Parents As Internet Partners
What is a URL?

Internet Logo

A URL or Uniform Resource Locator is the web address of an Internet web page. A URL is unique to a page so when you type it in the Address or Location Bar, you will be connected to that particular web page.

A URL usually consists of four parts: protocol, server (or domain), path, and filename. For example, the URL for the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library's Calendar of Events Page is:

Protocol =    http://
Server (or Domain) =
Path   valleyst
Filename   calendar.html
The http:// stands for "hyper text transfer protocol." For newer browsers, it is not necessary to type this in the Location or Address Bar. The www stands for World Wide Web.

Server or domain names usually end with one of the following:

    .com for business and commercial websites (
    .edu for educational websites for colleges or universities (
    .gov for governmental websites (
    .mil for U.S. military websites (
    .net for network access provider websites (
    .org for non-profit organizational websites (

Some server or domain names may include a two-letter Internet country code so you can identify the country where the host computer that is storing that website is located. For example, is the website for the Camden County Library in New Jersey in the United States.

Using a URL to Locate a Web Page

If you know the URL of a web page, you can go directly to that page. Single click into the Location or Address Bar just to the right of the address that appears in the bar and backspace to eliminate that address. At the blinking cursor, type in the URL of the web page you wish to visit and press the Enter key.

Picture of Address Bar


What You Can Do If a URL Doesn't Work

Blue ButtonIf you get an error message indicating that a " file not found", check that you have typed the URL accurately. There are no spaces in URLs and certain symbols may be included in the URL, such as a slash (/) or underscore (_).

Blue ButtonIf you get an error message indicating that a "file not found", you can also try to retype the URL leaving off the filename (or more if necessary) and see if you can connect to the main website. From there, you may be able to find what you were looking for -- it may just have a new filename.

Blue ButtonIf you get an error message indicating that a "server could not be found," again check the URL. It is possible that the server may be off line or may no longer exist. The World Wide Web is constantly changing, so your URL may be outdated.
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Updated : March 7, 2002
© Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, 2002.