I've inherited a Joomla site. I've noticed that some articles contain URLs like this:

<a href="http://testdomain.test/rest_of_url">example</a>

This site gets copied from our staging server to a production server, serving another domain, the production domain production.com. We don't want users on the production server to be linked to the staging domain testdomain.test, so this is a problem for us. The solution to this, I thought, was to modify the URLs to become:

<a href="/rest_of_url">example</a>

When I modify the article content like that, I click "save", but something automatically modifies the article content to put back the http:// scheme and the domain at the front. Other changes to the article content do get saved though. I presume one of the plug-ins is doing this, as other Joomla sites that I've worked on do not have this behaviour. The full URL does get saved to the database in the article content, I've verified that manually.

How do I go about debugging this issue to find out what's modifying the article content before it gets saved to the database? Is there a quicker way than manually turning off plugins one-by-one (or bisecting)?

2 Answers 2


I found the culprit by disabling plug-ins one-by-one. It was "Editor - TinyMCE". It has a setting that lets you choose between absolute and relative URLs. Here's a screenshot:


When I change that setting to "relative", the URLs become:

 <a href="rest_of_url">example</a>

This is not exactly what I want, as I would like the / prefix for peace of mind.

  • That is correct setting, and you don't have to worry about missing / prefix. Joomla's router adds that automaticaly.
    – user7746
    Feb 15, 2016 at 10:41

For internal links, I always prefer relative NON-SEF urls, linking to the content item, either this is a menu item, a content item (article) etc.

In all my Joomla installs I use JCE editor and its link manager plugin is very handy in creating the NON-SEF links.

This way, all internal links will be working under any domain and with SEF URLs enabled/disabled.

The final generated urls will also be able to be managed within 3rd party SEF extensions - and follow the configuration you apply in there, so in case you decide to do changes in the URLs structure tree (e.g. category-title/article-title combinations) you won't have to go and edit manually sef urls inside your content.

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