Adding custom links to go to external websites

Alex Ho -

Introduction

You may have seen it on other websites where if you click a link, it takes you to a different webpage or website. A very common example is for source material; if a webpage is quoting a particular source it may contain a link directing people to that source.

For your website, you can do the same by using a feature called 'Custom Links'.

Adding external links to the menu 

In the Menus scree and on the left menu box, there is an option for Custom Links. If you select that you can add the URL of the thrid-party website and name the link text.

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  • URL - this link of the external website or webpage. E.g. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news for BBC News
  • Link Text - the name of the link people click on. Using the same example above we can call the link 'BBC News'.

Once you are happy, click 'Add to Menu' and your link will be added to the menu as the last item on the list. You should notice in its grey box ther word 'custom link'. You can then reorder as you prefer.

Opening external links in new window

When you add an external link, people clicking on it may find that their existing browser session [which was your website] may be 'overridden' when they get redirected to the external site. In other words, they may need to go back onto your website as their current session redirected them away.

While not the end of the world, at least from a user experience point-of-view, it can be jarring having to go back onto the website. To prevent this, we can enable an option to open the external link in a new window.

In the Menus section at the top is a button for 'screen options'. Click the dropdown arrow to expand options.

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You can ignore most of the options presented. Instead, click the checkbox for 'link target', which you can find in the section for 'show advanced menu properties'. Once done you can click the screen options button to close the options.

Scroll down your menu listing to the external link you added. When you click its dropdown, there will be a new option to open that in a new tab. Select that and remember to save the menu. The external link will now open into a new browser window which is more convenient to your clients and visitors.

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Hopefully that gives an overview of how to add custom links and also to set them up to open in new browser windows.. We trust this guide has helped but if you have any questions, please get in touch at: support@practiceweb.co.uk

For further information on the Menu Structure, why not have a look here:

Adding pages to the menu

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