You might have noticed that when you click links in this column, your browser will take you to the linked page in the same window and tab you’re already in. As most of you doubtless know already, you can override this behavior by doing a right click on the link and chosing “open in new tab/window” or just doing a control- (command- on a Macintosh) click on the link.

Many sites (including some of my older ones) override this default behavior out of a paranoid fear that they’ll lose your eyeballs once you move off the current page. I find this offensive. The browser should be under my control, not that of the web developer hack. That’s why I dislike single-page applications and other JavaScript-heavy web designs. GIVE YOUR VISITORS SOME CREDIT. They know how to use the back button. If they want to see the rest of your page, they’ll come back to it or use a shortcut to open links in a new tab or window in the first place. Really.

Oh, and speaking of the back button: if you have to put text on your site like “don’t refresh or use the back button” (or, god forbid, use code to override the function of these important browser features), think about figuring out why your site is so damn broken that using these basic browser features will mess things up.


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