In a recent comment, Liza Shaw asked if I could make the links at QBT open in a new window. Should links open in a new window?
My Linking Policy
For the purpose of this post, “open in a new window” can also mean “open in a new tab”. This simply means I don’t have to keep saying “open in a new window, or tab, depending on your browser settings”.
I prefer links that don’t open in a new window. If you want to open a link in a new window, you can CTRL+click the link to achieve this.
If you force a link to open in a new window, then if someone wants to open that link in the same window, there’s no way to do that.
Forcing links to open in a new window might be helpful if you’re partway through a post. However, as I wrote in my recent post about blog design and readability, it’s good to put the links at the end of a post rather than scattering them throughout the content. If you do this, there is very little need to force the links into a new window.
Quotes from the Web
There are a lot of opinions on this topic. I’ve collected a few of the comments below.
Whilst new windows might scrape a few extra page views out of half-interested users, the annoyance it poses will hurt your potential for building the good relationships that you really want.
from Pro Blog Design
In short, forcing the visitor to open another tab or window is disruptive. Your audience has the tools they need to open a new window if they wish to, and those confused by window management will also be confused by an imposed new window / tab.
Users leaving to go to booking screens or other websites in fact lose the Back Button and History in their browser making it less likely they will come back to the original website and more likely they end up back at their favourite search engine.
Of course, there are exceptions: in some situations it is right to open links in new windows and wrong to open links in the same windows. Jakob Nielsen suggests to use new windows in case the linked document is not a .html-document. In this case he recommends to use a pop-up-windows without browser control toolbar. In such case it is reasonable to let the user know upfront how the links will be opened.
from Smashing Magazine
I think the last quote is good as it shows that sometimes, there may be a reason to open links in a new window. I also think it’s generally a good idea for ads to open in a new window.
But on my blog, I prefer links that don’t open in a new window.
What do you do on your blog? How do you prefer other sites to handle this?