Do you make external links clear?
  v7.0 Posted at 21/02/2018 8:06 AM by Tiago Araujo

When creating links,​​ you should follow a few basic rules: ​

  1. If your link is an internal link, then it should navigate within the same window. If the link is external, it should open in a new tab and be visually clear to the user that it will lead them away from the current site, that way it is not a surprise.
  2. If a link is to an external site, a visual indication should be provided to the user like this: This is a link to another site.

    Search Engines (http://www.google.com is by far the best but try other search engines as well)

    Figure: Bad example - Without visual indication

    Search Engines (http://www.google.com is by far the best but try other search engines as well

    Figure: Good example - With visual indication
  3. External link external indicators should be inserted by CSS as following:

    a[href*="//"]:not([href*="mysite.com"]):after {
        content: url(https://www.ssw.com.au/ssw/images/external.gif);
        padding-left: 4px;

    Figure: Good example - Icon is added by CSS via a simple declaration

We have a program called SSW Code Auditor to check for this rule.

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