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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
Definitions
Protocol

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

Domain

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

Path

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


Example of a URL:

http://www.library.fordham.edu/databases.html
Protocol
Domain
Path

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
 
.gov
Government sites end in .gov http://www.senate.gov
.edu
University sites end in .edu http://www.fordham.edu
.org
U.S. non-profit organizations end in .org http://www.aspca.org
.mil
U.S. military sites end in .mil http://www.army.mil

 
Be wary of Web sites that end with
 
.com
Commercial sites end with .com http://www.yankees.com
.net
Networking services and some personal Web sites end with .net http://www.att.net
.de
Web sites based in foreign countries end in a specific code for each nation. This extension is for Germany. http://www.spiegel.de

 
New URL Extensions to Note
 
.aero
Used by air transportation industry http://www.nata.aero
.biz
General use by business http://www.nsba.biz
.coop
Used by cooperative organizations http://www.ncba.coop
.info
General use by commercial and non-commercial sites http://www.ebrc.info
.museum
Used by museums http://getty.art.museum
.name
Used by individuals http://paintings.name
.pro
Used by certified professionals and professional entities http://www.nonprofit.pro

 



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