Support » Requests and Feedback » New URL popup creates more work

  • While the new popup for adding URLs looks neater, it’s actually meaning more work on our site and slower document creation.

    We use about 90% links to external sites / 10% internal. Every internal one now means having to popup the URL dialogue then click on the “cog” – which removes the usefulness of the keyboard shortcut added in the last update.

    In addition, for external links we prefer to open in an external tab. Prior to v4.5, if we added a link on the page and set it to do so, then each additional link in that session was created in the same manner. It only saved a click but was welcome when adding quite a few links.

    Now we have to CTRL-SHIFT-A, paste, click cog, then click the tick box for every single link.

    In all respects the new system is slower and more open to us making a mistake than the old one. All in exchange for having a smaller dialogue box 🙁

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    You don’t need to bring up the link dialog at all to make links.

    Here’s a trick for you:

    – Copy a URL from the web. Ctrl-C.
    – In the Visual Editor, type in your text.
    – Select the words you want to become your link.
    – Press Ctrl-V to paste your URL “over” them.

    Voila. Your words, linkified. No dialog box needed.

    For “internal” links, or links back to your own site, just bring up the dialog and start typing the name of whatever post you want to link to. It will find it right there and let you directly link to it without the big dialog box.

    we prefer to open in an external tab

    You should know that a) this does not actually work because most people disable this feature in their browsers and b) it’s very user unfriendly to do that sort of thing. You will lose traffic because people will see your site as spammy.

    Thanks for that first hint. I think I’d spotted that some time ago, but forgotten about it.

    As for the external tab issue, I’m not going to get into an argument but I’d dispute “most” people doing it unless it’s the default on browsers as “most” people don’t tend to mess with settings. Only nerds like you and I 😉

    It still doesn’t get round the problem that we, as a site, prefer to open external links in a new tab. Why have multiple-tab-capable browsers if you don’t use the facility? I guess there’s arguments either way, but that’s a discussion for another time!

    As it stands, though, we now have to manually edit each link where we didn’t before. I did find that you can do it keyboard-only using the TAB key to hop to the cog, but it’s still a pain the posterior compared to the previous version.

    Generally, I just don’t see any advantage in this new interface. So we get a smaller popup… it doesn’t increase the speed of editing by any discernable amount, just increases the inconvenience if you *do* want to use the larger popup window. As such, why not just leave it as it was?

    I agree with this.

    Essentially, the new URL update adds an extra step. Irritating as can be, and I’ve already had my writers complain about it.

    I don’t know who gave this idea the green light, but it doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Same issue here.
    The new linking system is not practical at all and creates more work just like Iain said. One extra step, plus no “new tab” by default possible…

    Bad, bad idea.

    I agree. I actually have my browser configured to force-open links in new tabs that go to another site. I only keep stuff in the same tab that is related to the same site and that’s how I code my links to work.

    I use TinyMCE Advanced to get around this by using it’s Link Dialog instead. Although, still have choose the New Window option every time.

    It was working fine but with the new linking system it’s just an annoying extra step to select the new tab option…

    Just to give a random example of a website which, by Samuel’s statement, is “user unfriendly”: facebook.

    OK, so it’s actually pretty bad in places but one thing that’s quite consistent throughout – internal links open in the same tab, external links open in a new one.

    Good job facebook’s only a niche site with a handful of users, eh? Apologies if some of you haven’t heard of it…

    MarkRH – I’ll check out TinyMCE Advanced, thanks. Heard of it, never really had a need for it before.

    Glad to know other people are frustrated by this. I’ve always utilized the convention of opening internal links in the same tab and external links in a new one. Many, many sites do this (Facebook and YouTube are just two examples), and I’ve never heard an assertion that it’s a spammy practice.

    I may just start bringing my articles into Sublime Text and manually pasting the target=”_blank” attribute onto all external links until the developers fix this. Definitely not ideal, but still more efficient than adding an extra click to the link process for 90% of my links!



    The Link URL “improvement” does not work well. I have a hard time making a link work.

    I can paste a link into the dialog box, then it does not stay when I press enter. Then the dialog box will NOT disappear!

    The old way was a lot better. Did anyone test this? It seems to be too glitchy for a tested feature.

    Reginald, I know what you mean about the box not disappearing (unless you save a draft or similar). It happens consistently on one of the computers I use regularly, but not on the other. Strange.


    Please add a way to OPEN LINK IN NEW TAB without clicking the cog. This should really be the default, or there should be a way to make this the default. Having to click the cog every time is significantly slowing down the process of posting, especially when every blog post I do has 30-50 external links. Alternately add a NEW TAB LINK button that will perform this functionality with extra clicks.

    If possible I’d like to be notified when this issue is changed back to how it functioned previously with an easily visible checkbox when adding a link or an alternate method is available without extra clicks.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Using target=”_blank” (which is used to open in a new window/tab) is often an anti-pattern and there are very few valid use cases for it. It takes away control from the reader, breaks the back button, and is “like a vacuum cleaner sales person who starts a visit by emptying an ash tray on the customer’s carpet” –source.

    Here is some reading on the subject:

    Should Links Open In New Windows?

    Links Should Open in the Same Window

    When to use target=”_blank”


    I understand the arguments, but I think it’s fair to emphasize that this is an opinion not everyone holds. I read a few articles yesterday saying the same things, and each had a sizable segment of commenters disagreeing. Some will say doing it breaks the Back button; others will counter that not doing so forces readers to lose their place in an article when they click a link that references something.

    To make a real-world parallel, opening external links in new tabs is like leaving the book you’re currently reading open while you grab another to check a source, or open a dictionary to look up the word. You wouldn’t normally close your current book just to do those things.

    I ran an informal survey on Twitter yesterday; most people responded that they prefer external links to open in new tabs:

    Yes, people can middle-click or change their browser settings. Many won’t, though – especially when they’re used to big sites like Facebook, YouTube, etc opening external links in new tabs by default.

    That isn’t to say that I’m in favor of letting big websites and social networks have the final say in establishing paradigms. I just want to establish that the idea that this model is an unjustified “anti-pattern” is an opinion, and it’s not universally held.

    Website publishers should be free to choose whether or not they want to to use it – especially when many users prefer it. The previous versions of WordPress gave publishers that choice in a perfectly reasonable way.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    I think it’s fair to emphasize that this is an opinion not everyone holds.

    I understand that. However, I would point out that people’s opinions can be wrong. 🙂

    Breaking the way the web works just because you feel like it is not a very good reason.

    Really. Read this carefully:

    The previous versions of WordPress gave publishers that choice in a perfectly reasonable way.

    You still have that choice. Click the gear icon and voila, the old dialog is right there. But the truth of the matter is that you’re wrong to want that to be on every link, and WordPress is not going to provide default choices that hurt the majority of sites or the web. I would not be surprised if that option goes away entirely in some future version, because it should not be there at all, realistically. If you want this sort of default, then look into using a plugin for it instead. It really should not be in core, because it is bad. You can consider that my opinion.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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