Farmers Weekly Interactive : Raising external sites
Links to external sites are implemented in a user-friendly way.
Farmers Weekly Interactive (FWi) is the online ‘cousin’ of the UK’s leading farming industry publication, Farmers Weekly. In exchange for a name and e-mail address users can access all the site’s content including the many Business Tools and current livestock market prices.
The editorial areas of the site offer users Related Web Links. Clicking on a link brings up the featured site in the existing browser window but beneath a branded strip that carries at its righthand edge the instruction to “Click here to return to FWi”. Following the command restores the previous editorial page.
Many sites link to external sites to add value. Technically, setting them up is quick and simple to do. Where FWi stands out from the crowd is in implementing the feature in a user-friendly way.
In most cases, organisations fall down by either conjuring up the external site in the current browser window, giving the user no warning that they are leaving the original site and no way back to it except via their browser back button. Or they cause the external site to appear in a new window that obliterates the original site, giving the impression that it has been lost. One way round this, which allows the page to remain full-size, is to follow FWi’s example.
The external site appears in the same window as the FWi site, but within a branded page that allows the visitor to return easily. In other words, the site is brought to the user rather than the user sent to the site.
There can be legal problems linking to third party sites, especially if the page appears to be part of your own offering. But as long as you have permission, this is a sensible way of enriching your site without creating possible confusion.http://www.fwi.co.uk
First published on 22 January, 2004