What is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL)?
A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is a string of characters that provides a web address used to identify and locate resources on the internet. URLs are the primary means by which you navigate the World Wide Web. They specify the location of a resource, such as a web page, image, video, or any other file, and also indicate how to access that resource. URLs are composed of several components, each serving a specific purpose:
- Scheme: This specifies the protocol or method used to access the resource. Common schemes include “http” (for accessing websites), “https” (secure version of HTTP), “ftp” (File Transfer Protocol), “mailto” (for email addresses), and more.
- Domain: The domain name represents the location of the resource on the internet. It’s often a human-readable name like “example.com” or “google.com.” In IP addresses, this part corresponds to the numerical address of a server.
- Port: This optional component specifies the network port to be used for the connection. If not specified, it defaults to the standard port for the chosen scheme (e.g., 80 for HTTP, 443 for HTTPS).
- Path: The path is a hierarchical representation of the resource’s location on the server. It often corresponds to the directory structure of the server’s file system. For example, “/products/laptops” might indicate a web page about laptops in the “products” directory.
- Query: The query string, if present, provides additional parameters for the resource. It is usually used for passing data to web applications or scripts on the server. It is preceded by a question mark (?).
- Fragment: The fragment identifier, often preceded by a hash (#), specifies a specific section or anchor within a web page. It is commonly used for linking to a specific part of a page.
Example of a URL
- Scheme: https
- Domain: www.dailystory.com
- Port: 443 (default port for SSL/https)
- Path: /sms-marketing/
- Query: ?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=dailystory_onboarding
When you enter a URL into a web browser, it uses this information to send a request to the appropriate web server, retrieve the specified resource, and display it in your browser window. URLs are a fundamental part of web navigation and resource identification on the internet.