What is a URL?

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is a reference or address used to access resources on the internet. It's a string of characters that provides a way to identify and locate a particular resource, such as a web page, document, image, or any other file, on the World Wide Web.

A standard URL consists of several components:

  1. Scheme: The scheme indicates the protocol used to access the resource. Common schemes include "http", "https", "ftp", and "mailto". For example, in the URL "https://www.example.com", "https" is the scheme.
  2. Hostname: The hostname identifies the domain name or IP address of the server hosting the resource. In the URL "https://www.example.com", "www.example.com" is the hostname.
  3. Port: The port number, if specified, indicates the specific port on the server to connect to. The default ports are often assumed if not explicitly mentioned (e.g., 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS).
  4. Path: The path specifies the location or route to the specific resource on the server. In the URL "https://www.example.com/path/to/resource", "/path/to/resource" is the path.
  5. Query Parameters: Query parameters are additional information sent to the server, often in the form of key-value pairs, to modify the request or provide additional data. They appear after a question mark (?) in the URL. For example, in the URL "https://www.example.com/search?q=query", "?q=query" represents the query parameter.
  6. Fragment: The fragment, indicated by a hash (#) symbol, specifies a specific section within the resource. It is often used in web pages to navigate to a particular section. For example, in the URL "https://www.example.com/page#section", "#section" is the fragment.

Here's an example of a complete URL:


In this example:

  • Scheme: "https"
  • Hostname: "www.example.com"
  • Port: "8080"
  • Path: "/path/to/resource"
  • Query Parameters: "param1=value1" and "param2=value2"
  • Fragment: "section"

URLs are used in web browsers to access websites, and they are also utilized in various internet protocols and applications for resource identification and retrieval.

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