What is a URL?
A URL, or uniform resource locator, is the term for what most people think of as a Web address. Every time you launch your Internet browser and navigate to a website, you’re doing so through the use of a URL. Every time you type in “www.technewsdaily.com,” you’re using a URL.
The elements of a URL
URLs have two main components, namely the protocol identifier and resource name, separated by a colon and two forward slashes (://). In a URL such as “http://www.google.com”
- http is the protocol identifier
- www.google.com is the resource name.
The protocol identifier indicates the type of protocol to be used to fetch the resource name. Most websites will use http, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Other protocol identifiers include https, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and ftp, or File Transfer Protocol.
The resource name is the complete location of the resource. The resource name typically contains one or more of the following components:
- Domain name. This is a textual representation of the IP address, a numerical string that identifies the specific website, such as technewsdaily. The domain name ends with a suffix indicating the top domain level, such as .com, .org, .edu and .gov.
- File name. The path to the file on the machine. Directories and subdirectories are separated by a single forward-slash (/); e.g., www.website.com/files/images/image.jpg. Text files usually end in .html, while image files typically end with either .jpg or .gif.
- Reference. A named anchor within a resource that normally specifies a location within the file; e.g., http://www.website.com#reference.
URLs can be static or dynamic. A dynamic URL changes depending on how the user interacts with the content of the Web page, such as a shopping or travel site. Dynamic URLs often look garbled because they include extra symbols, such as &, ?, +, =, and %. A static URL, like the page's content, does not change due to the user's actions.
History of the URL
The URL was established in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The URL combines the original system of domain names with file path syntax. The creation of the URL effectively created an organizational system that gave every Web page its own unique location or address online.
How to get a URL
Many webhosting service providers also act as domain name registrars. Those companies allow you to purchase a unique domain name through them.