Uniform Resource Locator (URL) structure

An URL is a string of characters that contains information about how to fetch a resource from its location. An URL specifies the primary access mechanism and the network location of a resource. A typical URL consists of the following components:

  1. the protocol used to connect to the server (e.g. HTTPS)
  2. the server hostname (e.g. geek-university.com)
  3. the document path (e.g. /course)


Here is a graphical representation of these components:

URL structure

URLs can also be used to reference documents other than the web sites. Here are some examples of using URLs to reference an FTP resource, mail address and local files:

  • ftp://www.geek-university.com/uploads.zip – refers to the uploads.zip file on the geek-university.com server that can be accessed using FTP
  • mailto:tuna@geek-university.com – a hyperlink that allows users to to send emails to tuna@geek-university.com using their default email client program.
  • file://C:\images – used to open the C:\images folder on the local computer