I made a plugin to allows admins to set various variables I use in my themes (was created from the YourFirstPlugin). The ones that allow the user to enter content, for example I have an option to enter content into the footer, the links will not work.
If I put in a link <a href='linkURL'>Link</a> it will put it in the footer as <a href="%27linkURL%27">Link</a>
If I put in a link <a href="linkURL">Link</a> it will put it in the footer as <a href="%22linkURL%22">Link</a>
BUT, if I put in a link <a href=linkURL>Link</a> (no ' or " around the link URL) it works just fine.
Here are some snippets of code as an example of how I coded this in the plugin;
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