The Parts of a URL

As far as the basics of HTML, a former student actually put together the very tutorial (with the same metaphors) that I based my lesson on.  You can find that here (

Regarding how to understand a URL, I couldn’t really find a good resource that I liked on the Web.  So, I’ll break it down here quickly and have to return with a more in-depth tutorial later on.  Let’s start with the basics.

  1. First, it’s best to understand that a URL is like an address.   Let’s consider the following address:

    149 E. Countryside Circle, Park City, Utah, 84098-6102USA

    Looking at this address, we can see that it is the address of a specific building (149 E. Countryside Circle), in a specific city (Park City), in a specific state (Utah), in the USA.  In other words, a URL is just a set of information about where something is located.

  2. Now, let’s look at a URL, or web address:

    Just as a physical mail address, this web address shows us several parts, going from the largest to the smallest.

    1. is the domain (like a state or country)
    2. ipt/ indicates that the file we’re looking at is inside a folder named “ipt” (like a city)
    3. finally, index.html indicates the name of the actual web page, or file we’re looking at (like the individual building)
  3. Sometimes, urls get to be a bit more complex. For example, you may see something like:

    That little ?name=peter at the end is not a new page, but actually information that was passed to that page from another page.

    1. the ? indicates that everything from that point on is data. It’s like saying “load the faculty page, but with the following informationK
    2. name is the name of some variable
    3. = indicates that the value of the variable is about to follow
    4. peter is the value of the variable name.”

Post copied directly from BYU IP&T 560 class blog, April 26, 2013


About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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