Confused with those acronyms in web addresses?

Let’s look at these terms.


URL – Universal Resource Locator – this is the technical term for any web address

Here is one example for us to investigate……


https:// – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol – these letters and symbols instruct the computer to look for the following address.  In most cases these days you can omit when typing as the computer will do it for you.


www – World Wide Web – this is the internet – there are some exceptions, but most pages you visit will have ‘www’ in their URL

‘org’, ‘gov’, ‘edu’, ‘com’ – what is the difference?

  • The top level domain name ‘org’ means the organization is a not-for-profit site, such as a charity.
  • When ‘gov’ appears as in the URL above, it is referring to a site belonging to the government.
  • Although the example above is a site about education, it doesn’t have the usual ‘edu’, which is attached to sites used by educational institutions.
  • Most common of all is ‘com’ – used by commercial sites


Some URLs use a ‘/’ towards the end of the URL – the instructions following the slash direct the computer to a particular folder.


Index.html – html stands for Hyper Text Markup Language – a special computer language.  In its entirety this last part of the URL refers to the name of the file and it’s extension – so the computer knows just what type of file it actually is.

Once you are aware of the meanings of these terms, you can make a judgement as to the reliability of the website for the information you are seeking.  Experiment with some practice research, or search for further information  on each of these sections to learn more.


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