Saturday, July 30, 2005

Question - new window or not?

Just a quick question (perhaps it should be put in a poll) do you, when surfing the web, like links to open automatically in a new window or not?

On your website do you put target="_blank" against each a href or not?

19 comments:

Ana said...

I alwaus do Andrew. I hate having to go back.

McAuliflower said...

food blog s'cool slacker chiming in...

I always do target="blank" for links that take people away from my site.

If the link goes to just another part of my site, I don't target blank it.

I see it as marketing and traffic managing... I don't want to send people away from my blog. Plus with a target="new", one can still open the link in a new tab.

Sam said...

It's funny - I was thinking about this the other day.

As a user I ABSOLUTELY HATE it when I click on a link and it opens a new window. This is because I use tabs and with tabs I don't need any more windows. I just add more and more tabs when I am doing research. Like right now I have 10 tabs.

From my point of view - If your link opens a new website, don't expect it to last very long on my desktop.

As a footnote: Before I discovered tabs I actually liked the open new window method, but tabs make it redundant and annoying as far as I am concerned.

+ me - I like to send my traffic to other people. It's all a sharing and hippy-dippy love fest :)

Andrew said...

With the soon to be released IE7 and tabs I think I will drop the open in new window part of my links.

mcauliflower - does "new" actually work inopening a new tab I thought the only way to do this was clicking a link with the middle mouse button?

Andrew said...

I have just done a little investigation and apparently target="_blank" is no longer complient HTML.

And "_new" was never officially recognised. It works - I have just tried it in Firefox - but it opens a new window not a new tab.

Tana said...

The newest Dreamweaver uses "_blank" tags for new windows.

I have used new windows forever, because I don't think the rest of the world is as smart as Sam, knowing how to open windows in new tabs.

Rachael said...

as a sucker with a mac, having pages open in a new window really works for me. there are so many little quirks to a mac, its nice to be able to open in a new page.

Kevin said...

I _hate_ anything happening on my computer that I didn't direct -- and this goes for "new" windows. If I want a new window I'll open one.

New widows are irritating on my desktop machines, but on my laptop (where I do most of my blog-reading and general surfing) with its small screen new windows drive me apeshit.

Andrew said...

So it seems alienate a portion of your readership that hates them or risk losing visitors who do not use or are unable to use tabs.... ummm, what is a man to do?

Sam said...

Have confidence in yourself and your site.
New window or not, if you had something smart, interesting or funny to say, or something pretty to look at, I would go back to find you anyway.

The best thing about the web is spread of information, and that is what linking does best. Don't be afraid to link at risk of losing audience. You win some, you lose some, so what? You don't want to imprison them on your site

You'll only lose audience if they find something better which is incentive to be brilliant at what you do.

McAuliflower said...

Interesting discussion.

Yeah- you can open links with the target="new" in a new tab (if your Mozilla browser is set up to support this).

I understand the annoyance of an action taking place that you- as the user -didn't specify.

Regarding html compliant... my resident guru helped round this out for me: it used to be supported, but with the newer standards of html, target=blank and new are no longer supported (...as these describe actions and don't really reflect or describe content...).

thanks for the new perpective!

Jennifer said...

Interesting...I'm very new to all of this and use the targe=_blank in my links. When I open links, I always "Open link in new window" because that seems easier to me to just close the new windown when I am done and I am back to where I started.
I never realized that this could annoy some people so...

Culinary Fool said...

I generally use "target=NewWindow" which does open a new window but that's what I prefer when I'm surfing, especially if whatever I'm reading is just pointing to an explanation or additional information - I like to see the original post sometimes.

I had no idea so many people loathe it! As mcauliflower said I generally use NewWindow when going off site but don't when directing to another part of my site.

Personally, I really hate when I've been surfing from one site to another and then accidently close a window and lose my whole trail. Yes, you can go to your history and try to figure out where you've been but since I use my machine for both work and personal use there can sometimes be way too many sites to try to figure it out. I've lost places that I'd really like to go back to that way.

But now it looks like I'll have to think about this ...

~ B

sarah said...

i am so lame - what is a tab?

also, so if we can't use target="_blank" or "target=new" what is actually the geekspeak we are supposed to use?

and just my worthless 2 cents - i like to click around,within a site, but a hyperlink to another site, i like to a new window. das jus me ;)

paul said...

Tabs, built into some browsers, allow you to keep several windows open without actually keeping them all open as windows, they appear as tabs, like file folder tabs, neatly layered.

target="_blank" may not be compliant, but keep in mind how many other tags are degraded or dropped (just about everything Dreamweaver does) but will be in use, and supported, for quite a while.

As a user I don't mind having a new window open, and open them myself (ctrl-click on a mac) when I need to hold my place. I loathe javascript window open actions which open and automatically resize.

As a linker, there are some situations I use target, but usually don't, and certainly never because I'm afraid of sending people away.

Sam's right, don't be scared of linking or sending people away. If you sent them somewhere good, they'll come back for more good stuff at some point.

Owen said...

It doesn't really matter to me - I have taught my fingers' muscle memory to right click and open in a new window on everything - so I get a new window whatever you have set. Obviously I like it that way!

Putting on my professional web hat, the answer is that it depends on circumstance. Basically you do not open a new window unless the user experience dictates that to do so would be better (IE - main site with large selection of documents - if users are likely to want to go to more than one of the subsidiary docs then you open a new window so that they can still see their 'menu' of document chioices.

OK - large website editorial flow lecture over

lindy said...

I do like a new window to appear myself. However, the fact that this occurs in my blog is not due to any choice I made. In fact, I am so ill-informed that I did not know about the target="blank" possibility 'til now.

Elvira said...

I hate having to go back to. I explained it, with the way to put the target blank, in Nos Blogs Cuisinés (Food Blog S'Cool french version) and some people almost have insulted me! I don't really understand why...

steve said...

yeah, interesting discussion. i didn't realise that people had such strong feelings. personally, i don't like websites that don't launch a new window or tab. on the basis that most people still use ie, i launch a new window when linking away and don't when staying within my blog.