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URL Anatomy


By onjsdev

Jan 24th, 2024

Understanding the anatomy of a URL is crucial for anyone navigating the web or building websites. Let's break down the components of a URL step by step:

What is a URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a string of characters that provides the address of a resource on the internet. It allows us to pinpoint a specific web page or file, and it's essential for navigating the web.

Anatomy of a URL

A URL consists of several key components, each with its unique purpose.

Here are the main parts of a URL:

Scheme

The scheme is the first part of a URL. It tells your web browser how to access the resource. Common schemes include "http," "https," "ftp," and "mailto."

Host

The host is the second part of a URL and represents the domain name or IP address of the server where the resource is located.

Port

The port, if specified, is separated from the host by a colon and indicates the specific communication port to use when connecting to the server.

Path

The path is the part of the URL that follows the host and specifies the location of the resource on the server. It forms the structure of the web page's address.

Query

The query, if present, is separated from the path by a question mark. It contains key-value pairs that provide additional information to the server, often used for search queries or filtering.

Fragment

The fragment, indicated by a hash (#) symbol, points to a specific section within a web page. It's used for navigating within a long web page.

Putting It All Together

Let's see how they come together in a complete web address:

https://www.example.com:8080/products/electronics?category=laptops#reviews

In this example, we have:

  • Scheme: https
  • Host: www.example.com
  • Port: 8080 (optional)
  • Path: /products/electronics
  • Query: ?category=laptops
  • Fragment: #reviews

Conclusion

Each part of a URL serves a specific purpose, allowing us to find the right web page or resource quickly. The next time you enter a web address, you'll have a better grasp of what each component means and how they work together to get you to your destination.

Thank you for reading.