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What are your takes on that? do you have any other ways to deal with linking to other sites?
Thank you in advance for your two cents.
I'd spend more time working on pulling in more new visitors rather than trying to trap the current ones. In the long run, it will pay off.
I used to force all of my links to other sites to open in a new window. Now I let them be. Can't say I've heard any difference in feedback from visitors, however. But I'd like to think it's better this way.
If this was used universally it would make the web a real pain to use - there would be windows open everywhere. I can see how it has a use where there is a list of items to which a user may be expected to return and where a user is likely to click a series of links rather than just one, but it more often abused than used well.
Framing someone else's page for the sole or principle purpose of keeping people on your site is plain wrong IMHO. Not to mention incredibly annoying for the user.
Fact: users will leave your site. All of them.
If you want to keep them as long as possible give them a good reason to stay rather than trying to trap them.
If you want them to come back do nothing to annoy them.
Personally, I give straight html links, in the same window, never a new one.
My site is right there, one click of the back button, neat and clean,
and nobody is getting pi**ed at me. -Larry
For those who say a new window should always be the choice of the visitor, how about a relevant analogy? Most (all?) browsers allow users to set up user stylesheets which will be applied to all webpages. So, what makes us think we can dictate how our site looks? Shouldn't that be up to the user? Therefore, perhaps we all ought to design our sites in plain linear format, and allow visitors to lay them out and style them in other ways with their browser stylesheets. Surely it's not up to us designers to force visitors to view our sites a certain way, is it?
And the obvious answer is, we can't force people to view our sites in a certain way. No matter how carefully we design our pages, no matter what styling techniques we use, users will still be able to change how our sites look, either with user stylesheets or one of the many other methods available such as Greasemonkey or Norton IS.
In other words, if someone wants to view your site a different way, they can. And, likewise, if someone doesn't want links to open in a new browser window, there are steps they can take to prevent that, too.
The balance, as always, is to design your site with your users in mind. If you think they'll appreciate a new window, by all means, use target="_blank" (or one of the other methods) to open the link in a new window. Lots of visitors will appreciate it, some won't think anything about it one way or another, and a few won't like it at all. Those last folks are the ones who will know how to stop it from happening anyway. I haven't seen a link open in a new browser window for years.