What is URL Structure?

What is URL Structure?

19.Sep.2021

 

 

A URL is the address on the web that people use to visit your website. For example, in this article’s URL - 〈 https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/ 〉 - you can see it starts with "https", which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure . This means visitors are automatically sent over a secure connection when they visit your site (if their browsers support HTTPS).

 

Additional components of the URL make up the website’s structure and generally give more information about what type of content will be found at that location. However, URLs do not always contain this kind of information; some URLs are simply meant to look pretty or convey a company name, rather than describe the content.

 

URL components are separated by dots (periods), which indicate each individual component of the website’s structure. For example, in our URL example above, there are three components: "https", then a subdomain that describes where the site is located geographically or what type of website it is (based on what category it falls into) and an extension to identify it as a .com domain, a top-level domain (TLD). There are other types of TLDs such as ".edu" for educational sites and ".gov" for official government websites. If your site were a blog hosted on WordPress.com, its URL would look like http://techblog.socialmediaexaminer.com/  because the domain would be socialmediaexaminer.com and it is a WordPress blog.

 

In general, URLs are created with these components:

Domain name or subdomain: The root URL of your website that comes before any folders or files on your site. A domain name can be any word in the dictionary followed by a top-level domain (TLD). There are different kinds of TLDs such as .com, .net and .org, which you must purchase if you want to use them for your site’s URL. Domain names cannot start with hyphens (-) or numbers (#). For example: 〈 http://www.examplebusinessname.com/ 〉

Subdomain: It’s an additional component to the root URL that is typically divided by a period. Subdomains are used in URLs to describe specific sections of a website, which you may create if you have multiple blogs hosted on the same domain or would simply like to delineate between different areas of your site. For example, if this article was located at 〈 http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/ 〉, " socialmediaexaminer.com " would be considered the root domain while “ what-is-url-structure ” would be considered the subdomain . Folders or files are not separated with dots; instead, they are separated by slashes ( / ).

For example: 〈 http://socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/ 〉

Path or directory: It's a way to further describe a website's structure, based on the URL path you'd like to use for your site. A path typically starts with a forward slash to indicate it is part of the overall URL and then does not include a TLD. For example, " https://www.smxdigital.com/resources/blog/ " has a path that describes available blog posts on smxdigital.com . Images and files aren't always organized in separate folders; if this were case, it could be separated in the URL like this: 〈 https://www.smxdigital.com/resources/images/archives/2018/05/ 〉

File name: It's the last part of a URL and points to specific content such as an image or download for your website (like a blog post, article or press release). A file is typically separated with a forward slash and does not contain any TLDs at the end of the path. For example: 〈 https://socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/file.html 〉

Note: Some words cannot be used in domain names so many times companies come up with creative misspellings of their trademarks as domain names. For example, you may see misspellings such as " google.com ," " facebook.com " and " yahoo.com ."

 

URLs that contain only a top-level domain (TLD) and nothing else are not commonly used to describe content; instead, they typically use descriptive conventions or company branding to show the contents of the website. Many websites will start with either “www” or “http:” before their URL address because this is how users access websites on the web, but these components aren't required for correct URL structure.

 

Although not required, most websites will also include a subdomain or directory path in their URL to give users more details about what they are linking to. For example, these are some common ways you would see subdomains used in URLs:

Directory paths typically appear at the end of URLs and describe where content can be found on a website. While they aren't required for correct structure, they may be helpful in letting your audience know exactly where specific content is located within your website.

Background information [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]:

 

Domain names can be any word in the dictionary followed by a top-level domain (TLD). There are different kinds of TLDs such as .com, .net and .org, which you must purchase if you want to use them for your site’s URL.

 

It's an additional component to the root URL that is typically divided by a period. Subdomains are used in URLs to describe specific sections of a website, which you may create if you have multiple blogs hosted on the same domain or would simply like to delineate between different areas of your site. For example, if this article was located at http://socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/, "socialmediaexaminer.com" would be considered the root domain while “what-is-url-structure” would be considered the subdomain .

 

URL path: It's a way to further describe a website's structure, based on the URL path you'd like to use for your site. A path typically starts with a forward slash to indicate it is part of the overall URL and then does not include a TLD. For example, "https://www.smdigital.com/resources/blog/" has a path that describes the available blog posts on smdigital.com.

Images and files aren't always organized in separate folders; if this were case, it could be separated in the URL like this: https://www.smxdigital.com/resources/images/archives/2018/05/.

File name: It's the last part of a URL and points to specific content such as an image or download for your website (like a blog post, article or press release). A file is typically separated with a forward slash and does not contain any TLDs at the end of the path. For example: https://socialmediaexaminer.com/what-is-url-structure/file.

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