The SRC attribute is an important HTML element that is used to add resources to a webpage. In other words, it shows a browser where to find an image or font on the server. It is important to never leave SRC elements empty unless you want to experience unexpected responses from the browser. However, there is a way to fix the issue if it has already happened.
What Does “Empty SRC Attributes” Mean?
The HTML SRC (source) attribute specifies the location of the URL of the external script resource that has to be loaded. It is required to be used for images. Sometimes a browser encounters URLs containing empty SRC attributes that force it to duplicate page requests. Eventually, the browser returns to the same page since there is no link pointing to the correct location.
What Triggers This Issue?
The problem may occur because of a bug in the code or after some updates or changes. For example, it is often the CMS’ responsibility, such as when you download a new WordPress plugin or theme and haven’t ensured that all the image URL fields are filled and validated. Another case is when you decide to temporarily leave SRC attributes with no URL while developing a website and then replace empty strings with images in the future.
How To Check the Issue
One of the ways to detect empty source attributes is to write a function that will find them within the code. Some may prefer to spot the issue on the server by checking a request’s referer: if your page links to itself, then there are empty SRC elements. Also, you can find some applications that will check files on your website and detect the issue.
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Why Is This Important?
Every browser behaves differently when encountering a page with empty source attributes. Some of them won’t do anything at all, but in most cases, it will create unwanted problems. Empty SRC attributes will cause unnecessary requests to the server, which will waste server resources. The server may crash due to a lot of excessive traffic. Besides, there is a risk of damaging user data.
How To Fix the Issue
There are two ways to fix the problem: remove the elements with empty SRC attributes or add URLs with 200 HTTP status codes to them. For that, you need to make some changes to the existing code. To specify the URL in the SRC element, you may use an absolute URL — meaning a link that leads to an external webpage. Another way is to use a relative URL that will link to an image on your website.
The SRC element can also specify the resource containing font data. It helps browsers display a suitable font for your webpage. It may be an address leading to a remote location or the font’s name on the computer. You may read this article to see examples of using SRC attributes for this purpose and learn about browser compatibility.