Monday, April 14, 2008

Blogging - New Window or Back Button?

It looks like I'm starting to garner some readers here at Firesign Farm, and I like looking back at the blogs from people that comment or refer others here. There are a lot of really great efforts out there in what I think of as the conscientious consumer lifestyle. But I hate it when I find an interesting site with a link to something else interesting, and when I follow it I lose the original site. So I thought I'd tell everyone how to make a link (or a picture) on your site open up in a new window. Eventually, your reader can close everything else and be back to your site, which is what they really wanted to see in the first place.

I use Blogger, but I'm assuming most other blogging software sites have a similar set-up. When making your post, you can use either a "compose" wysiwyg (whizz-ee-wig: it means What You See Is What You Get) area, or see (and do) the same thing in an "edit Html" area, depending on which tab you choose. To make your link or photo open in a new window, we're just going to add a little bit of typing on the "Html" side.

After you've gotten your link or photo inserted, choose the Html tab. Find what you just added, including the website .com or photo .jpg with lots more stuff inside pointy little brackets. Put your cursor right after the .com or .jpg then type a space and then the following: target="_blank" just like that, all together, no spaces, using the quotes, equals and underscore keys. Then you can go back to finishing your post, and when you publish it, people won't be led away from your site if they want a closer look at a photo or want to see what you're referencing.

Added later: Maybe I'm in the minority here. After posting, I've been doing a bit of researching about this, and seeing where lots of people don't like having a post open in a new window automatically - preferring instead to right-click do-it-themselves. Should I stop having links open in new windows (high-jacking someone else's browser is the way a few people put it), and just let people use the "back" button? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I guess I really don't know. (But, I was wondering how you got everything to open up in new windows or tabs. Thanks for the info!) As long as things open in new tabs, I don't mind them popping up because tabs are easy to navigate. I really don't like having a million windows to sort through though.

I think I might also try it for specific links, but probably not for pictures - since it is hard to end up two or three sites away with pictures.


Megan said...

When I blog, I open any outgoing links in a new window, because that's how I prefer to browse.

Many people don't like it, so it's a tough call to decide which way to go.

I've gotten in the habit when I'm browsing to just Open Link in New Tab anyways, so maybe it IS better just to set them to open in the same window to avoid popups.

Loris: in Firefox, you can go to Tools>Options>Tabs and choose whether new pages are opened in a new window or new tab so they'll consistently open in tabs for you!