The problem here is with string termination. The string opens with the first ", and is closed by the first matching ". Hence the string is "<a href=". The rest is therefore syntactically incorrect PHP. If you want to nest quotes inside quotes (as you do here), the nested quotes must be different from the quotes used to open and close the string. So if you enclose the string in "...", then the nested quotes must be '...', and vice-versa.