Video:What Is a URL?with Don Schechter
If you're new to the online world, all the lingo and abbreviations can be confusing. Find out more about URLs and other seemingly scary web words.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is a URL?Hi, I'm Don Schechter for About.com Computing. For those of you who are just starting to venture out on the world wide web, you may hear a lot of internet jargon. To help you understand better how the internet works, lets talk about URLs.
What Is a URL?URL stands for Uniform Resource Location. The most common use of URLs come in the form of web addresses, those WWW websites that are advertised in virtually every commercial. You may not know it but every time you visit a web page, you type in a URL. Whether its checking your email, or getting information. URL is just a synonym for an internet address.
Rules of URLsURLs have some basic rules that you might have already noticed if you've surfed the web before. It never has any spaces in it, its not the same as an email address and it always starts with a prefix like HTTP. It uses dots and forward slashes to separate different parts.
What Is a Protocol Prefix?The prefix is called a protocol prefix. It identifies the specific computer language that any given web page is written in. HTTP actually stands for hyper text transfer protocol which is just one of many computer languages even though it is the most common. A colon and two forward slashes separate this from the next part, in many cases it will be WWW.
What Does WWW Mean?WWW stands for world wide web which is the name of the transmitter hard drive. WWW is a very common name but there are lots of websites with other hard drive names. After the www there is a dot followed by the title of the website. This is actually called the mid-level domain. Domain names describe what the website is about and show ownership. Typically after the domain name there is a .com, .gov, .org, or any number of various other top level domain. This describes the country or the publishing intent. For example, .com refers to a commercial website, .gov is a government website, .org and organization. and .edu is educational.
Changing URLsIf you decide to browse around the website, you will see the URL change in the address bar. Separated by slashes, you will see the names of the hard drive subfolders or the web page file name. Websites are built like charts where everything starts at the home page and then for more information you can click around and view different pages of sub categories, but they are all located on the same website.
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