Please Don’t Use The Post Title As A Hyperlink

While reading a discussion that was being had by the folks who populate the WordPress Hackers Mailing list regarding the difference between the aside and status post formats, Mike Schinkel commented on a practice that I think needs to be stopped.

I’ve been noticing that some themers have decided to implement “link” post formats such that in archives and in the RSS feed the post title is used as the anchor text, and the hyperlink on that title is the actual link being published and NOT the permalink of the blog post that uses the “link” post format!

This approach violates all the experience we have become familiar with in blogs and especially RSS feeds, and can be very confusing when someone sees a link from an RSS feed, clicks the link expecting to be taken to the blog and gets taken elsewhere instead. Where it is especially confusing (and time wasting) is when the user (i.e. me) clicks the link and then switches tasks with plans to read the post later in the day while the blog post loads in the background. But then when I later view my open tabs in my browser I see a page from a web site that I think is just spam so I close it only to later in the day see the RSS feed again and think “Hmm, I never saw that” so I click again, and sometimes task switch after which the cycle continues.

So for the TL;DR crowd, themers PLEASE do not implement themes that break the standard UX for blogs; titles should be hyperlinked with permalinks to the blog post, nothing else. Show explicit link text and/or icon instead. It may seem “cool” but it can be hell on the blog’s readers. JMTCW, anyway.

Please don’t make the post title the actual link to an article when using the Link Post format. It prevents me from linking to you and it’s not the behaviour I’m expecting. I’m excepting to click the link to read comments or such on the post but because the title acts as a link, I pretty much have no way of getting there. It’s a frustrating experience and that’s why I agree with Mike!

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