Addresses for web sites are called URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). Most of them begin with the protocol used to access web pages, http (HyperText Transfer Protocol), followed by a colon and two slashes. Many web addresses include www, but this is not always the case. For example, the URL for FIRN’s web site is http://www.firn.edu and the URL for the Florida Center for Instructional Technology is http://fcit.usf.edu/ . The different parts of a URL are divided by a period.

Each part of a URL contains certain information. The first field is the host name, identifying a single computer or organization. The last field is the top-level domain, describing the type of organization and occasionally country of origin associated with the address. Below are some common Top Level Domains (TLD’s):

.com Commercial
.edu Educational
.gov US Government
.mil US Military
.net Networking Providers
.org Non-profit Organization

Current domain name country codes include, but are not limited to:

.au Australia
.de Germany
.fr France
.nl Netherlands
.uk United Kingdom
.us United States

Some URL addresses include a directory path and a file name. Consequently, the addresses can become quite long. For example, the URL of a web page may be: http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/default.htm .

In this example, “default.htm” is the name of the file which is in a directory named “holocaust” on the FCIT server at the University of South Florida. A convention used when creating websites is that the first page created for the site is named index.html or default.html. Web browsers are configured to access this file if a specific file name is not included in the URL used to access a site.

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