Absolute vs. Relative References


It is important to note:  Our Email Test only supports absolute references to links and images embedded within your email.  So what’s the difference between the two?  Hopefully this article will shed some light on the subject…

Using Absolute References (supported)

An Absolute Reference provides the complete http address, the directory path, and the file name. For instance, if you had a file named “logo.gif” in a directory called “images” under the URL “https://www.emailonacid.com” you would link to it as follows:


In html context, this might appear as:

<img align="bottom" src="https://media.emailonacid.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Sposta-logo.gif">

Absolute references must also be used inside embedded or inline CSS.

Using Relative References (unsupported)

A Relative Reference provides a partial http address in the form of a fragment of a full directory path. Keep in mind that by default, if no server name or path is specified in html, the file reference defaults to the current directory. If you are publishing files on the web, the default would be any file within your www directory.

To use the example above, you would specify the link as


In html context, this might appear as:

<img align="bottom" src="/images/logo.gif">
Author: Kyle Lapaglia

Author: Kyle Lapaglia

4 thoughts on “Absolute vs. Relative References”

  1. Relative referrences are unsupported for email because the absolute path will always refer to the server on which the received email lies. Until there is a way to force images to the server (which opens security risks), we will always have to use absolute paths.

Comments are closed.