Making Menu Items Open in a New Tab: Quick Answer Section
Do I need a plugin to make menu items open in a new tab?
No, you should simply enable the option in WordPress.
Can I only edit a single menu item or will they all open in a new tab?
You can edit each individual menu item, making just one of them, some of them or all of them open in a new tab.
Will my settings be saved upon an update?
Every now and then, updates cause errors. In most cases though, you will be able to keep your settings.
How much time does it take to set up?
Less than a minute (dependent on your internet connection).
In most cases, menu items target pages on your own site, which makes it fine for them to open in the same tab. This is also why this is the default in WordPress.
However, every now and then you need to link to external pages from the menu – booking portals, partner websites, etc. To avoid people navigating away from your site, you need to target a new tab with the menu item pointing to external resources.
So, how can you make menu items open in a new tab?
Making Menu Items Open in a New Tab: Step-by-Step
Quite surprisingly for many, you don’t need plugins or custom code to make menu items open in a new tab. There is such a built-in option in WordPress, it has just been “hidden” away in an almost invisible tab that most people never notice.
Here’s what to do:
- Navigate to Appearance->Menus from the Admin panel in WordPress.
- Take a look at the top of the screen. There, just below the link to your profile, you can see a small tab, called Screen Options. Click on it.
- Find the option Link target under Show advanced menu properties and check it.
- Now, go down to the menu and find the menu item that you want to make to open in a new tab. Click on it to toggle its options.
- Find and check Open link in a new tab
- Save the menu as usual. That’s it. The menu item will now open in a new tab on click.
When Does It Make Sense to Make Menu Items Open in a New Tab?
Even though it’s quite easy to target a new tab with a link, it doesn’t always make sense to do so. Here are the most common scenarios, where it does make sense:
- The menu item point to an external page. In such cases, it is important to make the menu item open in a new tab to avoid people navigating away from your website.
- The menu item opens a form. Not all users are fond of filling out forms. By opening in a new tab, you give them the opportunity to close the form, without unintendedly leaving your site.
- The menu item points to a temporary, loose page with an offer or event. Pages that aren’t really a part of your site and don’t offer the same navigation and/or design to users should be separated from your main site by displaying them in a new tab.
- The menu item points to a booking service. Even though the booking service is a part of your business concept, it isn’t an integral part of your site. Furthermore, by sending people away to the booking page, you might miss out on other business opportunities.