Links

Relative Link Fixups ❺⛔

Fix CMS and in-page links to their correct relative form
NO LONGER NEEDED!
10-Dec-2023 - Webflow has fixed the CMS link field so that it will now accept relative paths. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Root-relative URLs like /about/us are fully supported
  • Page-relative URLs like ../about are not supported, but who would use these today anyway?
  • Localization of these URLs is not directly supported [ yet? ]. Let's say your you have an English ( primary-locale ) site with a German alt-locale. If you store a link to /about in the CMS, and a user is viewing the German translated version of your CMS page, clicking that link will take them to /about rather than e.g. /de/about. This means they'll be switched back to the English locale.
The two things that have fundamentally defined the web since the beginning are HTML, and URLs. Since the beginning, links have been at the center of the Internet universe.
They even gave the World Wide Web its name.
But there are many different kinds of links;
  1. 1.
    Absolute URLs: These URLs provide the full path to the resource, including the protocol (http, https), domain name, directory path, and file or resource name. For example, https://www.example.com/images/pic.jpg.
  2. 2.
    Root-relative URLs: These are a type of relative URL that start from the root of the website. They start with a slash (/). For example, /images/pic.jpg would resolve to https://www.example.com/images/pic.jpg if you're anywhere on www.example.com.
  3. 3.
    Protocol-relative URLs: These URLs start with // and use the same protocol (http or https) as the current page. For example, //www.example.com/images/pic.jpg would use http or https depending on the protocol of the page it's used on.
  4. 4.
    Relative URLs: These URLs provide the path to the resource relative to the current location. They don't include the protocol or domain name. For example, if you're on https://www.example.com/pages/, a relative URL might look like ../images/pic.jpg, which would resolve to https://www.example.com/images/pic.jpg.
Webflow supports the first two solidly. The third is quite specialized and is typically used for script references.
But relative URLs are effectively unsupported.
You have the ability to link to a page on the same site, or to an external URL, but not to a relative URL.

Use cases

For designers and developers using Webflow, there are a few places this causes problems;
  • In the CMS, when you want to link to something on the site, using the Link field type
  • In a page, when you want to link to any page on the site, while including a querystring
  • In a page, when you want to link to any page on the site, while including a querystring
  • Special pathing, when you are using a reverse proxy.

How Webflow Breaks Relative Links

In an HTML link, all of these are valid relative links:
  1. 1.
    ./foo: This link refers to a resource named "foo" in the same directory as the current page.
  2. 2.
    foo: This link also refers to a resource named "foo" in the same directory as the current page. It's equivalent to ./foo.
  3. 3.
    .?foo=bar: This link refers to the current page (the . represents the current page), with a query string foo=bar added to the URL. However, this is not a common usage and might be confusing. It's more common to see just ?foo=bar.
  4. 4.
    ?foo=bar: This link also refers to the current page, with a query string foo=bar added to the URL. The browser will load the current page, but with foo=bar in the query string.
In the Webflow designer and editor, if you try to enter any of these as a link in a page, you must use the External Link type.
When your page publishes, these links will become invalid, prefixed with http://, for example http://./foo, which the browser cannot access.

Demonstration

The demo links in this page, shown as starting with a ? querystring, are relative links that this library fixes up.
Relative Links
Demonstration page

Usage Notes

We identify and support these formats;
  • Any link beginning with a ., meaning current page
  • Any link beginning with a querystring demarcation ?.
Webflow’s CMS feature has a significant limitation in that the CMS knows nothing about its containing site.
As a result of this design gap, it’s currently not possible to link from a CMS collection item to a known page in your site, in the same way you can link within the designer.
CMS’s have a Link field type, however a second limitation prevents the use of relative paths, which means you cannot even link to e.g. /about/.
How to use;
  • In any CMS where you want a relative link to a site page, simply place that link in a CMS link field, with http://self/ or https://self/ as the protocol and hostname.
    • e.g. to link to /about, you’d write it as https://self/about.
The link fixup library will find and correct this link to a proper relative link of /about.
As of SA5 v5.2.15 support has been added for CMS-based relative links that include querystrings or hashtags.

Getting Started ( LOCODE )

STEP 1 - Add the Library

First, add the library as detailed in Quick Start.

STEP 2 - Add your Configuration Callback

Add this configuration section above right after the library in your before HEAD custom code. Typically this will be in the site-wide custom code configuration.
Last modified 20d ago