I am building a site where the main page is mostly a navigational menu. When people have navigated away from the main page they will need to use the back arrow to get back to the main page, but I want to make it so that if they use the X at the upper right corner of the page, they will come back to my main page as well. How do I do that?
Thank you guys for the info. It is very kind of you to take the trouble to explain to me what is going on with the links and how people use the internet, and what the technical difficulties are likely to be. Unfortunately, I don’t have a site logo, and I didn’t even know that the Sitepoint logo was clickable. I am trying not to be depressed about how far behind I am.
As to the handhelds, I hope that that is not the future of the internet - I guess that will leave behind those of us old enough to have arthritis in our fingers - hurts to hold anything like that for any length of time - thank heavens for MP3…even trying to read a book gets difficult.
…using the target=“_blank” method to open external sites is oft debated. The problem lies in the way people navigate the net. You and I may well be used to multiple tabs, knowing how to close a browser window with the “x” button etc, but many people are very set in their ways - and sites that do not work for them will simply not be visited.
I know several people that think google is the internet. A typical web journey for them is to open IE, type the url they want to visit into the google search bar, click on the result - and then navigated around the site - always using the back button to return to where they originated. Upon finishing, or getting frustrated, they select “file -> close”, just as they do in every other program they use. These people will not be able to use your site with the “navigation” you describe.
The forward and back buttons on a browser are the primary means of navigation. This is particularly true if you are viewing a site on handheld devices (in my opinion likely to outstrip PCs as a viewing method in the not too distant future). Breaking them just doesn’t make sense.
The desire to control windows is very natural when you begin developing sites. I suspect most people here (including myself) have seen it as desirable at some stage, but experience and the testing of millions of users have shown that (particularly for internal navigation), it is simply a bad idea.
But don’t just take my word for it, a selection of reading for you:
I used the link you suggested in your reply (which, by the way, opened a new window), and I still don’t understand why anyone would be offended by it. I don’t think it is rude, nor do I intend to take choice away from anyone. What people are navigating to on my site do not lend themselves to having a return to main page link, and I find I am so used to having new windows open in what I see, that I will sometimes use the X instead of the back arrow thinking I am going to go back a screen and then be sorry for it, having lost my place.
I guess that is just my experience and opinion.
Thank you very much for getting me to the info even tho you don’t like the idea of it.
Does your site have a logo on each page (probably in the top left corner)? If you do, make the site logo into a link which will take users back to the main or home page. For an example on any page of the SitePoint site that is not the main home page, click the SitePoint logo and you’ll be taken to the main home page.
All you want to do is link all your pages to open in a new window as explained above. However I think it would be really annoying for the end user to end up with a new page being opened every time they click on a nav item.