Never thought Drupal's way to use relative URLs everywhere in template files was a problem until I happened on https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17187437/relative-urls-in-wordpress and read some arguments against using relative urls of many WP developers including core ones. Copying them here:

  • Root-relative URLs aren't really proper. /path/ might not be WordPress, it might be outside of the install. So really it's not
    much different than an absolute URL.
  • Any relative URLs also make it significantly more difficult to perform transformations when the install is moved. The find-replace
    is going to be necessary in most situations, and having an absolute
    URL is ironically more portable for those reasons.
  • absolute URLs are needed in numerous other places. Needing to add these in conditionally will add to processing, as well as introduce
    potential bugs (and incompatibilities with plugins).
  • Relative to what, I'm not sure, as WordPress is often in a subdirectory, which means we'll always need to process the content to then add in the rest of the path. This introduces overhead.
  • Keep in mind that there are two types of relative URLs, with and without the leading slash. Both have caveats that make this impossible to properly implement.
  • WordPress should (and does) store absolute URLs. This requires no pre-processing of content, no overhead, no ambiguity. If you need to relocate, it is a global find-replace in the database.

Now I wonder how much those concerns are legitimate in general, in if they or some of them are, then how much this relates to Drupal in particular?

  • 1
    Where exactly are you worried about entering these urls? Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


As a developer who has worked extensively with both Drupal and Wordpress I have to say that the convenience of Drupal's relative URLs outweighs the (apparent) accuracy of Wordpress's absolute URLs.

  • When moving a site from dev > staging > production a Wordpress site's URLs and image references have to be replaced in the DB, this can create an absolute mess.
  • Rather than creating links between pages as hyperlinks a good Drupal setup uses entity reference and entity embed, so if the path or URL of a file changes the page's source is still correct.
  • Wordpress feeds are natively better as the URLs are natively absolute, Drupal views feeds can be made to use content filters to make links absolute.
  • In Drupal I like to use a module called pathologic to set absolute URLs in the rendered source, the stored source however remains free of site domain.
  • Performance hit of content filtering is negligible on Drupal and there are multiple layers of caching.

Hope that answers some people's questions if they arrive here.

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