Anatomy Of A Domain Name and URL


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A quick guide on how domain names and URLs work.

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • thank you.... simple and to the point. BTW postal address is also arranged as
    Subdomain: 123 street
    Domain: City, 5063
    TOP level Domain Australia
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Anatomy Of A Domain Name and URL

  1. 1. Anatomy of a URL by Andy Wibbels
  2. 2. A web address has many parts.
  3. 3. Understanding which parts do what can help you better understand how your readers and search engines see your site.
  4. 4. Here’s a domain name.
  5. 5. Let’s break it down into its many parts.
  6. 6. That thing on the end? That’s called a Top Level Domain.
  7. 7. Common top-level domains .com .net .org • For • For internet • For non- commercial service profits entities providers .edu .mil .gov • For • For military • For US educational use gov’t institutions bodies
  8. 8. Each country has it’s own top-level domain: .uk .ch .ph .th .us .tv .ca .au .cc .sp .fr and so on… Full list at
  9. 9. So that’s the top-level domain, the part after the ‘dot’ and before the ‘everything else.’
  10. 10. Let’s take a look at the part ‘between the dots.’
  11. 11. It doesn’t allow spaces or underscores.
  12. 12. It is not-case sensitive. All of the above go to the same place.
  13. 13. You can have dashes.
  14. 14. Or numbers.
  15. 15. Together with the top-level domain. This is what most people mean when they talk about ‘a domain name.’
  16. 16. These are all different domain names, that might be owned by different people.
  17. 17. So that was the part ‘between the dots.’
  18. 18. Let’s look at the part ‘before the dot.’
  19. 19. The part before the first dot is called the sub-domain.
  20. 20. Yes, you’re right. It doesn’t make sense that it is ‘sub’ and is first as you read it out loud.
  21. 21. Make peace with that.
  22. 22. Sub-domains allow you to channel different bits of traffic to different parts of your company.
  23. 23. All of these sub-domains are controlled by the same person that owns the domain name.
  24. 24. The default is ‘www’ for ‘world wide web.’
  25. 25. A common mistake is adding the ‘www’ if there is already a domain name.
  26. 26. That isn’t necessary and may cause weird error messages.
  27. 27. = Depending on how a site is setup, you don’t have to type in the ‘www.’
  28. 28. ≠ Other times they are different. This small detail may drive you batty when troubleshooting so be vigilant.
  29. 29. So: sub-domain.
  30. 30. Domain.
  31. 31. Top-level domain.
  32. 32. Usually referred to as one big thing called ‘a domain name.’
  33. 33. So what’s this H-T-T-P business?
  34. 34. There are many ways for you to connect to a website.
  35. 35. http:// The most common used by browser is Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  36. 36. http:// Hypertext is a nerdy way of saying ‘web site stuff.’
  37. 37. http:// The http:// tells the web server how to respond to the request to view a particular web page or file.
  38. 38. http:// The colon and 2 forward slashes just make it look fancy.
  39. 39. http:// Yes, the direction of the slashes matters. If they lean to the right – into the direction you’re reading, they are forward slashes. If they lean to the left – they are backslashes.
  40. 40. Another piece of the puzzle!
  41. 41. Uh-oh. What’s this?
  42. 42. This tells the website, I want to see your folder of stuff.
  43. 43. 23 This folder on the webserver can be case sensitive and can contain spaces and underscores. It is separate from the domain name system.
  44. 44. This part points us to the server. This part tells us what to get once we’re there.
  45. 45. The path to these files can be as long as it needs to be. This part points us to the server. This part tells us what to get once we’re there.
  46. 46. This tells the website, I want to see a spreadsheet called stuff.xls.
  47. 47. This tells the website, I want to see a webpage called stuff.htm.
  48. 48. If there is no file requested – just the folder – the server may respond with the ‘index’ of that folder.
  49. 49. Sometimes a URL has variables in it that tell the site what to do. Here is the full URL to my Facebook profile. The browser talks to Facebook and asks for the the profile.php file is a profile.php file script and looks for a variable called ‘id’ and that is how it knows what Facebook profile to show.
  50. 50. But at the end of the day, the important thing to remember is this:
  51. 51. Sub-domain.
  52. 52. Domain.
  53. 53. Top-level domain.
  54. 54. Usually referred to as one big thing called ‘a domain name.’
  55. 55. Thanks! Let’s connect: