June 8, 2021
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a resource address hosted on the Internet. In theory, each URL indicates a unique location on the Internet. These might be web addresses, CSS documents, images or other media files. Along with hypertext and HTTP, URL is one of the key concepts of the modern Internet. Most commonly URL is used in browsers.

How it works

Usually a URL consists of the following parts:

  • A protocol, also known as a scheme which should be used for working with a website. Generally, it’s HTTP or HTTPS. One of these two protocols is required to address web pages, but there are also other schemes. For example, mailto (to open a mail client) or FTP (to transfer files).
  • A host which is a full domain name or an IP address.
  • A path to a specific website page. This is important if you are not on the home page.
  • Parameters setup. Due to parameters, the website’s content is presented to you according to your query.
  • An anchor. It directs to a certain part of the web page. Through the anchor, a browser understands what it should show to a user.

Nominally, a URL can be of any length, but browsers aren’t limitless. There is an unspoken rule: a URL shouldn’t be longer than 2048 characters. For example, Internet Explorer has such a rule.

The use of URL

The most popular way of using a URL is to type it in the address bar. However, there are many other ways to use it in HTML. For example, you can use a URL to create links to other documents, to link files with their resources, to display different types of multimedia and other HTML pages on a web page, and more.

By the way, back in 2009, the creator of URL Tim Berners-Lee said that there is no need for a double slash that follows the protocol indicator. You can try to type a URL without it right now, and it should work out.

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