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Opening links in new tabs/windows

We have been asked by some of our customers about adding links to their sites that open in a new tab/window. We've outlined below the reasons behind the decision to keep this functionality out of PagePlay.

1. Unexpected new browser tabs or windows

Unexpected surprises can be fun, but not when you’re browsing the Web.

By default, links open in the current window/tab. Unless you tell them otherwise, your visitors are going to expect links to open in the current window/tab.

2. Removes useful navigation functionality

The act of opening a new browser tab resets the back button for that tab. The back button is the second most used navigation function after links.

3. Unfriendly for novice internet users

Opening a new browser window can disorient novice internet browsers and the visually impaired. They might not realise that a new window has opened and might struggle to switch between windows.

4. Etiquette

Opening a new browser window disrespects the desires of your users. If they want a new window, they’ll ask for one. Don’t force a new window upon users unless there’s a very good reason to do so.

5. Clutter

Creating new tabs can make an already cluttered tab bar even harder to navigate through. We've all spend time searching through an ever expanding row of tabs in hunt of the one we're after, why make this process even more difficult by adding more tabs?


But won't opening links in new tabs/windows keep visitors on my site?

In short, no it won't. Vistors stay on websites because they are interested in the information that is on the site - not because the tab / window is still open.

If visitors want to return to your site, they'll use the back button. By opening a link in a new window, this navigation functionality is removed and they will find it difficult to return. Cue frustrated vistors.