Technical Terms: URL

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is also known simply as a web address. It consists of a scheme, such as http, a web site domain name, and a page. Often it also includes a longer path and sometimes a query as well. A URL is both an initialism and an acronym as it is occasionally verbally pronounced as a word instead of letters.

Video Transcript
Today let's take a look at a term that's used to define just about everything that's on the internet. It's UR or url. What this stands for is Uniform Resource Locator. But what you probably say instead of that is Web Address. So what it usually means is a web page. A specific web page that you're going to is an URL. It doesn't necessarily have to mean web page.

There's a few other types of URL's. Once in a while you'll see a mailto: and then an email address. You click on it and you get an email, you know, composing window that you can fill out. Sometimes you'll see ftp's and sometimes you'll see other types of things. For the most part it's going to be a web page and that's going to start with http or https.

Now there's another term that's very similar called Uniform Resource Identifier and they're virtually the same thing. Technically the bigger term is Identifier which could refer to anything that's a series of characters that gives a location of something on the internet but practically all of them are URL's. So sometimes you'll hear somebody say URI instead.

Now, the different parts of a URL are first the Scheme. This is usually http or https but it could be something else as I said before. Then you've got the web site domain name. The site itself so x.com, macmost.com, Apple.com, that kind of thing. Then you have the specific web page. You combine all of these to get a full URL. A lot of times people will just have a domain name as an URL. They'll say go to this URL and it's just Apple.com. That's just the domain. The page itself is the full URL. So technically you want to have all this.

Of course, usually the home page for a web site doesn't have anything after it. It'll just be, say, Apple.com and that takes you to basically the main menu, the index page, without you having to do something like /index.html. So that's kind of an exception to the rule where you don't actually have a page after the domain. But in most cases wherever you go on a web site it's going to be the Scheme, then the domain, then the page.

As a matter of fact you can get more complex than that because you can have something like a path as well. So you would have folders or the directories in-between the main level and the page. Then sometimes you have a query. You know you usually see those as question mark and then some data. So you could have something like x.com/blog/posts/index.html?section=7. This is a full URL that has a scheme, a site, a path, a page, and even a query. So, all of this together is a single URL.

Interestingly, people usually refer to things like URL as an acronym. Technically that's not true because an acronym is something where you actually pronounce the letters like NASA. You don't say N, A, S, A, you say NASA. That's an acronym. An initialism is something where you say the letters, URL. However, URL is actually both because sometimes we say the letters URL and sometimes we actually say url. So it's both an acronym and an initialism.

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