URL - What it is, meaning, types, examples and parts

URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) or Resource Locators are unique addresses used to locate a Web page and its contents on a network serve.

URL - What it is, meaning, types, examples and parts | Learn HTML | URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) or Resource Locators are unique addresses used to locate a Web page and its contents on a network serve

URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) or Resource Locators are unique addresses used to locate a Web page and its contents on a network server

These addresses are written in the address bar of the browser so that it sends a request through the network and as a culmination of the process, it is possible to visualize in personal computers the content of a site hosted on a remote server.

URLs allow you to locate any type of resources on any Internet computer. It is used primarily in browsers. It combines the name of the computer that provides the information, the directory where it is located, the name of the file and the protocol to be used to recover the data.

When you type a URL or address in the browser, or when you click on a hyperlink, a request is generated.

The servers called the root server are responsible for selecting the requests, and the DNS servers establish the correspondence between the names of the pages and the equivalent IP addresses.

When you type a URL in a browser, if you do it without indicating the server, the program defaults to the web protocol, that is, http

When the request arrives at the server, it examines it and according to the address it locates the document.

Sometimes the server needs to connect to another server to get the information; in this case, it is acting as a client of that other server.

A URL is formed by a string of characters arranged in this way: 


http: // indicates the sub-protocol that is being requested from the server. The same server on the Internet can offer different resources with different services and their corresponding protocols.

The first part of a URL, just behind the two bars, contains the type of protocol used in the exchange of information, in this case http:

Protocol examples:

  1. http, document
  2. ftp, ftp,file transfer
  3. news, news, usenet news
  4. telnet, telnet, remote access

The second part of the URL, corresponds to the name of the domain where the data or the service is located and optionally its connection port.

In this example: 


Sometimes the URL shows the port number, a 16-bit number that allows you to identify active connections on the Web server where the site is hosted.

Some resources or services are standardized protocols and always use the same port number.

The last part contains the path to reach the resource within the server, in addition to the proper name of the resource:


Browsers allow you to save the most visited URLs in a special menu, which in Internet Explorer is called favorites.

In this way, it is enough to click with the mouse to access a previously saved URL.

If you want to know the URL of a hyperlink, hover over it. An icon with one hand will appear and you will see the URL in the status bar located at the bottom of your browser screen.

Many URLs do not include a file name at the end, but instead end or point to a directory

When a server receives a request with the address name instead of a file, it looks in that directory for a default document, usually called index.html, which is the one that returns for viewing.

In some cases the URL does not have the final slash indicating that it is a directory, because the server adds it automatically.

The name of the default file may vary, depending on the server settings.

Some servers use the default.html file name instead of index.html.

If the site uses server-side programming to generate the pages, the file will be called index.php or index.asp.

Check that the administrator of the service where you are going to hang your site, what is the name of the default file.

Some servers display the contents of the directory if they do not find the default file. Make sure you have a default file to prevent your directories from showing up in the browser in the eyes of the curious.

URL design

Tim Berners-Lee has said that if he had known that the web was going to be as popular as it is, he should have thought better about finding an alternative to part of a URL.

Initially it was code readable by the machine, but in practice it is exposed to the users in such a way that it must be considered as an element of the design.

In principle, the correct thing is to indicate the complete URLs, but it is advisable to program the Web servers to respond only with the domain

The name of our domain is very important, since many users will search us directly through it.

For your selection you have to think about the simplicity, the ease of remembering it and the ease of writing it correctly.

In case of compound terms there are three reasonable possibilities:

  • Put words together (javivegas.com)
  • Use abbreviations (jvegas.com)
  • Use a script (javi-vegas.com)

The most extended current opts for the first option. Merge two words creating a new "cyber word".

The second is useful when the number of words to be merged increases or because of issues of euphony in the result of the merger.

The last one must be avoided because people often forget that little detail (the script)

Likewise, when specifying a URL in our code it is advisable to do it completely, including a bar at the end to facilitate the server the distinction between files and directories..

Finally, studies show that users often read URLs trying to reconstruct the structure of the site they visit.

This should incline us to follow certain indications of the URLs throughout the entire site:

  • Do it as short as you can (the longer the more chances there are)
  • Use natural language, the user will be able to pronounce it, and therefore, tell them the rest
  • Always use lowercase, the opposite is a source of errors
  • Avoid special characters as much as you can

Stable URL

The URL is the path by which other pages will generate traffic to us.

It is important that the generated traffic find its destination, for which the stability of the URLs of our pages must be taken care of.

When a site is reorganized they must maintain a minimum of six months old urls, and redirect the user to the new address.

It is recommended to use the messages already specified within the http protocol, specifically 301 indicating that the page has been moved permanently, with which a decent browser should update the link in the favorites, and 302, which indicates that the movement It is temporary.

The stability of the URLs will allow us to publish them by different means, always looking for the increase of traffic to our site.

It is important in this sense to publicize not only the URL of the home page, but, whenever possible, the one that directly refers to the subject advertised, which prevents the user from looking for it within the site.


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APA Format Reference:

Delgado, Hugo. (2019).
URL - What it is, meaning, types, examples and parts.
Retrieved Jan 10, 2024, from


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Professor at the University of Guadalajara

Hugo Delgado Desarrollador y Diseñador Web en Puerto Vallarta

Professional in Web Development and SEO Positioning for more than 10 continuous years.
We have more than 200 certificates and recognitions in the Academic and Professional trajectory, including diploma certificates certified by Google.



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