Everything on the web has it's own unique address. This address is called a URL or Uniform Resource Locator. The URL indicates to your browser exactly where the object it's trying to load is located. This may be a web page (usually indicated by .html or .htm on the end of the file name), an image (usually indicated by .jpg, .gif or .png on the end of the file name) or many other types of files.


An explanation of the 4 parts of a URL follows.

http://www.nickeysurf.com/postcards/animal.html

The part of the URL hilighted in red above indicates the protocol. Internet protocols are sets of rules that allow for intermachine communication on the Internet. This tells the Web browser how to load and interpret the file. If it has to do with web pages it will always be http, which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. Note the colon and two forward slashes.


http://www.nickeysurf.com/postcards/animal.html

The portion hilighted above indicates the server name (www), the domain name (nickeysurf) and the domain type (com) where the file resides separated by periods. Entering a URL consisting of just the protocol and this section of the URL will usually load the home page of the domain. Note that the server name (www) may not be present in some URLs.

URLs can also use an IP (Internet Protocol) address, often written with periods like this: 134.71.184.20. IP addresses are the actual addresses of the machines, but because they are hard to remember, there are also the DNS (Domain Name Server) addresses which we commonly see. DNS addresses are translated into IP addresses by a computer called a domain nameserver.

This section of the URL will always be separated from the following section with a forward slash (/).


http://www.nickeysurf.com/postcards/animal.html

This indicates the folder/subfolder on the server where the file is located. If the file was located in a subfolder of another folder it would use the forward slash to separate them as in http://www.thisdomain.com/folder/subfolder/document.html. A URL doesn't always contain the folder information. The folders portion of the URL is separated from the last portion with a forward slash.

Note that the folder section of the URL is usually case sensitive. So http://www.thisdomain.com/folder/document.html is not the same URL as http://www.thisdomain.com/Folder/Document.html.


http://www.nickeysurf.com/postcards/animal.html

The last portion of our URL is the file name. You can usually tell what kind of file it is by the file extension. This is the part after the period at the end of the file name. Web pages usually have a file extension of html, shtml, php, htm or asp and images usually have a file extension of gif, jpg or png. The file name is also usually case sensitive so document.html is not the same as document.HTML or Document.html.


To find the URL of an image on a web page you are viewing

To find the url of a web page you are currently viewing simply look at the text that appears in the white location bar usually located near the top of your browser window.




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