How to Open External Links in a New Window in WordPress

by Taswir Haider in Wordpress

WordPress by default open all the external links in the same window. But you can force the external links to open in new window either by using a plugin or from the visual editor mode.

There are certain benefits to open your external links in new window. It helps to reduce the bounce rate while keeping your webpage open, so that possibility is there visitor will come back to your site and visit more pages after closing the external page.

Open External links in New Window from Visual Editor

You can always enable to open external links in new window from visual editor mode (post editing mode). This will work only for the links which are on your content.

open external links in new window

To do this, first select your anchor text and choose the “Insert/Edit link” and check the box “Open link in a new window/tab” and save it. This is the most recommended method but it requires extra effort since you have to manually check the box every time.

Open External links in New Window for your sidebars

If you like to open external links of your sidebar to open in new window, simply add target=”_blank” in the HTML source code.


Regular link:

<a href=””>Thesis Theme</a>

New link:

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>

Thesis Theme</a>

The link should be like below picture:

open external links in new window for sidebars

Open External links in New Window using Plugin

The easier method is to use a plugin. You can try any of the following plugins:

Open in New Window plugin

This plugin uses Javascript to open external links in new window, but it cannot target links in iframes such as Adsense and some affiliate links. You can download it from WordPress repository.

Download the plugin

Open External links in a New Window Plugin

This is a better option as it follows XHTML strict compliant and also search engine friendly method. This plugin is available in the WordPress repository and you can download it for free.

Download the plugin

Which method do you normally use? Do you prefer to open external links in new window or in the same window?

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