Enter the text that you wish to encode or decode:
URL encoding and decoding may seem like an obscure technical topic, but these techniques are critical for proper functioning and optimization of websites and web applications. By converting special characters into a standardized format, URL encoding facilitates accurate transmission of text in URLs and form data. Read on to learn what URL encoding and decoding involve, why they matter for performance, and how to use them effectively.
URL encoding converts characters into a format that can be properly interpreted when transmitted over the internet. It substitutes special characters with a percent sign (%) followed by hexadecimal digits that represent those characters' byte sequence in ASCII or UTF-8.
For example, spaces are converted to %20. This prevents spaces and other special characters from being misinterpreted as delimiters when included in URLs and query strings. URL encoding adheres to specifications in RFC 1738 for allowable URL characters.
URL encoding has several common uses:
URL encoding is applied automatically in many cases, but developers may also manually encode data.
According to the URL specification RFC 1738, only a limited amount of characters may be used in a URL. These characters are as follows:
|A to Z (ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ)||– (Hyphen or Dash)|
|a to z (abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz)||_ (Underscore)|
|0 to 9 (0123456789)||. (Period)|
|$ (Dollar Sign)||! (Exclamation or Bang)|
|+ (Plus sign)||* (Asterisk or Star)|
|( (Open Bracket)||‘ (Single Quote)|
|) (Closing Bracket)|
Online URL encoding, also known as Percent-encoding, is a method of encoding specific information in a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) in specified circumstances. Despite the fact that it is commonly referred to as URL encoding, it is generally utilized within the main Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) set, which includes both Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and Uniform Resource Name (URN).
This online URL encoding is also used in data preparation and HTML form data submission in HTTP queries.
All characters that must be modified are replaced by a percent sign (%) and a two-digit hexadecimal value representing the character in the relevant ISO character set. Some instances are provided below:
|$ (Dollar Sign) becomes %24||+ (Plus) becomes %2B|
|& (Ampersand) becomes %26||, (Comma) becomes %2C|
|: (Colon) becomes %3A||; (Semi-Colon) becomes %3B|
|= (Equals) becomes %3D||? (Question Mark) becomes %3F|
|@ (Commercial A / At) becomes %40|
URL encoding works by:
For example, a space character is converted to the 3-byte UTF-8 sequence 11000011 10100000 10000000. Each byte is then rendered as its hex equivalent - %20. The full space character is replaced with %20.
This hex encoding scheme ensures that all special characters can be reliably transmitted over the internet. Plus, the encoded URLs remain reasonably compact and readable.
URL decoding performs the reverse process of converting encoded characters back into the original characters. It translates hexadecimal values preceded by % into their corresponding symbols and accented characters.
URL decoding allows developers to restore encoded information back into a readable format. It is used to display human-readable URLs, reveal encrypted data, and process form data.
URL decoders work by:
This decoding restores the original special characters so that encoded data can be processed and displayed correctly.
URL encoding and decoding may seem esoteric, but they are critical for security and performance. Key benefits include:
Following encoding best practices enhances website functionality while decoding reveals encoded information for processing.
Here are some tips for effectively implementing URL encoding:
With a bit of care, URL encoding and decoding allows developers to include special characters while optimizing web performance. By converting to standardized hexadecimal representations, URLs and queries remain efficient and stable as they pass through servers. Simply remember to decode encoded text back into human-readable form before usage in your applications.