What Makes a Web Address?

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    Prefix

    • Modern Internet users usually don't even mention the letters "http://www." when casually naming a website. "Http" stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol" and "WWW" stands for "world wide web." In the early days of the web, this information was critical because it directs Internet users to the server hosting a particular page. Today, web browsers automatically insert the information, but anyone building a link on a webpage or blog needs to use the full address.

    Domain names

    • The second level domain refers to the indentifying word or phrase of the webpage. In www.ehow.com, "ehow" is the second level domain. Webhosts must register these names and usually pay a periodic fee to keep the name. The top level domain refers to the letters after the dot such as .com and .gov. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) maintains a list of top level domains that page hosts may use. Countries other than the United States use a country code like .uk for the United Kingdom and .ca for Canada in addition to the top level domain. Any additional characters after the top level domain take a user to a subpage under the second level domain.

    Static IP Addresses

    • Alphabetical websites actually direct users to a host server that has a numeric static Internet protocol (IP) address. While a user could type in a numeric IP address and get to the correct page, alphabetic addresses are easier for users to remember.

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