What is URL? A Complete Guide of Website URL’s

what is url

The address of a particular webpage or file (video, picture, GIF, etc.) on the internet is known as a uniform resource location (URL). So, what is URL? It is the address that you enter into the address bar of your browser to access an online resource.  

How Do URLs Operate?  

Here’s a brief explanation of how URLs function:  

You are instructing your browser exactly where to go on the internet when you type a URL into the address box. The browser then makes a request to a web server located at that address once it is aware of that. The webpage or file you are attempting to view is stored on this potent computer server. The requested resource (webpage, image, video, etc.) is returned by the server after it has completed processing your request. The contents of the resource are then shown on your browser.   

The basic mechanism that drives the internet as we know it is this interaction between your browser, the URL, and the web server.  

Why Do URLs Matter?  

A URL directs your browser to the precise location you wish to view, whether it be a file or webpage. This is significant since over a billion websites contain billions of resources. Every single one, from your webpage to your dog’s Instagram account, is individually identified by a URL. You can get to your selected location by using the URLs. The user is the one who benefits from this.  

The importance of URL is also substantial for the website developer When working with HTML, or hypertext markup language, developers employ URLs. They employ the anchor element, often known as a <a> tag, to construct links between various pages using URLs. This enables visitors to navigate between web pages and connect them. Additionally, code can be divided into separate files that can be connected together thanks to URLs. In order to keep all your JavaScript scripts, CSS files, and other assets organised. The HTML only needs to refer to those URLs to put everything together for the finished homepage.  

Let’s now examine the construction of URLs.  

Note: The amount of visibility your website can achieve in search results can also be influenced by its URLs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use Site Audit to make sure there are no problems with them.  

What Constitutes Each Part of the URL Structure?  

A URL can be divided into five different sections. similar to this-

In the above URL, the  

  • https part is the scheme  
  • part is the Authority  
  • Resources/newpage.html is Path  
  •  ?key1=value1&key2=value2 is Parameters  
  • #faq is Anchor  


The first portion of the URL is the scheme. It provides information on the resource access protocol. A protocol is a set of guidelines that specify how a browser and web server should connect. Typical schemes that you may be aware of are:  


The standard protocol for connecting a browser to a web server is called HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Your browser makes a request to the server to obtain the resource provided in a URL when you enter a URL with the “http” prefix.  

If the requested resource is available, the server will subsequently reply by providing it back. However, This is not a secure connection. It implies that anyone can read the data and intercept it. This opens up a significant security vulnerability. These days, websites (as well as search engines) favour using the hypertext transfer protocol secure or HTTPS.  


This is the secured sister of HTTP. This encrypts your online session further. This implies that all data exchanged between the server and your browser is encrypted, making it far more difficult for other parties to intercept. Browsers are capable of handling protocols such as file transfer protocol (FTP) and mailto in addition to HTTPS.  

FTP & Mailto  

FTP allows files to be sent between a web server and a browser. When you type in a URL that begins with “ftp,” a connection is initiated with your FTP server. You may then control the files on your website. In other words, you are free to upload or download any file.  

The only purpose of FTP is file transfer, unlike HTTP and HTTPS (which do not generate site pages). Additionally, a standard FTP URL resembles this:  

To send an email, a hyperlink that opens the user’s email programme (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) is created using the mailto scheme.  

A link with this prefix immediately opens your default email and pre-populates the recipient’s email address with the information provided in the URL when you click on it.  

This is useful since it eliminates the need for users to copy and paste email addresses in order to rapidly send emails to contacts that are listed on websites. Even though they are not as widely used as HTTP or HTTPS, mailto and FTP have significant uses in certain situations.  


The portion of a URL that follows the “://” character sequence is called the authority. It provides information about the site’s location and owner to your browser. There are four primary parts to this section of the URL:  


A subdomain is a word or a series of characters that come before the first dot in a URL. www is the most widely used subdomain. It conveys that the URL is a web address and stands for World Wide Web.  

Using www was commonplace in the past. However, you can remove it from your URLs if you’d like. It is irrelevant if you utilise it or not. Everything is up to personal taste.  


