What are the 5 Parts of a URL

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The following example will help you to better understand the 5 parts of a URL. If your website is like a house, then the URL of your website is like the address of that house. It defines where your website lives online, similar to how your home address determines where you live in a neighborhood, helping your visitors easily find your site. 

URLs also help Google understand what the pages on your website are about.

Technically, there are 5 parts of a URL. They are important for optimizing the user experience (UX) and SEO of your site. To help you develop a concrete understanding of each part of a URL, let’s explore each of them in detail.

What are the 5 Parts of a URL?

A URL consists of 5 parts: the schema, the subdomain, the top-level domain, the second-level domain, and the subdirectory.

Below is an illustration of the different parts of a URL.

Let’s take a look at the URL structure below.

URL Structure

Scheme

The scheme tells web servers which protocol to use when they access a page on your website.

Today, HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is the most common scheme. It tells your web browser to encrypt any information you enter on the page, such as your passwords or credit card information, so that cybercriminals cannot access it. This security protocol protects your visitors and its implementation will help your site rank better on Google. That is why implementing SSL is a must in any SEO technical strategy.

Other schemes you can see are mailto: //, which can open your computer’s default email service provider to help you compose an email to the email address you entered in the URL, and FTP: //, which is a standard protocol for transferring computer files between a client and a server on a computer network.

Subdomain

If your website is like a house, your subdomains are like specific rooms in that house. A subdomain in a URL indicates which particular page on your website the web browser should display. For example, subdomains such as “blog” or “offers” will provide the blog page or offers page of your website.

Subdomains also classify your website into its top content categories and show Google and your visitors that there is more information on your site than just a home page.

Second level domain

Your Second Level Domain (SLD) is the name of your website. It helps people know that they are visiting a certain brand’s site. For example, people who visit “mlb.com” know that they are on the Major League Baseball website, with no further information required.

Top-level domain

The top-level domain (TLD) specifies what type of entity registers your organization on the Internet.

For example, “.com” is intended for business entities in the United States, so many US companies register with a top-level domain of “.com.” Similarly, “.edu” is intended for academic institutions in the United States, so many American colleges and universities register with a top-level domain of “.edu.”

Subdirectory

A subdirectory, also known as a subfolder, helps people and web crawlers understand what particular section of a web page they are in.

For example, if you own an online store that sells T-shirts, hats, and mugs, one of your website URLs might look like “https://shop.yourstore.com/hats”. Notice that the subdomain is “store” and the subdirectory is “hats.” That means this URL would show the “Hats” page, which is a subfolder of the “Store” page. T-shirts and mugs would be other subfolders on this page.

Knowing the 5 Parts of a URL is Good for SEO

Although URLs may seem simple and trivial, they are actually very important to your website’s UX and SEO. And now you understand the anatomy of a URL.

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