A URL can be broken up into several features.
While some of the features of a URL are optional, other elements are required to access a webpage or file on a website.
also known as website name or host name, the domain name element of a URL is often three parts:
- www (optional),
- second level name (i.e. ooportal in www.ooportal.com), and
- top level name(.com, .org, .edu, .net).
The domain name is an instruction telling your browser where to go to download the requested webpage.
The 'www' portion is optional and in most cases one can load a website with or without the www and receive the same content.
This is not always the case however: in many cases using one domain name
may redirect a browser to the other format
(eg ooportal.com redirects to www.ooportal.com).
often .html, but in many other cases can be .php, .cgi, .html.
The file format often depicts how the web server provides the content. For example, a .php ending is indicative that the webpage is being served by a php 'engine' - a scripting language which facilitates 'dynamic' webpages
(pages which are physically one file but present different information depending upon given options).