Ask a Blogger: Open a Link in a New Window

You’ve been writing good content and have started to build an audience.  Now you need to make sure they keep reading your posts and see that you’re site is a valuable resource.  In having good content, it is important to provide your readers with quality links while allowing them to easily navigate back to your site.  Personally, there is nothing worse than clicking a link on a website and being directed to a new page.  I might have to hit the back button several times to find the original site or I end up losing the site completely.  Having links open in a new window is beneficial to the author and audience alike.  So, how do you do it?

We already talked about opening a link in a new window when “deep linking” text within a post.  Amee put together a great video to walk you through those simple steps.  But some of you may wonder what the code looks like that is forcing that link to open in a new window.  This knowledge  is particularly important if you’re adding buttons or ads to your sidebar.  You don’t want the reader to be directed away from your page when they print a coupon or checkout a sample offer. 

Example:

I have Madame Deals button on my sidebar.  I want to encourage readers to visit the site, but I don’t want them to forget about me in the process.  This is what the button code for Madame Deals looks like:

<center><a href=”http://madamedeals.com/” ><img border=”0″ src=”http://madamedeals.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/button.png”/ width=”125″></a></center>

The problem? The way this code is set up, Madame Deals page will load right over mine.  As people click through Amee’s great content, it will be difficult to come back to The Coupon Challenge.  However, adding this small snippet of code changes everything: target=”_blank”

<center><a href=”http://madamedeals.com/ target=”_blank” ><img border=”0″ src=”http://madamedeals.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/button.png”/ width=”125″></a></center>

Now Madame Deals will open in a new window and The Coupon Challenge will remain in the background.  Readers can easily learn what Madame Deals has to offer then return to The Coupon Challenge with one click of the mouse. 

Learning basic HTML can take you a long way in blogging by retaining readers and saving money. 

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