Internet Basics: A URL Is Like A Leftovers Note
Ever get a leftovers note when you came home late one night? It might have said something like:
?Went to bed. There?s chicken in the fridge and pie in the freezer.?
That?s what a URL is like.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, which is really a fancy way of saying it tells you where something is located on the Internet. Most of us only encounter URLs that tell us where a website or webpage is. For example:
· The URL http://www.somedomain.com tells us where the somedomain.com website is located
· The URL http://www.somedomain.com/product1.html tells us where the webpage is for product #1 on the somedomain.com website
But if you went to either of the URLs above (they?re fictitious by the way) you?d encounter dozens, if not hundreds, of other URLs along the way, probably without even knowing it. How?
Well, every image that appears on any webpage is stored on a computer somewhere that?s connected to the Internet (this computer is called a server). And when a webpage?s URL is typed into a browser, the browser doesn?t just receive the webpage file, it also receives all the individual image files that appear within that webpage. And each of those images has to be found in order to be sent along with the webpage file. And guess how each of those images are found ? that?s right, their own URL.
So while http://www.somedomain.com/product1.html could be the URL for a specific webpage, that webpage could include a URL like http://www.somedomain/images/logo.gif which would mean there?s a logo image file named ?logo.gif? and it can be found in the ?images? folder on the same server that the product1.html webpage file is located at.
And then there?d be a URL for the ?Special Sale? image on the same page, and another URL for the ?Product 1? image, and so on and so on. And there?d also be URLs for Flash content, or audio, or video, or whatever else ends up on that webpage.
And just like there?s only one leftovers note that points out the location of multiple things (chicken here, pie over there), so too a webpage?s URL can ultimately point out the location of multiple things using multiple URLs.
And that?s why a URL is like a leftovers note.
Copyright (c) Grant Pasay 2005. All rights reserved.
About the Author: Grant Pasay is a writer, musician, moviemaker, and author of the new eBook, "The Internet Is Like A Refrigerator: And Other Weird Comparisons That Make it Easy to Understand Everything From AOL to Zip Files." Check out Grant's free/brandable ebook at: http://grantpasay.com/refrigerator/
Check out Grant at: http://grantpasay.com/