Anatomy of a Web Address

You’ve seen them everywhere, even on some state license plates.

But what does all those http’s and .com’s mean.

Here’s the website that I referenced for the following information:

Below is a simplified explanation of what makes up a web address:

First of all, the official computer name for a web address is URL
which stands for: Universal Resource Locator.

Here’s a sample URL:

http:// stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and that basically tells the computer that we are looking to
“Transfer” “Hyper Text” (a webpage) from the internet to your computer.
When typing a web address into Internet Explorer you usually don’t even have to type the “http://”
because the computer assumes it.

www stands for World Wide Web which is the body of software rules and protocols that make up what we know of as the internet. Just about every webpage you’ll ever view is a part of the world wide web.

.net is a an example of a “top level domain name

 Other extensions:


educational site (usually a university or college)


commercial business site


U.S. government/non-military site


U.S. military sites or agencies


networks, Internet service providers, organizations


non-profit organizations and others

Because the Internet was created in the United States, “US” was not originally assigned to U.S. domain names; however,
it’s used to designate American state and local government hosts, including many public schools, and commercial entities,
e.g., The domain .ca represents Canada, unless it’s followed by .us, in which case it represents California.

Domain Codes





Other countries have their own two letter codes as the top level of their domain names —

although many non-US sites use other top-level domains (such

Domain Codes













United Kingdom


South Africa


hypertext markup language
.html is an extension you will commonly see on websites as you are surfing around.

.php  Hypertext Preprocessor
Php is a widely used scripting language that is used to create interactive document, often on the Internet.

.bmp bitmap
Bitmap images are uncompressed images.

.jpg or .jpeg     joint photographs expert group
Jpegs are standard compressed format images used on the internet.

.gif graphics interchange format

Ftp – File Transfer Protocol
Ftp is a common way of transferring files across the internet. To the normal user using a direct Ftp, one cannot distinguish between a http download and a ftp download. Ftp servers use a way of arranging the files in folders, just like your hard drive is organized.

Https hyper text transfer protocol (secure?)

https is basically an encrypted version of http. It is used by servers to secure things such as credit card orders so they cannot be intercepted and stolen.


  • BYTE: A byte is a storage unit for data. “K” stands for Kilobyte which is 1024 bytes. “MB” is Megabyte which is a million bytes, and “GB” is a Gigabyte, which equals 1000 Megabytes.
  • CPU: This stands for the Central Processing Unit of the computer. This is like the computer’s brain.
  • MAC: This is an abbreviation for Macintosh, which is a type of personal computer made by the Apple Computer company.
  • OS: This is the Operating System of the computer. It is the main program that runs on a computer and begins automatically when the computer is turned on.
  • PC: This is the abbreviation for personal computer. It refers to computers that are IBM compatible.
  • PDF: This represents the Portable Document Format which displays files in a format that is ready for the web.
  • RAM: This stands for Random Access Memory which is the space inside the computer that can be accessed at one time.  If you increase the amount of RAM, then you will increase the computer’s speed. This is because more of a particular program is able to be loaded at one time.
  • ROM: This is Read Only Memory which is the instruction for the computer and can not be altered.
  • VGA: The Video Graphics Array is a system for displaying graphics. It was developed by IBM.
  • WYSIWYG: This initialism stands for What You See Is What You Get.  It is pronounced “wizziwig” and basically means that the printer will print what you see on your monitor.
  • USB: The Universal Serial Bus is used for communications between certain devices.  It can connect keyboards, cameras, printers, mice, flash drives, and other devices.  Its use has expanded from personal computers to PDAs, smartphones, and video games, and is used as a power cord to connect devices to a wall outlet to charge them.
    VR: Virtual Reality simulates a three-dimensional scene on the computer and has the capability of interaction.O:-)  angelic smile
  • 😎     big-eyed smile
  • :-X     big kiss
  • :-{}    blowing a kiss
  • :.(      crying face
  • :->    grinning
  • 😐     indifferent, bored
  • :-))    laughing
  • =:-)  punk
  • 🙁     sad face
  • 😀     shock or surprise
  • :-r  sticking tongue out
  • B:-)  sunglasses on head
  • :-||   very angry
  • :-><  puckered up to kiss
  • 8-|   wide-eyed surprise
  • 😉     winking
  • :-O     yelling

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