This help page is a how-to guide.
It details processes or procedures of some aspect(s) of Wikipedia's norms and practices. It is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, and may reflect varying levels of consensus and vetting.
Like all pages on the World Wide Web, the pages delivered by Wikimedia's servers have URLs to identify them. These are the addresses that appear in your browser's address bar when you view a page. Wikipedia editors also have the ability to create hyperlinks to chosen URLs, pointing to pages either within Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, or elsewhere on the Web.
When editing a page, hyperlinks to other pages within Wikipedia (or other Wikimedia projects) are normally made as wikilinks or interwikilinks, using the
[[...]] syntax described at Help:Link. However if you want to link to an outside website, or to certain specially generated Wikimedia pages (such as a past version of an article), it is necessary to provide the full URL. This is done using external link syntax.
There are three forms of external link syntax:
[https://meta.wikimedia.org/ Wikimedia]gives Wikimedia
Making a link to elsewhere on the same server as the wiki can be simplified by using ((SERVER)). Example:
To suppress the external link icon, place the external link between
<span class="plainlinks">...</span> tags.
https://are always supported.
mailto:will create a link and an icon but require an agent registered in the browser.
%20(this can be done using the PATH option of the
English Wikipedia's URLs begin https://en.wikipedia.org/. That address on its own is redirected to the Main Page.
The page name may include a namespace prefix (such as "Help:" in this page). With some special pages it may also include a parameter, as in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Jimbo_Wales (but for most special page parameters, see below).
Other URLs associated with a page are constructed by adding a query string. The string can be added to either of the above forms (as in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train?action=history ), but in this case the system defaults to the second form, i.e. it extends the index.php query string "title=Page_name".
Extended URLs are used:
oldidis the revision number), or use Template:Oldid. A permanent link to the present version of the page can be accessed by clicking "Permanent link" under "tools" on the left side of the page. The version ID is unique across all pages; the title parameter here has no effect, and can be omitted. Special:PermanentLink/1374279 is a wikilink to a page version.
vector2. Registered users can set their skin at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering.
deis the language code for German). Registered users can set their language at Special:Preferences.
withgadgetwill work only with gadgets that have been specifically enabled for inline loading. Registered users can load pages at Special:Gadgets by enabling the corresponding gadget at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets.
If constructing URLs for Wikipedia pages, remember to convert spaces into underscores, and to percent-code special characters where necessary, as described in the previous section. (For how to do this in template code, see Templates and programming below.)
Various kinds of error message may appear if an invalid URL, or one to which you do not have access, is submitted. In other cases the URL may redirect to a valid one (for example, page titles are converted to their canonical form as they are when they appear in wikilinks).
Wikipedia:URLShortener gives a way to make short URLs to Wikipedia pages.
An unofficial redirect site mentioned at User:Tl-lomas/enwp.org also offers shorter URLs.
enwp.org is not controlled by the Wikimedia Foundation, so it could stop working or change purpose at any time.
The second form can make a long page name into a short code. It uses pageid, which remains accurate even if the page is moved. Pageid has up to 8 digits, shown by clicking "Page information" under "Tools" on the left side of the page.
Other projects use similar URLs to those of English Wikipedia, except that the domain names vary: https://meta.wikimedia.org/ (Meta), https://fr.wikipedia.org/ (French Wikipedia), https://de.wiktionary.org/ (German Wiktionary), etc.
Note that https://www.wikipedia.org leads to an international Wikipedia portal page, but other URLs beginning with that prefix redirect to English Wikipedia.
Other projects may also use different strings in place of "/w/" and "/wiki/" in URLs. For details, see the URL help page on Meta.
For use in templates, correct URLs can be constructed using certain magic words and parser functions such as fullurl, urlencode and others. Details of these can be found at mw:Help:Magic words.
Most programmatic interaction with Wikipedia can be performed most efficiently using the API, for which URLs beginning https://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php are used. For details, see mw:API.