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HTML Uniform Resource Locators

A URL is another word for a web address.

A URL can be composed of words (e.g., or an Internet Protocol (IP) address (e.g.

Most people enter the name when surfing, because names are easier to remember than numbers.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator

Web browsers request pages from web servers by using a URL.

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is used to address a document (or other data) on the web.

A web address follows these syntax rules:



  • scheme - defines the type of Internet service (most common is http or https)
  • prefix - defines a domain prefix (default for http is www)
  • domain - defines the Internet domain name
  • port - defines the port number at the host (default for http is 80)
  • path - defines a path at the server (If omitted: the root directory of the site)
  • filename - defines the name of a document or resource

Common URL Schemes

The table below lists some common schemes:

SchemeShort forUsed for
httpHyperText Transfer ProtocolCommon web pages. Not encrypted
httpsSecure HyperText Transfer ProtocolSecure web pages. Encrypted
ftpFile Transfer ProtocolDownloading or uploading files
fileA file on your computer

URL Encoding

URLs can only be sent over the Internet using the ASCII character-set. If a URL contains characters outside the ASCII set, the URL has to be converted.

URL encoding converts non-ASCII characters into a format that can be transmitted over the Internet.

URL encoding replaces non-ASCII characters with a "%" followed by hexadecimal digits.

URLs cannot contain spaces. URL encoding normally replaces a space with a plus (+) sign, or %20.

ASCII Encoding Examples

Your browser will encode input, according to the character-set used in your page.

The default character-set in HTML5 is UTF-8.

CharacterFrom Windows-1252From UTF-8