A URL (Universal Resource Locator) is a complete web address used to find a particular webpage or section of a website. Other than directing online users to a specific web location, it may also correspond to database commands, certain input fields, and even executable files.
Now you may ask: Is a URL the same as a Domain Name? Surprisingly to many, the answer is NO. The terms are often used interchangeably the reason why people confuse one for the other but, they are different.
Simply put, a Domain Name is just a part of a URL. This means that the URL, being a complete web address, may also contain other components needed to locate a specific page or piece of content in a website. You can see the visual difference in the following example:
What Are the Parts of a URL?
Using the same example above, let’s take a look at the anatomy of a URL to better understand how it directs online users to a specific information or section in a website.
|This is the Protocol (also known as Scheme) that you use to connect to the resource you indicate.
Usually, this is http (HyperText Transfer Protocol), but URLs can also use a number of other methods to connect to sites such as ftp (File Transfer Protocol) and https (Secure HTTP).
|Most of the time, it is the Domain Name in the URL; but, it can also be an IP Address. This is the part of the URL that shows what server the resource is located on.
|This includes other details like the file path which uses “/”s to break down its components, and the folder/directory on the server where the URL points to, or the specific location of the resource or information you are accessing.