Top url Questions

List of Tags

Is there a plugin-less way of retrieving query string values via jQuery (or without)?

If so, how, and if not what plugin do you recommend?

Answered By: Artem Barger ( 1598)

You don't need jQuery for that purpose. You can use the pure JavaScript:

function getParameterByName(name)
  name = name.replace(/[\[]/, "\\\[").replace(/[\]]/, "\\\]");
  var regexS = "[\\?&]" + name + "=([^&#]*)";
  var regex = new RegExp(regexS);
  var results = regex.exec(;
  if(results == null)
    return "";
    return decodeURIComponent(results[1].replace(/\+/g, " "));
Sander Versluys

Does it differ between browsers?

Does the HTTP protocol dictate it?

Answered By: Paul Dixon ( 1134)

Short answer - de facto limit of 2000 characters

If you keep URLs under 2000 characters, they'll work in virtually any combination of client and server software.

Longer answer - first, the standards...

RFC 2616 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol HTTP/1.1) section 3.2.1 says

The HTTP protocol does not place any a priori limit on the length of
a URI. Servers MUST be able to handle the URI of any resource they serve, and SHOULD be able to handle URIs of unbounded length if they provide GET-based forms that could generate such URIs. A server SHOULD return 414 (Request-URI Too Long) status if a URI is longer than the server can handle (see section 10.4.15).

Note: Servers ought to be cautious about depending on URI lengths above 255 bytes, because some older client or proxy implementations might not properly support these lengths.

...and the reality

That's what the standards say. For the reality, see this research over at to see what individual browser and server implementations will support. It's worth a read, but the executive summary is:

Extremely long URLs are usually a mistake. URLs over 2,000 characters will not work in the most popular web browser. Don't use them if you intend your site to work for the majority of Internet users.

Also, be aware that the sitemaps protocol, which allows a site to inform search engines about available pages, has a limit of 2048 characters in a URL. If you intend to use sitemaps, a limit has been decided for you! (see Calin-Andrei Burloiu's answer below)

There's also some research from 2010 into the maximum URL length that search engines will crawl and index. They found the limit was 2047 chars, which appears allied to the sitemap protocol spec. However, they also found the Google SERP tool wouldn't cope with URLs longer than 1855 chars.


This is a popular question, and as the original research is nearly 6 years old I'll try to keep it up to date: As of Jan 2013, the advice still stands, as IE8's maximum URL length is 2083 chars, and it seems IE9 has a similar limit.


How do you safely encode a URL using JavaScript such that it can be put into a GET string?

var myUrl = "";
var myOtherUrl = "" + myUrl;

I assume that you need to encode the myUrl variable on that second line?

Answered By: Buu Nguyen ( 701)

Check out the built-in function encodeURIComponent(str) and encodeURI(str).
In your case, this should work:

var myOtherUrl = 
       "" + encodeURIComponent(myUrl);
Sean McMains

People talk about URLs and URIs as if they're different things, but they look the same to the naked eye. What's the difference between the two?

Answered By: Roger Pate ( 766)

URIs identify and URLs locate; however, locations are also identifications, so every URL is also a URI, but there are URIs which are not URLs.


  • Roger Pate

This is my name, which is identification. It is like a URI, but cannot be a URL, as it tells you nothing about my location or how to contact me. In this case it also happens to identify at least 5 other people in the USA alone.

  • 4914 West Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas

This is a location, which is identification for that physical location. It is like both a URL and URI (since all URLs are URIs), and also identifies me indirectly as "resident of..". In this case it uniquely identifies me, but that would change if I get a roommate.

I say "like" because these examples do not follow the required syntax.

Popular confusion

From Wikipedia:

In computing, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a subset of the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that specifies where an identified resource is available and the mechanism for retrieving it. In popular usage and in many technical documents and verbal discussions it is often incorrectly used as a synonym for URI, ... [emphasis mine]

Because of this common confusion, many products and documentation incorrectly use one term instead of the other, assign their own distinction, or use them synonymously.


My name, Roger Pate, could be like a URN, except those are much more regulated and intended to be unique across both space and time.

Because I currently share this name with other people, it's not globally unique and would not be appropriate as a URN. However, even if no other family used this name, I'm named after my paternal grandfather, so it still wouldn't be unique across time. And even if that wasn't the case, the possibility of naming my descendants after me make this unsuitable as a URN.

URNs are different from URLs in this rigid uniqueness constraint, even though they both share the syntax of URIs.


I am using a ListView to display some images and captions associated with those images. I am getting the images from the Internet. Is there a way to lazy load the images so while the text displays, the UI is not locked up and images are displayed as they are downloaded?

The number of images is not fixed.

Answered By: Fedor ( 612)

I made a simple demo of a lazy list (located at GitHub) with images. It may be helpful to somebody. It downloads images in the background thread. Images are being cached on an SD card and in memory. The cache implementation is very simple and is just enough for the demo. I decode images with inSampleSize to reduce memory consumption. I also try to handle recycled views correctly.

Alt text

I've just noticed that the long, convoluted Facebook URLs that we're used to now look like this:!/pages/Another-Page/123456789012345

As far as I can recall, earlier this year it was just a normal URL-fragment-like string (starting with #), without the exclamation mark. But now it's a shebang or hashbang (#!), which I've previously only seen in shell scripts and Perl scripts.

The new Twitter URLs now also feature the #! symbols. A Twitter profile URL, for example, now looks like this:!/BoltClock

Does #! now play some special role in URLs, like for a certain Ajax framework or something since the new Facebook and Twitter interfaces are now largely Ajaxified? Would using this in my URLs benefit my Web application in any way?

Answered By: ceejayoz ( 329)

This tells Google how to index the page.


I am using jQuery. I'd like to get the path of the current URL and assign it to a variable.

Example URL:

Answered By: Ryan Doherty ( 511)

To get the path, you can use window.location.pathname:

var pathname = window.location.pathname;

All I want is to get the website URL. Not the URL as taken from a link. On the page loading I need to be able to grab the full, current URL of the website and set it as a variable to do with as I please.

Answered By: VolkerK ( 427)

alert( document.URL );

Jakub Arnold

How can I get the current absolute URL in my Ruby on Rails view?

The request.request_uri only returns the relative URL.

Answered By: Jaime Bellmyer ( 364)

For Rails 2: You want request.url instead of request.request_uri. This combines the protocol (usually http://) with the host, and request_uri to give you the full address.

For Rails 3: You want "#{request.protocol}#{request.host_with_port}#{request.fullpath}", since request.url is now deprecated.

Brian MacKay

Path.Combine is handy, but is there a similar function in the .NET framework for Urls?

I'm looking for syntax like this:

Url.Combine("Http://", "/Images/Image.jpg")

which would return:


Of course, string concatenation would be fine here since the '//' would be handled intelligently by the browser. But it feels a little less elegant.

Answered By: Joel Beckham ( 280)

Uri has a constructor that should do this for you: new Uri(Uri baseUri, string relativeUri)

Here's an example:

Uri baseUri = new Uri("");
Uri myUri = new Uri(baseUri, "catalog/shownew.htm");