PHP's rawurlencode in JavaScript

Here’s what our current JavaScript equivalent to PHP's rawurlencode looks like.

module.exports = function rawurlencode (str) {
// discuss at:
// original by: Brett Zamir (
// input by: travc
// input by: Brett Zamir (
// input by: Michael Grier
// input by: Ratheous
// bugfixed by: Kevin van Zonneveld (
// bugfixed by: Brett Zamir (
// bugfixed by: Joris
// reimplemented by: Brett Zamir (
// reimplemented by: Brett Zamir (
// note 1: This reflects PHP 5.3/6.0+ behavior
// note 1: Please be aware that this function expects \
// note 1: to encode into UTF-8 encoded strings, as found on
// note 1: pages served as UTF-8
// example 1: rawurlencode('Kevin van Zonneveld!')
// returns 1: 'Kevin%20van%20Zonneveld%21'
// example 2: rawurlencode('')
// returns 2: ''
// example 3: rawurlencode('')
// returns 3: ''
str = (str + '')
// Tilde should be allowed unescaped in future versions of PHP (as reflected below),
// but if you want to reflect current
// PHP behavior, you would need to add ".replace(/~/g, '%7E');" to the following.
return encodeURIComponent(str)
.replace(/!/g, '%21')
.replace(/'/g, '%27')
.replace(/\(/g, '%28')
.replace(/\)/g, '%29')
.replace(/\*/g, '%2A')
[ View on GitHub | Edit on GitHub | Source on GitHub ]

How to use

You you can install via npm install locutus and require it via require('locutus/php/url/rawurlencode'). You could also require the url module in full so that you could access url.rawurlencode instead.

If you intend to target the browser, you can then use a module bundler such as Parcel, webpack, Browserify, or rollup.js. This can be important because Locutus allows modern JavaScript in the source files, meaning it may not work in all browsers without a build/transpile step. Locutus does transpile all functions to ES5 before publishing to npm.

A community effort

Not unlike Wikipedia, Locutus is an ongoing community effort. Our philosophy follows The McDonald’s Theory. This means that we don't consider it to be a bad thing that many of our functions are first iterations, which may still have their fair share of issues. We hope that these flaws will inspire others to come up with better ideas.

This way of working also means that we don't offer any production guarantees, and recommend to use Locutus inspiration and learning purposes only.


  • This reflects PHP 5.3/6.0+ behavior Please be aware that this function expects \ to encode into UTF-8 encoded strings, as found on pages served as UTF-8


Please note that these examples are distilled from test cases that automatically verify our functions still work correctly. This could explain some quirky ones.

#codeexpected result
1rawurlencode('Kevin van Zonneveld!')'Kevin%20van%20Zonneveld%21'

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