When we’re talking about an URL (Universal Resource Locator), we’re typically referring to the line of text that you see in your browser’s address bar. An URL is actually a subset of something we call an URI, but in this article we’ll only focus on the default structure of an URL.
The first thing you’ll notice in an URL is the protocol, or scheme. In most cases this will either be
http://. Though there exists a whole array of other schemes.
The second will be your domain or subdomain. This is what identifies your site, and if you’re using a subdomain before your domain they will be separated by a period.
www is an example of a type of subdomain.
The last part is what we call the top level domain (TLD). This can be
.org and even
.pizza for example. It was originally created to ease of remembering with it describing geographically where the site is and the type of site you wanted to visit.
.com standing for Commercial Business,
.org standing for Organisation,
.th standing for Thailand and so on.
All of this is what we would call the base URL. What comes after that is what we call the relative URL.
We can divide the relative URL up into two parts. The first part comes right after the top-level domain and ends at the second to last front slash. This denotes the directory path to where you are. This is called the
The other part is the last string in the prefix URL which we can call the
entry-specific URL. This will be the last section,
/path/ in our URL example above which comes after the prefix URL. This tells you where you’re currently on the website.
The last part we will touch upon is when you see a question mark followed by some text. This is something we call the query string. This can be used to gather information from the user if they submit a form on your site, for example. Query strings can be chained together with the
- Absolute URL:
- Base URL:
- Top-level domain:
- Relative URL:
- Prefix URL:
- Entry-specific URL:
- Prefix URL:
- Query string:
- Base URL:
Be aware that this is only one naming structure and others might use other definitions. Query parameter instead of query string is a good example.
And as always, should you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact our support chat at servebolt.com!
Give us your feedback on this article
Want to speed up your site, easily?
Set up your site on Servebolt, free of charge for 14 days, and see for yourself how fast it can be on our extremely fast hosting.
A faster site converts better, ranks better on Google, and is better for the climate.