How to Place External Link Icons in WordPress –

How to Place External Link Icons in WordPress

Links are nowadays used on many sites as the main method of navigation – either to other pages on your site or other sites. This is especially important on screens that have limited navigation options, to begin with, like phones and tablets, even more so when you consider that browsing the web using these devices has far surpassed doing it through a desktop interface. All this combined has put a greater emphasis on links than ever before.

Links can be broadly classified into two main groups – internal and external. Internal links are much easier to manage because everything about them is self-contained on your pages, which results in you having absolute control over everything. On the other hand, external links are different.

While they’re usually, at least partly, established with sites, you partner with. There’s always uncertainty involved because you can’t control the content on the other end or, in worse cases, defend against it. That’s why you must take every precaution to protect yourself/your site, and your visitors from harm.

What are external link icons, and why should you use them

One way of highlighting a link as external is to add an external link icon that serves as a reminder or warning (if you want to look at it like that) that the visitor is leaving your site and, with it, the cone of protection you guarantee. You’ve probably seen this already, if not anywhere else, then certainly on Wikipedia, which uses the box with an arrow as their icon, which has subsequently been recognized as the unofficial default icon.

You could join the bandwagon and go with the same icon or choose one that’s unique, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves – let’s first cover the basics.

Without a doubt, the main thing you’ll look to accomplish by adding icons to your external links is security, as we’ve already mentioned (for everyone involved). However, there are other benefits like navigation – you can make external links open in a new window or tab as opposed to internal links that open in the same.

An icon immediately lets your visitors distinguish between the two link types and know how they’ll open, so there’s no need for backtracking if you want to return or manually open the link in a new window/tab if it’s automatically done so.

How to add external link icons

Now that you have a good sense of what benefits you can take from adding icons to your links, let’s see how you can add them to your site. Naturally, you can use code, which is the answer for everything regarding a website for all intents and purposes. The obvious drawback is accessibility – not everyone can use code, and those that can use it at varying levels of expertise, so it can’t be considered a commonly acceptable solution.

Using WordPress, you’ll likely turn to plugins for help. After all, they’re the reason it’s such a popular platform. Among the seemingly endless selection of the repository, we’ve found a plugin that covers all your link-related



This article was written by Matej Milohnoja and originally published on WP Newsify.

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