I wrote this page to discuss that particular practice.
There is absolutely no reason to do this.
Well, that is a bit of an overstatement. There are several reasons a ringmaster might list. These include:
The problem, of course, is that I happen to disagree with all of them.
It Is the Only Way I Know
Wrong. Specifying target="_blank" as part of a standard HTML link will open a new browser window. Of course it will also provide the surfer with access to all the standard browser controls. But why is that a problem?
I Want to Deny Control to the Surfer
I've had designers tell me that they didn't want the surfer to be able to control the window.
Why not? I mean, this is the internet.
And I've had designers tell me that they didn't want to reveal the URL of the page because they didn't want anyone to link directly to the page.
Again why not?
Discouraging other sites from linking directly to your pages of interest just discourages other sites from linking to your site at all.
encourage visitors to link to any page they want. Then design your site so that no matter what page a person visits, that person is encouraged to visit the rest of your site and given the navigation tools to make that possible.
We've Always Done It That Way
Do I really need to comment on this one?
I've Got a Brand New Silver Hammer and everything Looks Like a Nail
My investigation shows that this may be the most pervasive reason.
But doing it because you can is not a good reason.
Unless there is a very good reason not to use a standard link, you should.
This page created: