Where there is variety… There is chaos! Same is true of the world of web design as well. As an industry where new trends and technologies emerge every now and then, it is witness to a varied opinions and debates. While some have have the fortune of ending with logical conclusions, others continue to trail as contrasting parallel opinions.

Here are some of the most popular and age-old debates of the web design world that simply refuse to die:

Debate 1: Should Links Open in a New Window?

While some believe that links to external websites should always open in new tabs or windows, there are others who think that the choice is best left to the user. Opening links in new windows does make it easier to revisit the original page without having to hit the back button multiple times but some people don’t really like it when the browser takes control of their navigation route. In fact, amateur computer users are completely at loss when their back button goes gray!

A safer bet would be to just avoid opening links in new window save some special cases. Like when you want to open a help link in a shopping cart or opening PDFs etc. You can also consider providing an options panel that’s configured with Javascript.

Debate 2: Use Click Here or Use Keywords in Links

‘Click Here’ has been a time-tested call-to-action message and is proven to provide a higher click through rate. Its symbolic of the web and prompt users to take immediate action. However, there are some who believe that the words ‘Click Here’ obstacles the usability of a website and offers no information to users about where the link goes and what it does. Instead using descriptive links not only inform users what a link offers but also gains search engine brownies.

It is advisable to use descriptive links in order to increase your website’s usability, accessibility and optimization for search engines.

Debate 3: Using Bold & Italics Tags

Some people advocate the use of tags instead of tags if the word doesn’t have any special importance but you simply want to make the text bold. Screen readers pronounce the and tags differently, and they are also included in the HTML5 specification. However, others believe that all the visual aesthetics should be reserved for the CSS style-sheet and not included in the HTML markup.

A safer bet would be to leave the visual styling to CSS. In order to display the importance of content, the or element should be used.