HTML has a base tag

Today I learned about <base /> tag. It is really useful in a situation where you need to tell the browser what is the base for relative links. Why you need that? Imagine that you have a script that is located on CDN: https://cdn/application/index.html and from inside index.html you have a JS tag that points to index.js.

If you want implicitly tell browser to look for index.js inside application/* folder not https://cdn you can drop base tag:

<base ref="https://cdn/application/" />

It is telling the browser to base all relative links on https://cdn/application/. Notice trailing slash at the end - this is important to base to work.

You have base tag ready - now it is time to add script tag:

<script src="app.js" />

Notice that it don’t have ./ or / at the beginning src parameter - it is relative link.

Now the browser will resolve app.js to https://cdn/application/app.js. You can read more on MDN base documentation page.

If you need to set it up using html-webpack plugin:

  1. add base param to html-webpack options:
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: paths.indexHTML, // path to your index.html if you are using it
      base: `https://cdn/application/`,
  1. make sure that you don't have publicPath set in the webpack config.
  2. It is causing the output to be /app.js (or whatever you set your public path) instead of just having app.js


In this post, I wrote about base an HTML tag that can be used to hint browser what is the base URL for relative links inside a document.