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What is the URL...

With an address your computer can navigate its way to almost any place on the Internet, but it does not know what to do when it gets there.

This is how the Uniform Resource Locator or URL came about. It is a special form of Internet address which builds on the domain name to tell your computer how to handle the data it will be receiving.

Every place you visit on the World Wide Web has a unique URL which normally begins with http://www...

For Example: http://www.the-company.com.au/

http stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the language used by computers to link Web pages together.

www is the World Wide Web.

When you type http://www.the-company.com.au/ into your Web browser, the software not only knows to go to the domain 'the-company' but to display it as a World Wide Web page as well.

The second most common URL is designed to help with transferring files from distant computers onto your own hard drive. This is called File Transfer Protocol or FTP. There are dedicated programs for FTP operations, however with a Web browser you can simply enter an FTP address and download a file.

With File Transfer Protocol the URL is written as:

ftp://ftp.the-company.com.au/file-name.zip

Every single file on the Internet has its URL.

When you visit the-company on the Web and view a page, the URL in your browser's address box will look something like:

http://www.the-company.com.au/page-name.html

Your browser would have opened page-name.html which resides in the root directory of the the-company.com.au server. In larger sites you will end up browsing documents nested deep inside its directory structure... directory in directory in directory.

Note: Spaces in file names at one time were not permitted but this restriction is largely no longer there - it depends on the particular system and the software being used. Your URL's however will show a %20 for each of the spaces in the file name...
'some file name.zip'  becomes  'some%20file%20name.zip'

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL

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