The Role of the “BASE” Tag in Web Development

3 min read

Have you ever visited a website and noticed that all the links you click lead to pages within that same website? Well, the <base> tag in HTML5 is what makes that happen. It sets the main URL for all the links on a page, so that any link you click on will take you to a page within the same website. It might not be the most commonly used HTML tag, but it’s really important for making sure that web pages work properly. If you’re new to web development, this guide will help you understand what the <base> tag does and why it’s so significant.

What is the HTML <base> Tag?

The <base> tag specifies a base URL to use for all relative URLs in a web page. This means that any relative link, image source, or other media paths will use this base URL as their starting point. The <base> tag must be placed inside the <head> element.

Key Attributes of the <base> Tag

  1. href: Specifies the base URL for all relative URLs on the page.
  2. target: Sets a default target for all hyperlinks and forms on the page.

Example Code with the <base> Tag

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Base Tag Example</title>
    <base href="" target="_blank">

    <h1>Welcome to Our Website</h1>
    <a href="about.html">About Us</a><br>
    <a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a>

    <img src="images/logo.png" alt="Company Logo">


In this example, the <base> tag sets the base URL to “” So, the links to “about.html” and “contact.html” will automatically direct to “” and “,” respectively. The same applies to the image source.

Benefits and Considerations

  • Simplifies Document Maintenance: This is especially useful in a document with many relative links, as it eliminates the need to specify the full URL for each link.
  • Ease of Migration: It is handy when moving a site to a new domain, as you only need to change the base URL in one place.
  • Potential Conflicts: Be cautious, as the <base> tag can cause conflicts if not used properly, especially in complex websites with mixed absolute and relative URLs.
  • Target Attribute: The target="_blank" in the <base> tag means that all links will open in a new tab by default, which should be used judiciously to avoid disrupting the user experience.


The <base> tag is a powerful tool in HTML5 for managing relative URLs. While it’s not frequently used in every web project, understanding its functionality is beneficial for situations where managing multiple relative paths becomes cumbersome. As you advance in web development, knowing when and how to use the <base> tag can simplify your workflow and enhance your website’s manageability.

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