In this article, we’re going to take a look at both the pros and cons of using either approach on your website.
PROSIt will make sure users can easily get back to your website from external links since your website will still be there in the background. Some less savvy users may benefit from this approach, since it more clearly demonstrates that you are leaving one website for another one.
If users are engaging in a process like filling out a form or making a purchase, or interacting with media such as video or audio, opening links in a new window will keep them from being interrupted.
It’s useful for informational links that users might want open in addition to your website, such as instructions for a process on your website.
CONSOpening links in a new window is often considered a bad usability practice, since it changes the expected behavior of a link and takes control away from the user. Many users are familiar enough with how to browse the internet that they can decide how they want to open a link, whether in the same window, a new window, or a new tab.
New windows can cause confusion while browsing a website. If a link opens in a new window, this disables the functionality of the browser’s back button, and the new window has to be manually closed to return to the previous page.
On mobile devices, managing multiple windows can be a more difficult task than when viewing a website on desktop.