A website is known by its domain names, such as Savit, Flipkart, or Amazon. It is a portion of the URL that is simple to remember. Every domain is distinct. Thus, each time you enter it, you are referring to a website you plan to visit.  

Top-Level Domain and Country-Code Top-Level Domain  

The component of your website that follows the name is known as the top-level domain (TLD) or domain extension. similar to “.com.”  

There are a lot of TLDs available online. The five most popular ones are shown below along with the kind of websites that employ them:  

Name extensions for websites are as follows:  

  • .com for businesses  
  • .org for nonprofits  
  • .net for software and hosting firms offering network services  
  • .edu for educational establishments (universities, colleges, schools, etc.)  
  • .gov for Departments and agencies of government  

There are also country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Two-letter domain extensions called ccTLDs signify a website’s affiliation with a particular nation or region. Such as:  

  • .in for India  
  • .uk for the United Kingdom  
  • .nz for New Zealand  
  • .ca for Canada  
  • .de for Germany  
  • .au for Australia  
  • .cn for China 
  • .es for Spain 

When a website’s intended audience is mostly located in a certain nation, it employs ccTLDs. A website indicates its link to that area by utilising ccTLD. It can aid in building reputation and trust with people in that area.  


The numerical code that designates a specific gateway for sending traffic to your web server is called a port. It functions as a doorway for visitors to your website.  

As most URLs use standard ports, port numbers are typically not visible. Which browsers automatically presume (for example, port 443 for HTTPS and port 80 for HTTP).  


The path is the next component of the URL. Additionally, it provides precise instructions to the page (or resource) on a domain that is being requested. It resembles the accurate path you follow within a big building to get to a room (the domain).  

Typically, the route consists of two sections:  


A subfolder, often referred to as a subdirectory, is a directory or folder inside the main directory containing the page the user has requested. Websites can combine relevant pages within the domain’s general directory structure using subfolders.  

The domain consists of Blogs and News. The blog is further divided into the first blog and second blog, whereas the News is further divided into the first news post and the second news post.   

In this case, the terms “blog” and “news” refer to subfolders that both organise similar information inside the main domain.  

The following is how these four pages’ URLs would appear:  



The final piece of the path that designates a specific page is called a slug. They are often in a manner that is readable by humans. It aids visitors in determining their precise location inside the website.  


The optional portion of a URL that appears after a question mark (?) is known as a parameter or query string. They alter a page’s content according to the given key and value.  

The key functions similarly to an instruction label. The value specifies the precise modification conditions. To further grasp this, let’s utilise the sample URL provided below.

“Category” is the key here, and “beauty” is the value. This setting will filter a webpage so that only blog posts about beauty are displayed. An ampersand (&) can be used to separate numerous parameters that you want to add to a URL.

There are now two parameters: “sort” with the value “latest” and “category” with the value “beauty.” This modifies a webpage so that it only displays blog posts related to beauty and arranges them in chronological order.  


The final optional character in a URL that directs users to a particular area of a webpage is called an anchor, sometimes known as a fragment identifier. It follows the symbol with a number (#).  

Instead of starting the webpage at the top, the browser will scroll straight to the FAQ section for the example above. However, anchors aren’t only for textual content. In the case of an audio or video file, the browser will advance to the exact moment mentioned in the anchor.  

For instance, a URL such as instructs the browser to launch the video at the precise three-minute and twenty-second mark.  

What Kind of URL Examples Are There?  

Now that you are aware of the elements that URLs might have let’s see how combining them can result in a variety of URLs:

These URL forms are all legitimate. They make reference to many resources. And some of them even have special purposes. Similar to how email correspondence is handled via the mailto protocol and file management via the FTP protocol.  

What Kinds of URLs Are the Most Common?  

Various types of URLs can be distinguished by their structure and intended use. These are a few typical kinds:  

Absolute URLs   

A resource’s full web address, including the protocol (such as HTTP or HTTPS), domain name, path, and maybe other elements like parameters and anchors, is provided by an absolute URL.  

When linking from one website to another, absolute URLs are frequently utilised. Additionally, while posting links online.  

