If you have a business web site on a content management system (CMS) like Joomla or WordPress, chances are that you have extended the platform with some sort of email functionality.    Or maybe you are also operating a CRM or ecommerce site and have a feature to send notices to customers and clients.

If so and you are also using a WYSIWYG editor to create content on your site, you may run into a problem.

WYSIWYG stands for “what you see is what you get.”  Rather than having to code in HTML to create the content for your web pages,  a WYSIWYG editor displays formatting icons to make formatting web content just as easy as if you were typing in Microsoft Word.  The majority of web platforms today either come with or have extensions to add a WYSIWYG editor for users.

However, WYSIWYG’s will also manipulate your text, such as cleaning up improperly formatted HTML elements (helpful,) stripping style elements (not always so helpful,) and setting the paths for inserted images and links.

Most editors can be configured to set either absolute or relative paths for images and urls.

An absolute url is one where the entire url is included, for example http://legacymarketingservices.com/file/images/cutepic.png.  The problem with this method is that it make your content very easy to be scraped and republished on other web sites, resulting not only in the theft  of your content, but the bandwidth as well.

Because of this, many webmasters use relative url’s in the content in which the base domain is left out (for example /file/images/cutepic.png.)  If an article and it’s corresponding images were republished on another web site, the images would not display since obviously they are not stored on the copycat’s server.

HTML Emails and WYSIWYG Editors

Relative urls and WYSIWYG’s are great for web content, the problem comes in with the HTML email.

If you want to create a pretty HTML email with images and links, those pictures must be uploaded and stored on your server and then the images must be linked to with absolute urls where most editors are configured to convert them to relative.

Are you beginning to see the dilemma?

You are probably saying to yourself, “Well I can just enter the absolute urls manually.”  The problem is that the editor will automatically convert them anyway.

For example, let’s say I want to put a link in an HTML email to my events page at http://legacymarketingservices.com/events.  The editor would strip that down to /events.  Again, not a problem in a web page; however, if it is put in an email without the base domain included the reader would end up with a “page not found error.”

So how do you get around this issue without giving up the convenience of an editor

The Email Solution

Here is the fix.  The editor is configured to work with the base domain of your site configuration.  Any time it sees a link that includes that exact domain, it will parse the url.

If your configuration is set to http://www.yourdomain.com, then manually enter the link as http://yourdomain.com (no www.)  If your configuration is set to http://yourdomain.com, do the opposite and manually enter the link at http://www.yourdomain.com.

The links will still resolve to the same page, but the editor will view it as a difference domain and will leave it as is.

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