The Parts of a URL: A Short & Sweet Guide

July 29, 2021

By cchi@hubspot.com (Clifford Chi)

Improve your website with effective technical SEO. Start by conducting this  audit.

If your website is like a house, then your website’s URL is like that house’s address. It defines where your website lives online, similar to how your home address determines where you live in a neighborhood, helping your visitors easily find your site. URLs also help Google understand what your website’s pages are about.

There are technically five elements of a URL, and they’re discreetly important for optimizing your site’s user experience (UX) and SEO. To help you develop a concrete understanding of every part of a URL, let’s explore each of them in detail.

Below is an illustration of the different parts of a URL.

Let’s break down this URL structure below.

URL Structure

Scheme

parts of a url: schemeThe scheme tells web servers which protocol to use when it accesses a page on your website.

Nowadays, HTTPS — which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure — is the most common scheme. It tells your web browser to encrypt any information you enter onto the page, like your passwords or credit card information, so cybercriminals can’t access it. This security protocol protects your website visitors and implementing it will help your site rank better on Google. That’s why implementing SSL is a must-do on any technical SEO guide.

Other schemes you might see are mailto://, which can open your computer’s default email service provider to help you draft an email to the email address you entered in the URL, and ftp://, which is a standard protocol for transferring computer files between a client and server on a computer network.

Subdomain

parts of a url: subdomainIf your website is like a house, your subdomains are like specific rooms in that house. A subdomain in a URL indicates which particular page of your website the web browser should serve up. For instance, subdomains like “blog” or “offers” will provide your website’s blog page or offers page.

Subdomains also bucket your website into its main content categories and shows Google and your visitors that there’s more information on your site than just a homepage.

Second-level Domain

parts of a url: second-level domainYour second-level domain (SLD) is the name of your website. It helps people know they’re visiting a certain brand’s site. For instance, people who visit “mlb.com” know they’re on Major League Baseball’s website, without needing any more information.

Top-level Domain

parts of a url: top-level domainThe top-level domain (TLD) specifies what type of entity your organization registers as on the internet.

For example, “.com” is intended for commercial entities in the United States, so a lot of American businesses register with a top-level domain of “.com”. Similarly “.edu” is intended for academic institutions in the United States, so a lot of American colleges and universities register with a top-level domain of …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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