URL: Learn Anatomy Of URL Crystal Clear Way

If you are not new here at NETPLANTER, you might notice that our effort is to you not with the things packed up with mere information but to help you build up a bond of intimacy with the subject matter of my post. Everybody knows what URL [Universal/Uniform Resource Locator] is. All getting used to surfing internet are acquainted with the uses of URL, at least, by link-clicking.

When we click a link, it takes us to another destination page. The link text or image is not URL; this is Anchor Text. There is a URL behind every link. The URL is what is displayed on address bar of Browser followed by the link. Alternatively, when we enter URL in browser, it will take us to the related destination page.

Simply, this can be compared with Postal Address. As we need address to send any document, parcel, letter to any places or persons; so we need URL to find resources from Internet world including World Wide Web. Being aware upto this is enough for an Internet-roamer. But a blogger or web developer must know which is called more than that to remove darkness along his journey to sure-success. We are also traveler along the same way.

Anatomy of URL Focus image

So, let’s dive deep into URL using my Question-Answer model of presentation. You must note that my questioner is not A simple harmless person; rather, outspoken, inquisitive, obstinate and above all, acute genius with numerous questions wriggling in head. God knows how I can please him!

What is URL?

QUESTION: I don’t like to question ‘What is URL?’. I think I know that more than I need it. My question is; why did the idea of URL come? Why is URL necessary? If URL were not invented, how could we find webpage? Who first structured URL?

ANSWER: Let me clarify one by one. Suppose you built up a Local Area Network (LAN) connecting four computers at your small office. You used Mesh  Topology framework where every computer is connected with every others. Now you can access any computer from any others connected with the network and use the files and folders stored in Hard Drive of your desired machine. How do you reach them?

If you attempt to access a definite computer, you’ll require Computer name or IP address of that device. Moreover, each file and folder is device specific and has definite name different from one another.  So you face no hassle to find them.

Now my question to you: if you are assigned by Berners-Lee or others (who are big guns in the history of network development) to connect millions of computers of the globe (where there are numerous Servers) and introduce a system so that any user around the world can find his desired files and folders from any device easily; How could you do that?

Probably, you are sweating. When your sweat dries up, you might attempt to outline the total solution in your diary as follows—

  • Horrible matter! Millions of files and folders! Each file and folder must have a unique name so that one does not confuse others. All the files of one person should be a unit and stored in a folder. How about naming this folder- site or website?
  • There may be thousands of Servers. Each must have a unique identity. But I don’t like IP Address. This IP (like may be like nightmare and look cruel to near-future generation if they have to use various IPs repeatedly.
  • So, a unique name for each IP can be introduced which will be pleasant, user-friendly and easily-memorizable name but it will require a single authority to manage this naming system.
  • Things may not be so easy! There are different Server types and essentially different Protocols. It may be a great barrier to reach each from a common starting point.
  • We can connect the whole world of computers by cable. It is easy. But it is more difficult to find a common gateway to reach each resource stored in those computers without putting our house-holding aside.
  • Oh! EUREKA! EUREKA! Sir Lee has already gifted us Hyperlink. I can vest all of my thoughts upon Hyperlink.
  • If I can create a unique or universal link for every proposed site, sure, world is getting ready to celebrate me!

Hey questioner, you are soon going to become a second Berners-Lee who invented the URL. Look, you also could not find a way out in this problem of reaching any resource of any computer of the world without creating the idea of URL.If this comfortable gateway URL were not invented, it might take hours, days or even month to find a definite information. Hope you got the answers to all of your questions.

Structure of URL

QUESTION: Hmm…  Nothing looks rosy! If so is the reality; how did Lee and other developers structure the URL? OR, What is the structure of URL now? Is this likewise that flowed through my head as you mentioned above.

URL equation

ANSWER: Somewhat like that. We’re going to present URL structure in two phases.

FIRST, URL has mainly three parts—

  1. The Protocol name
  2. Location of the Server (Domain name/IP address)
  3. Location of Directory in Server

SECOND, in detail, URL has five parts—

  1. Protocol
  2. Server Location
  3. Port number on the Server (not mendatory)
  4. Directory Location
  5. Fragment Indentifier (not mendatory)

And these parts are presented in the following order—

  • Protocol name
  • Colon and two forwarded slashes
  • Domain Name as server location
  • Colon
  • Port name (Optional)
  • Slash
  • Directory location or Resource file
  • Fragment Indentifier (Optional)
Protocol://Domain Name:Port/directory-file-location.html?querystring=1
And if we cut off the Optional portions, the URL figure looks—

QUESTION: Now please also say; what is the understandable language form of this structure?

ANSWER: Sure. This address shows that you are looking for a file named ‘How to use crop tool.html’ from a website whose Domain Name is ‘photoshopper.com’ through a Channel/Scheme/Protocol http [Hypertext Transfer Protocol] that passes data over Port80 and that is sent in the search variable ‘Hello’

Protocols in URL

QUESTION: What is this Protocol HTTP? What are other protocols? Can we use those protocols like http to enter the definite Server?

