What is a URL and How is it Structured?

A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator and is also known as an Internet address or web address.

A URL is made up of several components. The following example breaks down a URL into its individual components:

Component Description
https:// The protocol used to access the website. This is typically HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or HTTPS which uses an SSL certificate to encrypt the data transmitted to and from the website for extra security.
www.domain.com The complete domain or hostname that will display the website's home page.
www. The subdomain. The 'www.' subdomain is common for most websites and will load the home page. Additional subdomains are sometimes created to subdivide a website, with different home pages. Examples include 'blog.domain.com' or 'forum.domain.com.'
domain.com The domain or domain name. The domain name consists of a unique name coupled with a domain name extension (such as .com). After the domain name is acquired, subdomains such as 'www.domain.com' or 'blog.domain.com' can be created by the owner.
.com The top-level domain (TLD) is the domain name extension.
/subfolder The path points to a directory, folder or subfolders on the web server where website files or pages are stored.
/file.php The page or file of a website that has been made publicly available.
?var=A1B2C3D4 The variable or variables that may be required for a website page to load the appropriate content. An example would be search engines. If you search Bing for 'ionos', you may notice the URL changes from 'https://www.bing.com/' to 'https://www.bing.com/search?q=ionos.'