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Redirecting Users

Use redirection to keep your application user friendly.

When a user submits a form, you do not want to show any content on the page that handles the form submission! Why? Because if you do, and the user hits refresh in their browser, the form handling code could be triggered again, possibly causing duplicate entries in your database, multiple emails being sent, etc.

Remember to Redirect

To avoid the above problem, it is recommended to always redirect the user after submitting a form. In Wheels, this is done with the redirectTo() function. It is basically a wrapper around the cflocation tag in CFML.

Being that redirectTo() is a Wheels function, it can of course accept the controller, action, and key arguments so that you can easily redirect to other actions in your application.

2 Ways to Redirect

Let's look at the 2 ways you can redirect in Wheels.

1. Redirecting to Another Action

You can redirect the user to another action in your application simply by passing in the controller, action, and key arguments. You can also pass in any other arguments that are accepted by the URLFor() function, like host, params, etc. (The URLFor() function is what Wheels uses internally to produce the URL to redirect to.)

2. Redirecting to the Referring URL

It's very common that all you want to do when a user submits a form is send them back to where they came from. (Think of a user posting a comment on a blog post and then being redirected back to view the post with their new comment visible as well.) For this, we have the back argument. Simply pass in back=true to redirectTo(), and the user will be redirected back to the page they came from.

A word of warning: the referring URL is retrieved from the cgi.http_referer value. If this value is is blank or comes from a different domain than the current one, the user will be redirected to the root of the website instead.

addToken and statusCode

Common for all three methods above is that you can also pass in the addToken and statusCode arguments, which will be directly passed along to CFML's cflocation tag.

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  1. Please provide examples of each use case of redirectTo()

  2. Amir's Gravatar Amir says:

    I'd love some examples on how to use this with a simple "user sign up" form.

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