Another technical post today. I am pleased to announce that I have finished a project that took way longer than expected. I have gone through all 122 pages and 274 posts that comprise the Harvey Mercheum website and checked the structure of all hyperlinks on them.
I noticed a while ago that if I was using the WordPress editor, added a link using the “Insert/edit link” button, and checked the “Open link in a new tab” check box, in addition to ‘target=”_blank”‘, it started adding ‘rel=”noopener”‘. The first couple of times this happened, I removed the text. When another WordPress update loaded but it kept happening, I decided to look into it. I found out that it started with WordPress 4.7.4, and that not only are there security benefits to using rel=”noopener”, there are performance benefits as well.
Once I decided to use ‘rel=”noopener”‘ on my links that open in new tabs, I had to fix all my existing content. I know that there are ways to mass search and replace, but I chose to perform the fix manually and review all hyperlinks in the process.
I found some ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ tags left over from when I was not sure whether to use them. I am still uncertain, but I decided that they are not needed and removed them.
I also found some hyperlinks with titles. When I first started using WordPress, the “Insert/edit link” button had a field for “Title”, and I made sure to fill it in for every hyperlink. WordPress 4.2 eliminated the title field, but I never went back and removed the existing titles. Since having titles on hyperlinks can hurt accessibility, I removed any I found.
The last check I performed was to make sure all “internal links” (links to other parts of the Harvey Mercheum website) open in the same tab, and all “external links” (links to other websites) open in a new tab. I thought I had followed this convention from the start, but found a couple of links that were incorrect and fixed them.
If you notice any links that do not work, or do not perform as described above, please use the Contact the Curator form to let me know!