I have a database which contain many name with combination of those characters. Once i will reload them, they will become public web url.

So that visitor if open this url (its valid??): http://www.example.com/&*Ö::

It will land to a unique page. But do you really allow those characters? Or filter them. Or there is no rule really, anything is allowed.

(I can already see, http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/23964/how-to-allow-nonsense-characters-as-web-url-for-example-and-more, skiped my special characters and only took "and more". Is that the standard? I mean you can delete the main character?)

2 Answers 2


You can allow any character in URLs but it is not a good idea.

for example

%2F is the "percent-encoded" version of "/" that is a special character

the common practice is use the UTF-8 encoding for the URLs, because it is Unicode based and it is backward compatible with ASCII (basic US characters)

as I said it is not a good idea allowing all characters. You can allow a big set of characters, but not all Some are potentially dangerous like the %00 null character

I use to allow letters of any alphabet (including as example ùàòè), numbers, some symbols like -_.+

I hope this helps!

  • %2F is a slash, not a "jolly" character, which I believe refers to an asterix (*). Commented Dec 31, 2011 at 8:48
  • 1
    sorry this was a translation problem, in Italian we use to mark "jolly" any different from normality... correcting :)
    – user12370
    Commented Dec 31, 2011 at 16:39
  • You could be right. I'd actually never heard that term before until now and had to google it. I saw it used to refer to the asterix, but who knows... =] Commented Dec 31, 2011 at 18:20

If you are using the ISO-8859-1 character set, then you can use the following table for reference. You just simply use Entity Name or Entity Number.

HTML ISO-8859-1

EDIT: just re-read your question, am not sure how you can 'convert' the characters directly from your DB to allow browsers to read it correctly.

According to rfc1738 (page 2), unsafe characters should always be encoded. So a direct answer to your question would be, no it should not be allowed.

  • But the name is associated with Company or Associations or etc unfortunately and they would be annoying to include as web url because, normal human being wont type those abnormal characters while they open any url or search for any url.
    – YumYumYum
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 10:12

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