You’ve probably heard of a URL before—but if someone asked you what it is and what it does, would you still know the answer? If not, read this quick explanation of the purpose of a URL.
What is it?
URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator” and is the most common form of Uniform Resource Identifiers: strings of characters that are used to identify a resource on the web. It tells the hypertext system that operates the internet which protocol it should use to find the resource you’re trying to access and where it is located. In simple terms, a URL is another name for a web address and helps users navigate directly to the websites they’re interested in viewing.
What does it do?
A URL makes it easier for people to find and remember the correct way to navigate to a website. Every web page has an IP (Internet Protocol) address that web browsers use to take users to their destination. However, an IP address is made up of a string of numerical characters (e.g. 188.8.131.52). Imagine if you had to remember and type in different strings every time you wanted to check your email, navigate to a search engine, or log into Facebook—not ideal, right? A URL associates a more user-friendly string (like www.name.com) to every IP address so it’s easier for users to remember and type when they want to access a particular website.
How do I get one?
Registering your own URL is simple to do and only takes a few minutes. Just head to the website of a domain registrar and search for the URL you want. If it’s available, simply add it to your cart and check out like you would for any other online purchase. Domain registrations last for one year and are yours for as long as you keep renewing them.