AskashaCMS external-links plugin documentation


The akashacms-external-links plugin provides tools to improve the presentation of external links. It can control which external links receive rel=nofollow and add icons, such as the FAVICON of the target site, next to the link.

Installation

With an AkashaCMS website setup, add the following to package.json

  "dependencies": {
    ...
    "akashacms-external-links": ">0.6.2",
    ...
  }

Once added to package.json run: npm install

Configuration

In config.js for the website:

config.use(require('akashacms-external-links'));

There are several configuration settings to go over.

Use target=_blank on external links

Often we want our visitors who click on a link to have it open in a new tab, so that they don't exit our site.

config.plugin("akashacms-external-links")
    .setTargetBlank(config, true)

Show favicon for the destination site

The favicon is that icon displayed in the browser location bar or elsewhere. It's a little image that adds significantly to the users ability to recognize the link points to an external site, and what that site is. For example: (cnn.com) https://cnn.com

config.plugin("akashacms-external-links")
    .setShowFavicons(config, "after|before|never")

Leave this off, or set to never, if you do not want favicons to display. Otherwise after means the favicon is shown after the link, and before means it is shown before.

Show a simple icon next to destination site

The simple icon is a simple marker that can display next to a link. Specifically, this icon: (external link)

config.plugin("akashacms-external-links")
    .setShowIcon(config, "after|before|never")

Leave this off, or set to never, if you do not want the simple icon to display. Otherwise after means the simple icon is shown after the link, and before means it is shown before.

Control whether rel=nofollow is added

The rel=nofollow tag is very important for at least two reasons:

  1. Controlling which sites receive a search engine boost
  2. Avoiding being dinged by search engines for linking to questionable sites
  3. Avoiding being dinged by search engines for linking to sites that pay you money --- it's now required that links to sites from which you earn revenue have the nofollow attribute

For this feature we have three settings:

config.plugin("akashacms-external-links")
    .setPreferNofollow(config, true|false)

This flag controls the default rel=nofollow behavior. If true your outbound links will always have rel=nofollow except for sites added to the whitelist. Likewise, false means outbound links will not have rel=nofollow except for sites added to the blacklist.

Whitelist? Blacklist?

config
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'google.com')
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'docs.google.com')
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'cnn.com')
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'bbc.co.uk')
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'amazon.com')
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, 'ebay.com')
    .addWhitelistEntry(config, '7gen.com')
    .addWhitelistEntry(config, 'visforvoltage.org')
    .addWhitelistEntry(config, 'thereikipage.com');

The sites on whitelist will not receive rel=nofollow, and those on blacklist will.

NOTE: These entries are treated as regular expressions, meaning you can do this:

config.plugin("akashacms-external-links")
    .setTargetBlank(config, true)
    .setShowFavicons(config, "before")
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, /wikipedia.org$/i)
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, /cnn.com$/i)
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, /nytimes.com$/i)
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, /amazon.com$/i)
    .addBlacklistEntry(config, /ebay.com$/i);