Natural linking

I used to have a check-box option on this site that lets you choose to have web links open into a new window or not. Frankly, it was redundant and taking up space.

Here's how all the links on this site work: you click a link and your browser navigates to it. It doesn't pop up a new window or leave a frame on-screen flashing a "click here to return to bradchoate.com" banner or anything like that.

It really annoys me when web sites go to extremes to try and keep a visitor tuned in, making external links open up new windows and so forth. I wish they would get over themselves! I prefer to trust the visitor. If they leave and don't come back, that's their decision. If they aren't finished reading my site, they'll navigate back or open a new window for the link on their own. If I popup windows for links, I risk causing both confusion (since some people have enough trouble operating one window, much less two) and frustration (because I know I get frustrated when more windows popup without my say-so). Besides, popping up a new window doesn't guarantee my reader will continue reading my web site-- they can just as easily close the window for it.

You are the visitor here, so--- if you DO want to open your links in a new window, here's how: for Internet Explorer, hold down the Shift key when you click on a link. For Netscape/Mozilla, hold the Ctrl key down when you click on a link. This works on all web sites (unless they're using Javascripted links, in which case all bets are off). If you're having trouble pressing keys and clicking the mouse at the same time, right-click on the link and choose "Open in a New Window". There. That wasn't so hard, now was it?

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This article was published on January 8, 2002 2:31 PM.

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