ANSWER: HTTP [Hypertext Transfer Protocol] simply specifies; it is a data transmission process of formatted document. Formatted document means, document formatted with HTML [Hypertext Markup Language] which were invented by Berners-Lee who brought about a revolution creating a Webpage Era this way. This (html) is the language especially used for website-building. Web Server and Web Browser are essential part of this protocol. In this process, Browser requests a html page to the Web Server by URL and in reply, Web Server sends html document to the browser which browser displays as our readable form.

There are other Protocols as shown below—

    1. ftp: FTP [File Transfer Protocol] is used for Uploading and Downloading files stored in FTP Servers.
    2. news: A channel to discussion platforms that is located within a specific newsgroup by News Server.
    3. gopher: Channel for documents and menus located on Gopher Server.
    4. smtp: SMPT [Simple Mail Transfer Protocol] transfers mail (Email) through Mail Server and so on.
  1. Yes, you can access by Browser and/or other medium if you have URL; such as—
    • ftp://ftp.alphabroadway.com,
    • smtp://goole.com and so on.

Domain name portion in URL-structure

QUESTION: In the example above, we see the Domain Name www.photoshopper.com. It has three parts. Please explain these-. Is www common at the beginning in every Url?

ANSWER: If you want to build a website, you have to buy a Domain Name. there is Authority to manage all the domains registered around the world. Your registered domain will be like photoshopper.com where .com is TLD [Top Level Domain]. Other TLDs are .net, .org, .biz, .edu, .info etc. which hold their own meaning and significance. www is not part of your domain. Check out details of WWW here.

It is actually your sub-domain—web sub-domain. Domain will not essentially preceded by www (short form of World Wide Web). Due to authority of website-based domains over all others, we usually think that www is common to all URLs. This subdomain comes with your web-Hosting package. You can use more than one domains with your main domain. As for example; www.google.com and contacts.google.com are two subdomain of the main domain google.com. The first one is related with Web Server and the next is with another Server.

QUESTION: What is Port Number? Why is it optional? What does Optional mean here?

ANSWER: data transmission form definite kind of Server works on definite type of Port. For example, Web Server responds on Port 80 as we mentioned above. Moreover, FTP through Port 21 or 22 and POP mail through Port 110 etc. It is optional means whether you use Port number with URL or not is the same. In practice Port number is not used with URL at all.

QUESTION: Why is there dash (-) in file name? Who creates these files and file names?

ANSWER: URL structure claims, there might be no space all through the length of the URL. If space is left browser will fill it up with %20. So, to separate one word from another one can use dash (-), underscore (_) or plus (+). File name as per expectation is created by webmaster which is called Permalink. If Permalink is not intentionally built up, system will create file name which may look hazy, intricate and/or meaningless.

QUESTION: What is Fragment Identifier? What is Query String? Why is it optional in URL structure?

ANSWER: Without Fragment Identifier, the URL follows the Primary Resource of a webpage. Fragment Identifier is added to extract from it the necessary subordinate resource that is the part of primary resource. Querystring is one of the Fragment Identifiers which , as the name implies, is used in DYNAMIC web url containing vast resources to inquire information specific way out into it. It is a set of characters that a user inputs in browser defining certain criteria within a predefined structure. It starts with a question mark (?) followed by a ‘KEY’ or VARIABLE and a VALUE with equal mark (=) between them. Let’s consider an example-


The Querystring of this URL is ?sort=date. If this string is not added, the URL will take you to all the books by Charles Dickens in any order provided by a book-seller company named globe-library.com. But the Querystring puts obligation to display/sort the book list according to publication date. Here ‘sort’ is Variable and ‘date’ is Value. Note, there may be more than one variable-value pair producing a long string as well as longer URL.

QUESTION: Memorable presentation! More question, please. I notice you used http in one example and https in other. What is the difference?

ANSWER: HTTP is regular symbol/form of Hypertext Transfer Protocol whereas HTTPS [Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure] is the latest Secure version of HTTP by which data passes encrypted way or in secured environment. It poses least threat for the data likely to be hacked by cyber criminals. This protocol (HTTPS) is very essential especially in case of valuable bank transaction and account, password protection, secret information preservation and so on.

Firefox, Chrome and IE displays a padlock icon in the address bar showing that https connection is on the go.

QUESTION: My web address is with http; how can I upgrade it to https?

ANSWER: To change your web address from http to https, in brief, you have to do the following

  • Purchase an SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] certificate by your hosting provider or from SSL vendors.
  • Install it via your hosting account.
  • Change your url from http to https from C-panel.
  • Apply 301 redirection either by changing your .htaccess file or from Redirection option in the C-panel.

However we’re going to contribute an inclusive post on how to upgrade your site address from http to https. We’re expecting to represent an all out easy-step guideline in that article.

QUESTION: OK, last of all, there are websites that use www1, www2, www3 in their site address. What does this mean?

ANSWER: We’ve previously mentioned that a Domain Name can have more than one subdomains. These subdomains may be both from different Servers and the same Server. There are website where traffic flow is enormous-millions per day. To manage the acute pressure of users’ request, they are hosted by more than one same Web Servers so that Server’s smooth performance doesn’t meet with downfall. Reasonably they use www1, www2, www3 etc to distinguish each from others. Also there are other website owners who allot such one subdomain for the users of definite location.

Hope this article will cover up most essential things regarding URL, Web Address and URL structure. If this answers to most of your questions and add something important to your URL exploration; hope you must share it. Also hoping your valuable comment.

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