Every time you browse the Internet, you access a URL. That simple trip you made to Google to look up alternatives to butter when you ran out while in the middle of making cookies–you looked up a URL. That few minutes you spent on Facebook looking at your friend’s recent wedding pictures–you accessed a URL. That night you spent binge-watching your favorite Netflix TV show–you guessed it.

We know, we know. Mind=Blown (And you thought you weren’t technical. HA!)

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at the website URL in your search bar, you may have wondered what each part of the URL might mean and what it is used for.

We’ve decided to break it down to help you save time when you deal with technicians, order domains, and for your general knowledge. (Plus, who doesn’t like to learn new stuff?)

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a URL?

URL is an acronym that stands for Uniform Resource Locator (i.e. website address). It works by connecting your computer to a file, page or program online.

There are two types of URLs including absolute and relative. An absolute URL is independent and points directly to a certain file. It usually looks like this: protocol://domain/path

In contrast, a relative URL points to a file in relation to the current file. They tend to be shorter than absolute URLs. It usually looks like this: ./home.html

The Parts of a URL

There are many pieces of a URL that serve different purposes.

Here is a basic URL described:

Here is a slightly more complex URL described:

Protocol: The first part of a URL before the subdomain (i.e. https, http, ftp, udp).

Subdomain: A domain that is part of a larger domain. It comes directly before the main domain, and is followed by a period (i.e. www, mail, remote, blog, webmail, portal, support).

Domain Name: The part of a URL that shows it belongs to a specific domain (i.e. happy.com, sleepy.com, smiley.com).

TLD (top-level domain): The last piece of a domain name that comes after the period (i.e. .com, .net, .io, .org, .edu, .gov, .biz).

Port: Default directors for HTTP (HTTP uses port 80) and HTTPS (HTTPS uses port 443).

Path: The generic name of a file, referring to a specific location.

Query: Part of a URL with data that doesn’t fit into a hierarchical path.

Parameters: Guidelines set in a page’s URL (can be accessed through template and data sources).

Fragment: Optional final part of a domain that would be led by a hashtag (usually identifies a piece of a document).

We hope this helps you! Be sure to follow our blog for more useful tips about websites.

P.S. Happy Scrabble Day!

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