Both are actually relative paths. An example of an absolute path would be http://www.domain.com/styles/site.css, so no matter what server or folder it is called from, it knows where to go. The issue is a temporary one as it lies in a discrepancy of where the root lies for the Temp URL vs the actual domain, once it is pointed to us.
Using a forward slash at the beginning of a relative path with Linux means to begin at the root of the domain name being used. With a Temp URL, the root is the folder just above the public_html folder at /home/username. The root of the domain name is the public_html folder itself at /home/username/public_html. Since the preceding slash tells the temp URL to start at root, it cannot find the sites folder since it is looking one level higher.
You can use either one (/styles/site.css or styles/site.css) with the domain name itself, it will behave correctly. For testing with the temp URL, simply leave off the first slash. Most people simply choose to forego the first slash altogether to avoid the issue with a temp URL.
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