Examples of absolute URLs are as follows:

Relative URLs  

The relative URL only specifies the path. Referring to the slug and the directory. Creating internal links between pages on the same website is one application for relative URLs. By doing this, the base domain and protocol are not repeated in each internal link.  

Some instances of relative URLs are as follows:  

  • documents/report.pdf  
  • blog/what-is-internet  
  • archives/article123  

Another way to categorise URLs is by the particular function they fulfil. Now, let’s examine these categories of URLs.  

Canonical URLs  

The main URL for a collection of duplicate URLs on your website is called a canonical URL. Pages that virtually have the same content are known as duplicate URLs.   

For instance, the identical material can be accessible on:  


One of those choices would be the canonical URL. Let’s use as an example.  

A canonical URL is useful in assisting search engines in determining which URLs to index or store in their database and display in search results. (Search engines wouldn’t discover this on their own if the same material were found at many URLs.)  

Callback URLs  

The website that users are automatically sent to after finishing a particular job or action is known as a callback URL.   

The callback URL, for instance, is the page that a user is routed to after successfully authenticating with Google when they log into a website using a third-party authentication service.  

Vanity URLs  

In contrast to the URLs you typically encounter, a vanity URL is a custom URL that is brief and simple to share. Vanity URLs are used to promote a certain webpage on your website through social media campaigns and marketing efforts.   

To make them, utilise URL shortening programmes such as Bitly, TinyURL, and  

Vanity URL examples include the following:  


How to Use URLs  

URLs are effective instruments. You may use them efficiently if you know how they work in various situations, such as with web browsers, HTML, and other technologies,   

Web browser  

Interacting with URLs is most commonly done through a web browser. Here’s how to do it:  

  • By entering URLs: All you have to do is enter the URL into your browser’s address bar and hit the Enter or Return keys. After that, the browser will open the designated website or resource.  
  • Bookmarks: URLs can be bookmarked in your browser to make them easier to visit later.  
  • History of browsing: Your browser maintains a history of the URLs you visit, making it simple to access pages you have already seen.  


URLs are utilised in HTML for:  

  • Hyperlinks: Anchor (<a>) tags include URLs, which are used to generate hyperlinks. Users can click on these links to access other websites or information.  
  • Embedding resources: Websites can incorporate movies, photos, and other materials by using URLs. For example, the source (src) attribute of an image (<img>) element may include a URL linking to an image file.  
  • Linking CSS and JavaScript: You may segregate content, style, and functionality by using URLs to link external CSS and JavaScript files to HTML documents.  

Additional Technologies  

URLs are essential to many other technologies as well. Here are a handful typical uses:  

  • Social media: Web content is shared using URLs on social media platforms. Many social networking platforms allow you to post a URL so they may retrieve and provide a preview of the content.  
  • QR codes: URLs can be encoded using QR codes. When scanned by a smartphone, they point to a webpage, usually for commercial or informational reasons.  
  • Email: URLs are frequently used in emails to send readers to websites for marketing campaigns, user verification (such as email confirmation links), additional reading recommendations, and other reasons.  

How to Make URLs SEO-Friendly  

You must concentrate on search engine optimisation (SEO) if you want your website URLs to appear in search results and drive traffic to your website. SEO is the process of making various elements of your website—including its URLs—more optimised to appear higher in the organic (free) search results of search engines, which are displayed next to sponsored results. Here are some pointers for improving your URL’s structure.  

1. Make use of the HTTPS Protocol  

Search engines like Google utilise HTTPS as a light ranking indication because it is more secure. Hence, you have a tiny ranking advantage over websites that don’t employ HTTPS if yours does.  

2. Select a Fitting TLD  

TLDs often have little effect on your rankings directly. However, the one that best suits your company should be used.  

The ideal domain for nonprofit organisations  

For educational institutions, such as universities, colleges, and schools the most suitable TLD is .edu. domain suffices for websites that are commercial.  

When conducting business solely abroad, your country code top-level domain (ccTLD) (such for Australia and .nz for New Zealand) is likewise good.  

