McMaster University

Faculty of Health Sciences
Web Design

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How to override a relative link with an absolute link?

A problem with inserting a link can occur when a website has its own subdomain but the page being linked to have a different subdomain and is on the same server. For example, your website might have a subdomain like this one:

The page you want to link to is on another subdomain but is on the same server:


Contribute tries to create a relative link to the page because it is on the same server. A relative link is not the full URL. It is the part of the URL after the domain or subdomain. What you need to do is overwrite the relative link with an absolute link, which is the full URL. For example, this is a relative URL:


This is the absolute URL for the same page:


Here's enter the absolute URL using Contribute

  1. Edit the page.
  2. If this is a new link. hightlight the text or photo where you want to link to be located. If this is a relative link that needs to be changed to an absolute link, right click on the image and select link properties. You will see the screen below. Under Advanced options the link appears in the HREF box. This is the relative link.

    Insert link dialog box with incorrect relative URL
  3. If you see a relative link in the HREF box, highlight and remove the URL from the HREF box.
  4. Paste an absolute URL into the HREF box. For example:

  5. Select New window from the drop down for target frame. This is how it should look:

    Insert link dialog box with corrected absolute URL
  6. Click OK.
  7. Select the link and check in the bottom left corner of the Contribute window. It should be the absolute link.
  8. Click Publish.
  9. Go to your browser, click refresh and check to make sure the link is working correctly.