I consider that there are a couple of reasons here. Visualforce is not considered an "API call" or at least not in the traditional sense. The case-insensitive 18 digit ids were added to help with data integration with systems like Access, but if you are interacting with other websites via URLs and query parameters, they are already case sensitive, so the 15 digits case-sensitive id should work fine for you. To convert 18 to 15, just strip off the last 3 chars. All inbound requests into SFDC (UI, API, VF, Apex, etc) accept both 15 and 18 char ids.