Tuesday, 4 July 2017

How URL Works?

Hello my friends,
welcome to Aky’s Technoworld, the coolest texture on the web.

If you’ve ever you know used the internet which you’ve probably done considering reading this, you’ve almost certainly typed in a Uniform Resource locator or URL to get where you’re going online.
Why do we need HTTP in there and what are all those amber sands, question marks, hash sigh and many other? Its good question let’s demystify the ingredients of your typical web address starting with the beginning of the scheme the most familiar will probably be HTTP which stands for hypertext Transfer Protocol. The set commands that handles the transmission of webpages.



But there is some other scheme as well. If you’ve ever clicked on an email address you might notice that the link starts with “mail to”. A scheme that tells the browser to open up your email clients you can fire off a message there’s also FTP or File Transfer Protocol which used to send files as you probably guess to and from remote servers and even IRC which allows you to connect directly to a chat-room.



The next part of a typical URL is usually a domain name, the name of a website like amazon.com or Microsoft.com. The “.com”,” .net” or “.org” at end of URL called top-level domain or TLD which you can think of as the main categories that sort every website on the internet and help route request through a certain group of servers to get you to the correct website.



Typically, “.com” will indicate a commercial website. Then, “.org” indicates a nonprofit organization and there are plenty of TLDs that indicates sites associated with a certain country like “.US” or “.UK”. Most recently country based TLDs have been used in so-called domain hacks like “YouTube.BE” Which allows links to YouTube Videos to be shorted.


Much of the rest of the URL the part that is separated by slashes (/) indicates the past or the specific location of the page or other piece of content on the specific website.


Each slash indicates another sub folder kind of like how files on your computer storage drive are organized.
As for question (?) marks, these make a URL hard to read but their existence actually makes a lot of sense.


They indicate a query defined by the user. For example, if you type a search into Google you’ll see your string in the result page URL after the question mark symbol which tells the server to execute that search.
If a URL has multiple queries these will be separated by Ambersons (&) showing that the browser is relaying multiple piece of information to the website, such as what kind of browser you’re using or whether you are referring to a page from a certain site.



As you’ve ever clicked a link just to have it send you somewhere else on the same page that was probably done through a fragment indicated by a pound sign.



Fragments can mark specific spots on a webpage but can also indicate other things like the folder you’re looking at in Gmail. URLs can also incorporate a few rarely seen variations. For example, you’ve trying to access a website that require a login and password. Some sites will allow you to just enter the username and password in the URL directly logging in automatically. Convenient if you need to quickly share a link to a protected site. But not the best thing for security as your browser history will show you your password in plain text.


If you ever visited a site based in a country that doesn’t use Latin character like Greece or Chine, you might see a really weird domain name that include “xn.”, these means that the original characters were converted into a domain name compatible with the DNS.


Because of this, computers worldwide can view these pages. But if the path after the domain name contains special characters you’ll probably see these display with percent-encoding which is also sometimes used for another symbol. For example, %24 corresponds to a dollar ($) sigh.

So, I hope this helped unpack the mystifying stuff that you see in web address.



Thank You for Reading,
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