However, stay away from utilising TLDs like .info and .biz, as these are frequently connected to spam. Thus, obtaining high-quality backlinks to your website may be difficult for you, but they are crucial for raising ranks.  

3. Group Your Content with Subfolders  

Use subfolders to help users navigate your website easily and properly arrange your information.  

From the perspective of user experience (UX), this is significant. It has a tight relationship with SEO. The kind of stuff you can find at that URL should be indicated in your subfolders. To improve the way search engines, comprehend the content.  

  • is a good subfolder.  
  • is a bad subfolder.  

Using just one level of subfolder to organise all of your pages could get challenging if you run a really large website—an e-commerce site, for instance.  

Sub-subfolders can then be used to further specify the hierarchy of your website.  

Here’s an illustration of how a subdirectory on your website could be inside another subfolder:

4. Optimise Your URL Slugs   

You must do four things to make your URL slugs as SEO-friendly as possible.  

Be Detailed  

The page’s content should be described in your URL slug because it facilitates the search engine’s understanding of the page’s topic. Then, assign it the proper ranking.  

  • A good URL slug would be /best-baby-soaps/  
  • A Bad URL slug would be /page1234/  

Using the target keyword (the term you want to rank for) on your page is an excellent method to make your URL slugs descriptive.   

Keep It Brief  

Users find it more difficult to read long URLs. Long URLs are also frequently shorten in search results by search engines like Google.   

similar to this>shirts>blackandbluestri….

Thus, attempt to limit your slugs to no more than five words.  

  • /home-workout-tips is a good URL slug.  
  • /the-7-best-home-workout-tips-the-ultimate-cheatsheet-for-training-without-a-gym/ is a bad URL slug.  

Use Hyphens to Divide Words:  

Use hyphens instead of using underscores to separate words in your URL slug. They are the accepted method for dividing words within a URL.  

  • An effective URL slug is /free-marketing-tools/.  
  • /free_marketing_tools/ is a bad URL slug.  

Make use of Lowercase Characters:  

Case matters in URLs. Additionally, having a specific URL on your website in both uppercase and lowercase may lead to duplicate content problems.  

Additionally, visitors may type the URL more accurately when written in lowercase.   

  • /how-to-make-pizza/ is a good URL slug.  
  • The URL “How-To-Make-Pizza” is a bad URL slug.  

Examine Your Current URLs to Find Problems  

If you are a Semrush user, to verify that your URLs are configured correctly, you can use the Site Audit tool and identify any problems that may exist.  

Run a thorough crawl of your website after creating a project with the program. Once the crawl is finished, select the “Issues” tab and look for “URL.”  

The tool indicates if there are any URL-specific problems, such as excessively long URLs with your website or words in URLs that have underscores rather than hyphens between them. The tool also provides guidance on how to resolve each problem.  


1. What Is the Meaning of URL?  

Uniform Resource Locator is what URL stands for. The web address indicates where a resource is located on the internet.  

2. How Are a URL and URI Different From One Another?  

A resource is labelled or identified by a unified resource identifier (URI), although it may not always provide information on how to obtain it.    

For example, the book with an ISBN is identified as isbn:0261103303, but it doesn’t say where or how to get it.  

A particular kind of URI called a URL gives directions on where to find a resource in addition to identifying it.  

For instance, the URL indicates that the resource is the page that can be found at /page.html on the server. It uses HTTPS protocol to accesses it.  

That is the primary distinction. Resources are always referenced by URLs; URIs merely name them.  

3. Is an IP Address a URL?  

An IP address is only a unique domain name; it is not the same as a URL. URLs are more than just a domain name; they contain other information, such as protocols and file locations. Many URLs can access the same IP address. However, only one domain can be identified by a single IP address.  

4. Are URLs Case Sensitive?  

Domain Name System (DNS) guidelines state that the domain name portion of a URL is case insensitive. Your web server configuration determines how sensitive other elements (path, arguments, anchor, etc.) are to the case.   

Even if your server supports mixed cases, you should still treat URLs as case-sensitive for consistency’s sake. Additionally, capitalise all portions of URLs in lowercase, as this is how URLs are typically created.