Use Relative Protocol URL Address to Automatically Determine Web Address Protocol (HTTP or HTTPS)

http or httpsHere’s a really interesting bit about how you can omit the protocol part of a web address in your web pages. The predominant belief is that an HTTP:// or an HTTPS:// has got to be prefixed to a URL or it won’t work, truth is, it will. Try the following link:

Click Me!

View the source of this entry and you’ll see the link code:

<p><a href="//"></a>Click Me!</p>

There is no HTTP nor HTTPS protocol at the beginning of the URL. Yet, it’s working properly. Browsers will automatically use the same protocol as that of the current URL. It’s also working for other URL sources in HTML such as images or JavaScript scripts. Wherever you need to specify a URL.

This is very useful when your site is using SSL thus all the URLs start with HTTPS://. Because this approach lets the browser to automatically use the current protocol, you will not be blamed for using HTTP:// URLs on an HTTPS page and causing the notorious unsafe content warning to the users. It will also be a breeze to switch between the HTTP version and HTTPS version of your site. It’s totally automatic.

However, I don’t know what this would do in terms of SEO and how Google sees any URLs without the protocol part. Learn more about what the hell HTTP is.

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