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how to set your wordpress website to open links in new tab

How to Set WordPress Site to Open Link in New Tab?

When you are browsing a website, there will be links embedded in the article for reference. Then, you will probably want to access that link immediately while you do not want to leave the current page which you are on. It means that you must open that link in a new tab. In this case, you usually do either of the following:

  1. Copy the link and open a new tab, paste the link there, and access it.
  2. Right-click on the link and select "Open link in new tab".

The second way may sound simpler and faster. In fact, it still requires a few steps. Having to do so many things will probably make you hesitate to do it. For other users, they are just like you; it will also be embarrassing to have to manipulate too much. This will reduce the interaction rate on the website. As it turned out, the link insertion in posts is meaningless.

If you want to avoid that drawback, there is an easy way to configure your website so that links are automatically opened in a new tab. Users just need to click on the link to open it in a new tab, while the current page is still open in the browser for continued reading.

In this article, I’m going to give you three ways to configure your WordPress site so that the links can be opened in a new tab. All of them are simple but serve three different purposes, so please consider.

Method 1: Adjust the Setting of a Specific Link on a Page or Post

Go to the edit page of posts or pages, then find the words where the link is inserted. Click on that keyword to display the link and the symbols as the below image.

Adjust the setting of a specific link on a page or post to open that link in the new tab

Click the pencil icon to edit the link. Next, click on the gear symbol (as the below image).

How to Set WordPress Site to Open Links in New Tab?

Click on the gear symbol

A popup will appear for you to set up the link. Tick the Open link in a new tab box. Otherwise, leave this box blank will cause the link to open in the current tab.

Tick the Open link in a new tab box

A popup will appear

Finally, press the Update button to save the settings for the link and remember to save the post/page. After that, your link will automatically open to the new tab when someone clicks it.

Thereby, you will select one by one link to customize, and these links must be on a page or post. This is a pretty manual. If you want to adjust a large number of links, you should choose another way.

Method 2: Set a Specific Link in a Menu to be opened in new tab

To change the settings for links in the available menus, go to Appearance > Menus in the Admin Dashboard.

Click on the Screen Options button in the upper right corner, then check the Link target box.

Set a specific link in a menu

Now, select the wanted menu in the Select a menu to edit box > press Select to choose that menu.

The list of items in the selected menu will appear at the below area. Click on the item you want to change its link settings.

Set a specific link in a menu to open link in the new tab

The list of items in the selected menu

The settings panel for each item will appear as below image. Tick the Open link in a new tab box, and click the Save Menu button afterward.

Tick the Open link in a new tab box

The settings panel for each item

If you want to have similar settings for other items in the same menu, or even in other menus, you can take the same actions.

Method 3: Set all the Links on the Website

To do this, you must install a supporting plugin on your website. In WordPress, there are many plugins can help you do this. However, after trying someones, I decided to choose External Links - nofollow, noopener & new window because of its ease and quickness.

Now I will show you how to manipulate this plugin.

Step 1: Install and activate the plugin

External Links - nofollow, noopener & new window is a free plugin. So, you can find and install it directly from the admin dashboard like the other free plugins.

In the admin dashboard, go to Plugins > Add new. Type the plugin’s name in the search box, then click the Install and Activate button.

use plugin Extenal links to set links open in new tab

Step 2: Customize the Plugin

After installing the plugin, another menu named External Links will appear in your admin dashboard. Click here to customize the plugin you have just installed.

In the settings of the plugin, you will see many different sub-tabs such as External Links, Internal Links, Excluded Links. Each of these tabs is an area for you to set up the corresponding link types.

If you want all external links (links to other websites) on your website to be opened in a new tab, do as follows:

In the External Links tab, check the Apply these settings box to allow the settings in this section to take effect.

Customize the plugin

Next, choose an appropriate option in the Open external links section as you wish. To open the link in a new tab, you should select each in a separate new window or tab or all in the same new window or tab (NOT recommended). In my opinion, choosing the option each in a separate new window or tab will be more suitable and convenient for both you and the audience.

If you want the internal links (the links to your website) to be opened in a new tab as well, do the same things in the Internal Links tab.

Note: to open a link in a new window, what the plugin does is insert an attribute (target="_blank") in the link code. It would be normal to think that the attribute's name was "new," but it is not. This article explains very well the difference between the two.

Step 3: Create Exceptions (if any)

On the Exceptions tab of this plugin, you can choose to apply the customizations in step 2 to the entire website, in the post or comments only, or exclude some specific cases.

Create exceptions

Exceptions tab of this plugin

If you want to apply the settings in step 2 to the whole page, just check All contents (the whole page) box.

If you want to apply these settings to links in posts only, check the Post content box and uncheck all the other boxes.

You can even choose not to apply the configuration to a particular post/page by filling their IDs into the Skip pages or post box.

If you don’t want to apply these settings to the links which are linking to a certain website, just input the domain of that website into the Include external links by URL box.

Step 4: Save the Settings

Finally, after configuring all the sections, remember to click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

Now, all the links you have adjusted can be opened in a new tab. Otherwise, if you create any exceptions, the excluded links will still be opened in the same tab of the page you are surfing.

To Wrap Things Up

As you can see, it is very easy to set the links on a WordPress website automatically opened in new tabs when someone clicks it. Especially with the support of a WordPress plugin, the settings for a bunch of links will be more straightforward and time-saving.

However, you do not have to use a WordPress plugin all the time. It totally depends on your needs, so choose the best way to achieve your goals. Thanks for reading and wish you success!

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