Structure of a Web Address

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Understand the make-up and structure of a Web address

A web address consists of a number of components separated by periods (full stops). Examples include:,,,,

The first part is the name of the server and the final part is called the top level domain zone. Some top level zones such as com, net and org are international zones as they do not relate to any country in particular. Sometimes the top level domain zone corresponds to a country. Some examples (United Kingdom), za (South Africa), ke (Kenya), au (Australia), .ca (Canada) and fr (France). Most organisations in the United States use the international top level zones com, org, net. There are also some newer ones available such as biz

Most countries allocated the next level to specific organisations. For example, in South Africa we have (Commercial organisations), (Not-for profit organisations), .ac,za (Academic and research institutions) (Government departments).

The part of the name following the server name is known as the domain name. Thus in, the server www is attached to the domain Just as many people have the same name, so do many servers. In fact, most servers on the Internet are called www. However, each combination of server and domain must be unique.

When you type a URL into a browser search window, the browser actually adds another part http:// to indicate that it will use the http protocol. The full entry will look like the following:

It is also possible to access a site where you can download files using FTP. In this case the entry should like like this:

We would interpret the above as:

i. Use FTP ii. The server name is svr5 iii. It is found attached to the domain, a South Africa domain. A URL consists of a number of web pages. A web page is an item which is stored under a particular name on the web site. Often you will be required to enter a specific page to find information. For example:

If you do not enter the name of a web page, the browser assumes it is index.htm. If, for example, you enter the URL, the browser will assume you mean