Remove target="_blank" checkbox in Advanced Link Modal
|Reported by:||mrwweb||Owned by:|
|Focuses:||ui, accessibility, administration||Cc:|
I'd like to propose that the streamlining and usability improvements to the Link Modal started in #33301 be continued by removing or modifying the "Open Link in New Tab/Window" checkbox for inserting target="_blank" in the editor.
target="_blank" Should Rarely be Used
There are very few intended uses for target="_blank" and those that exist (such as when a form is the main content of the page) apply to few pages.
Additionally, when target="_blank", the best practice is that users should be given advance warning with text or an accessible icon, something almost never seen in the wild.
target="_blank" is a way for website builders to remove control of a website visitor's browser and is abused much more than it's appropriately used. (It also provides an attack vector for phishing attacks.) Chris Coyier has a great article listing the many bad reasons people do this. Unfortunately, this has become a fake "best practice." I think WordPress can do the internet an immense favor by making this harder to do.
Two Options for Changing this
Remove the Checkbox Entirely
This is my preferred solution. I believe that anyone who has the appropriate background knowledge to accurately assess when it's appropriate to use target="_blank" will also have the knowledge to use the Text editor to add it via HTML and meet the other usability requirements.
This seems consistent with the "decisions not options" philosophy of WordPress development. Given the rare usage of this feature it should be cumbersome to add. I suspect that the anger at losing this feature will be the primary reason given for not doing this, but I don't think that outweighs the numerous reasons given above. This isn't really that different from removing the title attribute textbox that gave 25%+ of the web a nudge toward better usability.
WordPress can make the web a better place where visitors have more control over their browsers with this change.
Make It Irritating to Use
If people aren't willing to entirely remove the target="_blank" checkbox, I believe that checking it should always trigger a modal window explaining when and when not to use target="_blank". This is intentionally irritating and it should be. If editors are insistent on interfering with their visitors browsing preferences, they should have to work to do it. Designing to annoy can be an effective technique, and this feels like an appropriate situation for doing so if removing the checkbox is considered unfeasible.
Change History (22)
- Keywords needs-patch added
- Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Future Release