Understanding URLs: A Comprehensive Tutorial on Website URLs

April 5, 2024
Understanding URLs: A Comprehensive Tutorial on Website URLs

If you’ve ever used the internet, you’ve likely come across the term "URL". But what exactly is a URL, and why is it important? In this article, we’ll explore the basics of URLs and how they work.

What is a URL?

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A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is the address of a specific webpage or file on the internet. It is the unique identifier that allows you to access a specific website or webpage. It contains various elements, including the network communication protocol, a subdomain, a domain name, and its extension.

Fortunately, website owners can change their website links. A good link can help make it easier for users to find information and improve how well a website shows up in online searches. So, by making your links better, you can make your website more visible on search engine results pages.

What Does URL Stand For?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It was created in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, as a way to standardize website addresses.

URL vs Domain

A domain is the name of a website, while a URL is the specific address of a webpage within that website. For example, "www.example.inc" is a domain, while "www.example.inc/blog" is a URL within that domain.

Parts of a URL

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A URL is made up of several parts, each with its own specific purpose. Let’s break down the different components of a URL.

Protocol ( http or https)

The protocol is the first part of a URL and specifies the method used to access the resource. The most common protocol is "http" or "https", which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, respectively.

The key distinction between HTTP and HTTPS is that HTTPS makes the data transmission process secure through encryption. This safety measure not only safeguards a website but also contributes significantly to enhancing its positioning on search results.

Another aspect that sets them apart is the port number used. HTTPS employs the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) port 443, with encryption via Transport Layer Security (TLS), while HTTP utilises TCP/IP port number 80.

Sub-Domain (www)

A sub-domain is like a section of a website that helps organize content. It's added before the main domain name, like "www" in "www.get.inc."

Sub-domains are often used to separate parts of a website, like blogs or online stores. They can also make it easier to manage content. Sub-domains can also help with SEO by focusing on specific keywords or topics.

Also, site owners can use any word as a subdomain to organize their website. This word will point to a specific directory on the main domain. Popular choices include "blog" and "news."

Domain Name

The domain name is the name of the website or server where the resource is located. It is typically preceded by "www" and followed by an extension ".com", ".net", or other top-level domain (TLD) like .inc. Each name has a special IP address that connects to the website's server. This makes it simple for users to visit websites.

Domain Extension

A domain extension is the last part of a domain name that comes after the dot. It is also known as a top-level domain (TLD) and serves as an identifier for the type of website or organization associated with the domain.

Common examples of domain extensions include .com, .org, .net, and .inc.

Each extension has its own rules for registration and some are only for specific entities or locations. Additionally, new domain extensions are regularly introduced to provide more options for website owners and help them better brand their online presence.

Pro Tip: .inc Domain: A Mark of Credibility

Choosing an inc domain signals to the market that your business is established, credible, and serious about its digital footprint. An inc domain is more than just a URL suffix; it's a declaration of your business's ambitions and its standing in the corporate world.


The path is the specific place of a resource in a website. It includes folders, subfolders, and file names that lead to the resource. Users can follow the path to find what they're looking for on the website.

The path is like a map that guides users to the right place. It helps organize and categorize the website's content, making it easier for users to find what they need.


Parameters, or query parameters, give extra information to a server when asking for something. They are important for dynamic websites because they let users customize the content they see. When users add parameters to the web address, they can see personalized information and improve their browsing experience.


An anchor is a specific location within a webpage that is linked to in order to navigate users to a particular section of content on the page. It is denoted by a "#" followed by the name of the anchor, allowing users to easily access information within a webpage without having to scroll through the entire page.

By using anchors, web developers can create a more user-friendly browsing experience by allowing visitors to quickly jump to relevant information on the page with a simple click.

URL Example

Let’s take a look at an example of a URL and break down its different components.

In this example, the protocol is "https", the domain name is "www.example.inc", the path is "/blog", and the extension is ".inc". The parameters are not included in this example..

Types of URLs

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There are several different types of URLs that are used on the internet for various purposes. Some URLs are used to access specific web pages on a website, while others are used to link to downloadable files or resources. Additionally, URLs can also be used for accessing secure websites that require a login or password.

  1. Absolute URL: An absolute URL includes the full address of a webpage, including the protocol, domain name, path, and any parameters or anchors.
  2. Relative URL: A relative URL only includes the path and any parameters or anchors. It is used when linking to resources within the same website.
  3. Root-relative URL: A root-relative URL includes the path and any parameters or anchors, but starts from the root directory of the website. It is used when linking to resources within the same website, but from a different page or directory.

How to Create a URL

Creating a URL can be a straightforward process that requires just a few essential components. Firstly, you will need to have a domain name in mind, which acts as the main address for the website or webpage you are linking to. Additionally, you will need to specify the path to the specific resource you want to direct users to, which could be a file, directory, or page within the website.

In some cases, you may also want to include parameters or anchors in the URL to provide additional information or context for the user navigating to the link. These components all come together to form a complete and functional URL that can efficiently direct users to the desired online destination.

URL Best Practices

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When creating URLs, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure they are user-friendly and easy to navigate.

  1. Keep it Short and Simple

Long, complicated URLs can be difficult for users to remember and type in. Keep your URLs short and simple, using keywords that accurately describe the content of the webpage.

  1. Use Keywords

Including relevant keywords in your URLs can improve search engine optimization (SEO) and make it easier for users to understand the content of the webpage.

  1. Use Hyphens

When separating words in a URL, use hyphens instead of underscores. This makes it easier for search engines to read and understand the words in the URL.

  1. Avoid Special Characters

Special characters, such as "&" or "%", can cause issues with URLs. It’s best to avoid using them in your URLs.

  1. URL Shorteners

URL shorteners are tools that take a long URL and create a shorter, more manageable version. They are often used for social media posts or when sharing links that are too long to type out.


URLs are an essential part of the internet, allowing for easy access and navigation to specific websites and webpages. To make good URLs for your website, learn the basics and do what works best.

Pro Tip: .inc Domain: A Mark of Credibility

Choosing an inc domain signals to the market that your business is established, credible, and serious about its digital footprint. An inc domain is more than just a URL suffix; it's a declaration of your business's ambitions and its standing in the corporate world.

Curious about your brand name availability?

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