The Differences Between Various URL Formats for a Confluence Page

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Background

There are a couple of different ways to link to a given Confluence page, and this KB aims to explain when and how each format is generated. Three of the most common formats are:

  • Page title ("pretty") format

  • PageId format

  • Shortened ("tiny link") format

Page Title ("Pretty") Format

Example
https://confluence.example.com/display/SPACEKEY/Page+Title

Whenever possible, Confluence will default to using this format to link to pages. This format contains the space key where the page resides, as well as the title of the page itself with some minor substitutions and URL encoding (e.g. spaces are replaced with "+" signs). This type of link allows users to identify what the linked content is about without needing to click on it. If the page title changes, the URL will likewise be updated to reflect the new title. If a user then tries to accesses a page with the old title in the URL, they will encounter a "Page not found" with a suggestion that the page may have been renamed, including a link to the new page.

As this URL format is based on the page title, there are conditions in which can prevent the pretty format from being generated. These conditions include:

  • If the page title contains a URL reserved or unsafe character, such as:

    % & ? / \ ; " § +
  • Or, if the final character of the page title is of any non-alphanumeric character

If either of these are true, Confluence will default to using the pageId URL format instead of trying to generate a pretty URL with the page title.

PageId Format

Example
https://confluence.example.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=123456

Unlike the pretty format, the PageId format can be used to refer to any page in Confluence, since each page has a unique pageId value (stored in the database). As long as the pageId is known, a user can substitute the value to the end of the URL and access the page directly. The URL for a given page is static and will retain the same pageId reference even the page is renamed or moved to a different location.

Shortened ("Tiny Link") Format

Example
https://confluence.example.com/x/a4OcE

Typically not seen in the UI, users can request a shortened URL to be generated for any given page by accessing the page and clicking "..." > Page Information. The resulting page will have the tiny link generated. This format is useful if character count is a restriction when sharing the link. It is generated based on the PageId after converting to byte array and encoded to base64. You can find the technical details here: How to programmatically generate the tiny link of a Confluence page

Related Feature Requests

There are a couple of feature requests you may wish to follow, relating to page URL formatting:

  • Always generate links with "Pretty URL" format even with special characters in the title:  CONFSERVER-11285 - Getting issue details... STATUS
  • Always generate links with "PageId" format (some organizations prefer this for privacy or consistency reasons):  CONFSERVER-45898 - Getting issue details... STATUS
Last modified on Sep 5, 2018

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