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Emphasizing external links

From: Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Video: Emphasizing external links

There is a long-standing debate about how to handle links that lead from your site to some other place. The default behavior is to just go straight to them, and in fact, that's the way things work right now on our site. For example, take a look at these links over here, which go to an off-site feed. If I click any one of them, that page opens in the same screen. I'll go back to my site now. There are several downsides to the default behavior, though. First, by staying in the same screen, you're lowering the likelihood that someone will return to your site after being led away.

Emphasizing external links

There is a long-standing debate about how to handle links that lead from your site to some other place. The default behavior is to just go straight to them, and in fact, that's the way things work right now on our site. For example, take a look at these links over here, which go to an off-site feed. If I click any one of them, that page opens in the same screen. I'll go back to my site now. There are several downsides to the default behavior, though. First, by staying in the same screen, you're lowering the likelihood that someone will return to your site after being led away.

Second, someone might believe that they're still on your site as they go elsewhere and then blame you for anything they dislike in that outside site. Making matters worse, there's no way to tell the difference between a link that stays on your site and one that goes elsewhere. Drupal Gardens solves these problems by letting you change these behaviors with a module called External Links. It's off by default, so I'll go ahead and turn it on. Go up to Modules and then go down to External Links. It's in the other group. Turn it on, go to the bottom, and click Save.

To see all your options for External Links, go up to Configuration and then down to External links, here under User Interface. I am going to leave all of these default settings, but you get a pretty good sense of how it works. Basically it places icons next to certain links, so that you can tell that you're leaving the site. There are also some additional options here so that you can change which ones are considered external. But I'll leave it as is and go back to our front page and see what exactly that got us. Now you can see that all of the links that lead off of the site have this little "You are leaving the site" icon, whereas the ones that stay on your site don't have that.

If you click one of these that leads off of the site, it actually warns you. And again, this is configurable, and if you click OK, it opens up a new tab up here before taking you to the site that you want. Then when you close it, you're still on your site in the original tab. I'm kind of a traditionalist, so I am actually going to turn off this feature by disabling the module. Because there's no content associated with it, that's all we have to do. Just go up to Modules, go down to External Links, uncheck the box, scroll to the bottom, and save.

This is one of Drupal Gardens' smaller features, but it's one I really like for the control that it gives you. Now, there is some debate about whether it's a good idea to open new windows for External Links. On the one hand, as I mentioned before, you do keep visitors on your site, but on the other hand, it could make your site seem less reputable, like you're trying to trap people. Before implementing this option, I recommend reading some of those debates, which you can find by searching the Internet for the quote "should links open in new windows," or something similar to that.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Drupal Gardens Essential Training

65 video lessons · 11707 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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