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URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and represents the address for a specific electronic document like a Web site. If you know the URL for a Web site, you can use a Web browser to access the site directly by typing it into the address box at the top of the browser window.


Parts of a URL

A protocol is used for the start of every URL, and, in the example below, "http" signifies hypertext transfer protocol.


The location in which the electronic file is stored on the Web (World Wide Web is labeled as "www").


Specifies the specific document desired from its location on the Web, based on the URL's domain.

Example of a URL:

What can you learn by "reading" a URL?

The URL endings (extensions) can give you an idea who supports the Web site which is a valuable tool in evaluating a web site. Web sites that end in ".gov", ".edu" and ".org" are given more credibility than those that end with extensions like ".com" and ".net".

URL Extensions
Government sites end in .gov
University sites end in .edu
U.S. non-profit organizations end in .org
U.S. military sites end in .mil

Be wary of Web sites that end with
Commercial sites end with .com
Networking services and some personal Web sites end with .net
Web sites based in foreign countries end in a specific code for each nation. This extension is for Germany.

New URL Extensions to Note
Used by air transportation industry
General use by business
Used by cooperative organizations
General use by commercial and non-commercial sites
Used by museums
Used by individuals
Used by certified professionals and professional entities


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