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Special URL Encoding

Overview

Special URL encoding allows you to use special characters, such as $ and %, in URLs.  In addition, while you can use Template Tags within Tags, the nested tags require additonal encoding. 

Special URL Encoding in Plain Text Links

Links in content are automatically converted to Tracked links.  However, URLs may not be detected correctly within plain-text templates. Issues generally occur when special characters appear within the URL.

Unlike in HTML templates where the link is encapsulated by <a> </a> tags, plain text does not have a well-defined separator. For plain text, the URL parser detects characters like space, comma, and semi-colon, or other characters that occur following a URL when mixed within normal text strings.

In order to define URLs in plain text and avoid parsing issues, you must use URL, or HEXADECIMAL, encoding to replace certain characters within your URLs.

For example, replacing the comma in the following URL:

http:// www.mydomain.com?page=,4&flag=1

becomes

http:// www.mydomain.com?page=%2C4&flag=1

For a complete list of ASCII characters, go to AsciiTable.  You can also use the Template Tags 'urlencode' and 'urldecode' to automatically encode/decode your links.

Special URL encoding in Get Tags

To use the Template Tags in normal circumstances, the tags are surrounded by the double percent characters (%%).  However, this character has a special meaning when used in a URL.  In addition, characters such as the question mark (?) and equal sign (=) may interfere with the "get" tags command language.  An example URL may be:

http:// mydomain.com/ads?email=%%$email%%

Encoded in the "get" tag, the URL is:

%%cacheget "url=http:// mydomain.com/ads%3Femail%3D##$email##"%%

To include Template Tags in your URL, surround the tag name with double hash marks (##) instead of the percent characters.  For example, instead including the email address with the following tag:

%%$email%%

Replace the % with # to include:

##$email##

Special URL Encoding in a URL within a Tag

A URL that includes a query uses the question mark (?) and equal sign (=).  To encode these characters, use the following:

 

Character Encoding
? %3F
= %3D

This encoding convention ensures that the characters inside the URL are not confused with other "name=value" pairs used by the tag.    

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