The Parts of a URL

Every page and resource on the web has its own special address called a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator.

Anatomy of a URL

A URL is often made up of three components: the protocol, the domain name, and the path to a document or resource. An example URL is shown below:

URL Syntax

HTTPS Protocol

The letters HTTPS stand for HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is the technology websites use to transfer files across the internet.


The next portion of the URL identifies the website by its domain name. The www part is called a subdomain and .com is called a top level domain. Sometimes www may be omitted. There can be more than one website at a domain (sometimes called subdomains). For example, there might also be,, and so on. 

Optionally, we can include a port number. In most cases the port defaults to 80 (http) or 443 (https). Since those are the default values, we usually omit this portion of the URl.

Path and File: /images/example.png

This is the path and file name of the requested HTML document. The word images is the directory name, starting with the root directory of the host (as indicated by the initial /). Because the Internet has always primarily consisted of computers running the Unix operating system, we follow the Unix rules and convention for path separators; hence the / character for separating directory names.

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