Examining the Parts of a Website’s URL

Examining the Parts of a Website's URL, ITVibes

by | Aug 13, 2021 | Website Design

Have you ever wondered how a URL link works? In your web browser, your website’s URL is what navigates you to a certain page on the internet. Get to know the technical parts of a URL to help you further understand your website’s structure.

Every web page has a unique URL, but have you ever looked at how it is structured? Learn the difference between each part of a URL here. Share on X

Similar to an address to home, your website’s URL is unique to you and your business. It not only helps visitors find your website with an easy-to-remember link but also helps Google understand what is on the page. Before you can optimize the content and technical aspects of your website, it’s important to know the essential parts of a URL. 

Anatomy of a URL

Every webpage URL consists of five different parts:

  1. Scheme – The scheme is what tells web servers which protocol to use when it accesses a page on your website. One of the most commonly used is “https://” which stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. This particular scheme works to encrypt any information, like passwords or credit card information, that you enter onto the page.
  2. Subdomain – Often used to specify a specific section of a website, a subdomain is “blog” in “https://blog.itvibes.com”. Having a subdomain is a great way to show serves and users that there is more to your website than just the homepage. Not every website has a subdomain, but it can be especially helpful in organizing larger sitemaps.
  3. Second-level domain – The second-level domain is simply the name of your website. To continue with our example, “itvibes” would be the second-level domain in “www.itvibes.com”
  4. Top-level domain – Also known as the TLD, the top-level domain specifies your type of organization. Examples include:
    • .com – for commercial entities
    • .edu – for academic institutions
    • .gov – for government entities
    • .org – for nonprofit organizations
  5. Subdirectory – Often seen as blog categories or shop categories, subdirectories are simply folders that your different pages will fall under. In an URL, “website-design” would be the subdirectory in “itvibes.com/blog/website-design/examining-parts-of-a-websites-url”. In this particular example, users could simply go to “itvibes.com/blog/website-design” and find the full list of articles related to web design. Thus, subdirectories help organize your content for better navigation.

URL & SEO – Is There a Correlation?

Yes, having an organized URL structure can enhance your ability to rank on search engines. While there are certain best practices to keep in mind when it comes to configuring the technical parts of your website, a website’s URL is one of the first ways search engines discover what you’re writing about. Simply put, configuring your URLs in a certain way helps organize your sitemap and determine your website’s structure. By being able to quickly scan the content of your website and designate which pages are relevant to certain keywords, your search visibility will rise. 

Improving Your Technical SEO

By understanding the different parts of a URL, you can better optimize your page’s permalinks for search engines. A URL might seem simple, but in terms of UX and SEO, your website’s URL is a crucial part of ensuring your website is structured properly.

Does your website’s structure need to be organized? Get in touch with our technical team for a free SEO audit of your website.