Cloudkiller Cloudkiller - 1 month ago 4
Javascript Question

jQuery replacing relative links

Hopefully someone can explain some odd behavior I've encountered with jQuery. The following script is looking for relative links on my page and replacing them with absolute links.

$(document).ready(function() {
var cur_href = $(this).prop("href");
$(this).prop("href", ''+cur_href);

I'm using this script on a page that will be served up over https but I don't want all of my navigation to link to https pages. Since my navigation are global includes, this seemed like the easiest way to fix the problem.

The issue I'm encountering comes in the actual replacement. The second line of the script correctly matches all relative links on the page and then runs the replacement part of the script. It is in the replacement, line 4, where I get some weird results. After this part of the script runs, my URLs end up looking like this:


Obviously isn't doing what I want. It seems like the first part of the script is matching the relative URL but when the replacement part fires the browser has already tacked on the domain information.

The only thing I've found so far that actually does what I want is to write the replacement anticipating what the browser has tacked on:

this.href = this.href.replace(/^https:\/\/www\.mysite\.com\//, "");

Is there a better way to do this?

Edit: here is a jsfiddle of the problem.


jQuery isn't causing a problem here. The issue is that the href property of HTMLAnchorElement (the type of object jQuery is returning), per the spec, always contains an absolute URI.

In HTML5 href is a composite attribute and you can just swap the protocol (the part before //) at will by modifying href.protocol, e.g.:

var link = $( '<a href="">bar</a>' )[0];
console.log( link.href );
// =>

link.href.protocol = 'http:';
console.log( link.href );
// =>

For older browsers without the composite href you'll just have to make do with a regex:

console.log( link.href );
// =>

link.href = link.href.replace( /^https:/, 'http:' );
console.log( link.href );
// =>

TLDR: Your code should look something like this:

$( "a[href^='/']" ).prop( "href",
  function( _idx, oldHref ) {
    return oldHref.replace( /^https:/, 'http:' );

P.S. You'll notice that I elided your $.each call. That's because prop automatically acts on every element in the matched set, i.e. it already does what you were doing with each.

.prop( propertyName, function(index, oldPropertyValue) )

  • propertyName The name of the property to set.
  • function(index, oldPropertyValue) A function returning the value to set. Receives the index position of the element in the set and the old property value as arguments. Within the function, the keyword this refers to the current element.