sites, that don’t utilise this simple idea.
Imagine you are selling computer peripherals and on your website you proudly list multiple items that your business sells with links back to the manufacturer so that prospective buyers can get fact sheets, or other such data. Sounds like a great idea!
That is until you find out that your manufacturer not only shows facts sheets but they have a comprehensive list of “preferred suppliers” listed on the site and your website is not one of them.
If your website doesn’t utilise the simple “open in new window” option your viewers click away from your site and potentially never come back, especially when they see the list of preferred suppliers on the only site that is open.
While you may not be selling a product on your blog the principal is still the same. You want viewers to read your content. You want viewers to stay on your site as long as possible. So if you link to another blog why give that blog full access to your viewers?
Even without looking for actual data it’s not hard to believe that few viewers will return to a site that they came from if the site if the new site has the information they are seeking. With the option being so easy to implement why wouldn’t you have the viewers browser leave your site open in one window/tab and open the linked site in another?