This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

jQuery.autoTarget for WordPress


There is a little gotcha when you’re writing standards compliant code, but still
want off-site links to open in new windows. XHTML 1.0 Strict deprecated the use
of the “target” attribute. Early versions of HTML5 also had this deprecation,
but have since brought it back. In either case, making sure the target attribute
is set on every off-site link can be tedious.

Enter jQuery.autoTarget

Instead of going through the tedium of ensuring your target attributes are set,
this jQuery plugin automatically scans all the links on a page, and sets the
attribute for you (target=”_blank”) if the href attributes domain isn’t the same
as the domain the page is served from. Just to sweeten the deal, it also sets
any offsite link to have a class of “external-link”, so you can style offsite
links in the manner of your choice. Easy-peasy. And it only weighs in at
272 bytes!


Just in case, the script does not touch any link that already has a target set,
so if you’re already doing something with the target attribute, this won’t
clobber your extant work.

Use of jQuery.autoTarget in Non-WordPress Sites

If you need it, my jQuery plugin sans wordpress plugin is available at


Upload the plugin zip into your wordpress installation, or use the WordPress
search utility and install from within WordPress if your installation is set up
to work that way. Then activate the plugin. That’s it! No configuration

Contributors & Developers

“jQuery.autoTarget for WordPress” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




Initial Release