In short, a URL ("Uniform Resource Locator") is a unique address that points to an online resource. URLs are used in a variety of ways, from linking to webpages and emailing hyperlinks to specifying the location of software files on the Internet.
URLs can either be absolute or relative . An absolute URL denotes its full, complete destination from the beginning of the string (including http://www). A relative URL will only denote enough information within itself to allow you to navigate up one level; e.g., if you're already at www.example.com/application1/, then any reference to https://www.example.com/application2/ would be considered "../application2/" (the "../" means "go up one level").
A URL can refer to a specific page on the Internet, or it can be used for an entire website. URLs are also often used in email messages to direct people to websites, so recipients of emails containing links click them directly. The most common format for writing URLs is called "Hypertext Markup Language," or HTML . HTML was originally designed to display webpages, but it's now used for many other purposes as well. When you see ordinary text that includes words like click here, the words within quotation marks are HTML tags which tell your browser what formatting should be applied when displaying the link (the actual formatting depends on your settings).
URLs can also contain parameters, which are additional pieces of information. For example, if you type "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology" into your browser's address bar, you'll be taken directly to the Biology article on Wikipedia; by contrast, if you look up the same page but include a space and then write " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology ?" (with the added question mark), your browser will actually show you this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology? (notice the addition of those two extra characters at the end). The ? is a parameter, and it directs your browser to perform a specific action when accessing that page. In this case, the parameter was used to tell your browser that it should look for a search bar; if there's one available on the page, then it will display the text and link associated with it so you can search Wikipedia directly from your address bar!
Of course, some websites don't let you access their content without first clicking through lengthy Terms of Service agreements and other legal disclaimers. For those sorts of sites, URLs often include additional "query" parameters (like ? ) which redirect your browser to an official Terms of Service page as soon as you load the site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology?QY=Monty+Python . The QY=Monty+Python part tells your browser to immediately go to the page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python after you open https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology .
URLs are very useful for navigating around the Internet, but they're not perfect; if you aren't careful, it's all too easy for someone to accidentally type an incorrect character or miss something out, resulting in a completely different destination! One of the most common mistakes is typing "www" when you should have typed "http", which means anyone who follows the link will be taken straight to a website advertising low-cost domain names (in other words, it won't take them where they wanted to go).
URLs can appear in all sorts of places, and you need to be able to recognize them when you see them. At its most basic, a URL conveys the path you must travel in order to access a website; as such, URLs are often used as search terms (the way many people now look up information on Wikipedia by typing "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" into the address bar). URLs can also be used as part of an email message (for example: "check out this article at https://www.example.com/article"), or they may appear within your browser's address bar itself (e.g., https://www.example.com/path/to_file).
URLs and their associated parameters and sub-resources are all part of a larger family of "Uniform Resource Locators" (URLs); other examples include URNs , URCs , and IRIs , though only the first one is commonly used. In technical terms, a URL is an "absolute URI" that starts with http:// or https:// .
In computer science, a URL (an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator) is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it. A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier, although many people use the two terms interchangeably. URLs arise from several technologies that were developed in the 1990s, including various XML specifications which define uniform resource names (URNs), and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) which is used to retrieve them.
URLs are often referred to with a notation using square brackets around optional parts, for example "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology". This may be optionally followed by a "fragment identifier", an o# (for "opaque octet"), then either a set of input values called query string or parameters, or some other reference in parentheses, such as "(see below)" or simply "#33" to refer to section 33 of the document's HTML version. When following links on the web pages within Wikipedia, identifiers usually start with two hash symbols, described by usage conventions as follows:
A URL is a string of characters used to identify a resource on the Internet. Most URLs are associated with a web page, but they can be used for other resources available from the web, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) documents or directories containing HTML files and images.
In essense it is just a way that people have invented for being able to remember where something is. Think of your local address - you're not going to be able to tell someone how to get there unless you give them directions using landmarks, house numbers etc. Not only that but if they have the same postcode as you then their location might be different because of where they live compared to where you live! It's much easier to give somebody a street name and number. If they are able to remember the number then they can look it up at home on a map, or by asking somebody who lives locally if they need help finding it.
URLs are used for many different things, but typically you will see them used for websites or email addresses. They are probably the most commonly used type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), which is another term people use to describe URLs and similar types of identifiers. You might also hear someone mention an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) identifier - this is something else that falls into the category of URI/URL/URN etc.
The reason why these types of identifiers are called uniform resource identifiers is because there are rules about how to create them,
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