String to URL – PHP Function

Here is a very handy PHP function to convert the contents of a string into an SEO ready, browser-friendly URL. This can be used within article creation in conjunction with .htaccess ‘RewriteRule’.

function string_to_url($string_name, $length, $file_extension)
$file_name = ereg_replace("[^a-z^A-Z^0-9^ ^-]", "", $string_name);
$file_name = strtolower($file_name);
$file_name = preg_replace('/s+/', " ", $file_name);
$file_name = substr($file_name, 0, $length);
$file_name = trim($file_name);
$file_name = str_replace(" ", "-", $file_name);
$file_name = $file_name.$file_extension;
return $file_name;

Example usage:

$my_string = " String to URL     @~{*   &^";
$url = string_to_url($my_string, 150, ".html");
echo $url;

This would parse as:


Function break-down

So, what does this function do (in order)?

  • All illegal, none url characters are stripped away
  • Characters are forced to lowercase
  • Duplicate spaces are removed
  • The string is shortened by the value of $length
  • Any spaces at the end or start of the string are removed with trim
  • Remaining spaces are replaced with SEO friendly ‘-‘ hyphens
  • The file extension is added to the string

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