The Motive Web Design Glossary
uniform resource locator (URL)
A uniform resource locator (URL) identifies the location of a website on
the internet. This is simultaneously a text string (address) and a number.
For example, you can type into your address bar either the address:
http://www.motive.co.nz; or the internet protocol number
126.96.36.199 to access the Motive
Parts of a URL
A URL is comprised of four parts. Using
http://www.motive.co.nz/about/index.html as an example:
- domain or machine name:
- directory path:
- file name:
Browser handling of incomplete or broken URLs
Where a URL does not included a file name; for example
http://www.motive.co.nz/about/, the web browser may:
the file designated by the web server as the ‘starting page’ for that directory; commonly
- if no starting page has been assigned, a list of the
folders (directories) and files accessible from the current location may be displayed
- in some cases a browser message may be shown, advising that, as there is no webpage that location, access is forbidden
anchor, domain name, DNS server, hosting, hyperlink,
HTTP, IP address, linking, server.
References and further reading
- Status codes in HTTP (W3C)
Each time a URL is accessed, a web server responds with a status code. Commonly seen by users is
404 Not Found.
- Top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs (Independent Sources)
Choosing a domain name can be fraught… (light relief)
- Trust in little things (Steve Baty, UX Matters)
Establishing trust about taking care of the details, including providing human-readable, rather than abbreviated, URLs.
Motive Web Design Glossary Trivia