If your site opens links in new windows – I will not be hiring your agency

There are many, many reasons why I absolutely detest links that open in new windows.  On an individual site they are bad enough – but when they are on an agencies site they are intolerable, and will cause me to on the spot stop considering you for any web design work I am in charge of.  And I reckon I have been in control of approx £2.5 million worth of website work over my time…

Reasons I have heard over the years to use links in new windows are:

  • But I must control the way my visitors view my content! – they might leave my site!
    This displays an absolute failure to understand the most basic nature of the web that is just stunning: the visitor to your site is the one in control, not you.  If you go out of your way to annoy them by trying to take control, then they will not stay on your site.  And this is the entire point of links on the web: if people click on them then they expect to go to that link!
  • But my content is so important is must stay on the screen!
    No it isn’t! – and even if it was: don’t you think the best way to get people to come back to it would be by leaving the “back” button alone? – opening links in new windows kills the back button – and this is the single most often used button on the entire internet! – every user knows how to use it and knows that gets them out of trouble and back to a page they want; by killing it you are making it even more obvious that you do not understand permission marketing.

Links in new windows are proof that the person responsibile is an offline marketer: used to having to shout to get peoples attention and failing to realise that on the web you already have their attention, so shut the hell up, and give them what they need to complete their task.

Online, digital and social media marketing expert in Birmingham

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