How to Read a URL
One of the first steps in evaluating a website is to be able to read the Uniform Resource Locator, otherwise known as the URL. Each page on the internet has a unique address that is identified by the URL. Knowing what each of the basic elements are in a URL will help to identify the type of website and its purpose
Parts of a URL
URLs can be very long, but it is the first six or seven sections, depending on the website, that will give you a lot of information about that website. Lets take a look at the different sections of this URL
/1/ /2/ /3/ /4/ /5/ /6/ /7/
1. http - HyperText Transfer Protocol - The website is a hypertext document. Hypertext is a nonlinear system of writing that allows users to access text and multimedia features through multiple pathways.
2. www - World Wide Web - Website that is on the World Wide Web (not all web sites will use this designator, even though they are on the Web)
3. Domain Name - identifies and calls up the specific computer on the Web that stores the information you requested.
4. Extention - Indicates the type of source for a web site. This means that the type of organization that is sponsoring the website can be more easily identified by what comes after the "dot". Remember, what comes after the "dot", says a lot!
.com = a commercial website
.org = an organization, usually a non-profit
.edu = an educational institution such as a college or university
.mil = branch of the military
.gov = branch of the government
5. Directory - A directory is basically a type of list, like the phone directory. Many times websites that contain a lot of information will use a list of categories to help organize their information. The information after the first backslash is the main directory category for a certain type of information.
6. Subdirectories - After a piece of information has been placed into the category of a directory, it is given one or a series of subdirectories (the information between all those backslashes) that indicate exactly where on the host computer the web page can be found. In this example there is only one subdirectory, but typically there are many subdirectories.
7. html - This identifies the computer language used to create the website. In this case, html stands for HyperTextMarkupLanguage.
Now that you know what each section means, see if you can guess what kind of site our example is before you click on the link. Write your answers on a separate piece of paper.
What is the domain name?
What is the extension? (Remember what comes after the "dot" says a lot)
What is the name of the directory?
What is the name of the subdirectory?
What type of computer language is being used?
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