Internet Basics Lesson 3: What is the Universal Resource Locator?

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A Universal Resource Locator or URL is a unique address for website or webpage. The URL is entered in the address bar of a browser window.

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How to Enter a Universal Resource Locator

  1. Point and click your mouse into the address bar.
  2. Clicking in the address bar may select the existing text, making it turn a solid color (such as blue). From this point you may start typing to replace the existing text, or if it doesn't turn a solid color
  3. You may have to erase the existing website address. Depending on where your insertion point is, you may use the Delete or Backspace button. The Delete button on the keyboard erases what is in front (or to the right) of the cursor, and the Backspace button erases what is in back (or to the left) of it.
  4. Type the address you want to visit.
  5. Press the Enter button on your keyboard.

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Breaking Down a Universal Resource Locator

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Do not assume you know the URL for a website. There are companies and/or persons who have purchased the use of common misspelled web addresses. This is known as “typosquatting” or a “mousetrap”. Using the incorrect URL for a website could lead you to a page where you never intended to go. It may take you to a page that will try to solicit you or shock you. Be careful and know your addresses.

Interesting Tidbit

You do not have to type http:// into the address bar every time you enter an address. It will be assumed that you want the page to be found using this protocol.

Another interesting fact is that you may use your address bar to search for topics. So instead of entering a URL, you may enter just a keyword that you would like to search. After you enter the keyword, press enter on the keyboard or use the address bar button. The search results will use a common search engine, perhaps your default setting, and give you a list of results.

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Vocabulary and Glossary

Address Bar
A horizontal area at the top of the browser window where you enter the web address of the website that you would like to visit.
A browser is a software program used to access and navigate the Internet. It is used to enable users to view web pages.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
HTTP is a procedure used to request and transmit files. It is the coded format language used for creating documents on the WWW and controlling how web pages appear.
Universal Resource Locator (URL)
This is a unique address for website or webpage. The URL is entered in the address bar of a window.

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More Information

More information about Universal Resource Locators:

To visit the previous websites, place your mouse over the underlined link above then click. You must be connected to the internet in order for the link to work.

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and supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds,
awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.