This post is part of our 31 Days of a More Reader Friendly Blog series. See all the posts here.
When you use hyperlinks within the content of your blog, the question comes up – should links open in a new window or not?
I’ve decided everyone has a different opinion on this topic because everyone uses their computers differently. One person just clicks links without thinking (that’s me) while another person decides before she clicks if she needs a new window or not (using “command + click” to force the link to open in a new tab).
So really? There’s not a right answer to this question. There is only preferences, preferences of your readers. You need to decide what kind of readers you have and work with their preferences.
Should Links Open in New Window, or Not?
Below is the rule of thumb we follow across our network (we’re controlling so we choose for our readers 😉 ).
If the reader will need the original post again, then our hyperlink opens in a new window. For example, for our sneeze pages or series round up posts, we have the hyperlinks open in a new window. We assume the reader will finish reading one post and want to read another post from the list. So we make it easy by keeping the window open.
If we’re sending a reader away from our blog, then our hyperlink opens in a new window. For example, when we use affiliate links or when we link to other bloggers, we have the hyperlinks open in a new window. We are sending people away from our blog, but we want to have the window open for our blog in case they want to come back.
If we’re simply sending a reader deeper into our blog, then we don’t make them open a new window. For example, for regular posts (like this one), any hyperlinks you see will open in the same window. We’ll let you choose whether you want a new tab open or not.
To some, this will be annoying – us choosing for them. But this seems to consistently work for us across our networks.