Web Addresses

Learning Outcomes

  • to investigate how web addresses are used to locate web pages.

Objectives

MUST – Understand how a URL is used to locate a website/web page.

SHOULD – Be able to identify the different types of domain names, and the organisations which use them.

COULD – Be able to recommend a URL and name to different organisations that are not online.

Starter

IP Addresses

An IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) is a unique identifier number assigned to each computer or device connected to a Computer Network which uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

An IP address is very similar to an address that is allocated to a building or home on a street in a town/city.  Each building has a unique identifier such as a building name or number and a postcode.  No two buildings share the same number or postcode.  An IP address is allocated to each device when it connects to a network.  Normally this is done by the ISP (Internet Service Provider).

You can use the following website to find out the IP address of the computer/device you are currently working on using this page https://whatismyipaddress.com/ .  You may notice that the IP address links to a location in Leicester, but not at Belper School.  Why?

The reason is that the Internet filtered into the school using the ISP filtering system which is located in Leicester.

Main

The URL

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a web page.  A URL is usually a text or numerical phrase or word which is linked to an organisation or company.  A URL is used rather than a direct IP address as an IP address would be too difficult to remember.

Most organisations and companies choose a URL that comprises part of its name or its business activities.   For example, the DIY retailer B&Q has a URL to its site which is www.diy.com, this is because someone who types in the URL looking for a DIY site will reach the B&Q site first, whether this is intentional or not.

Anatomy of a URL

A URL is made up of several specific parts.  The graphic and explanation below will explain how each piece of the URL works…

  1. The Protocol is the rule used to communicate between devices.
  2. The Domain Name is the name of the site.
  3. The Folder Directory is the folder or place on the site where the file or page is located.
  4. The Page Name is the name of the page that has been requested by the user.

Task 

Choose two different URL’s of your choice and annotate the different parts of it in your exercise book.

How the Internet finds a website using a URL and IP address?

  1.  The user types the URL into the address bar of their web browser.  They are looking for the website, www.belpercomputing.com
  2. www.belpercomputing.com is sent directly to the name server’s IP address as a DNS query.
  3. The name server returns the IP address (46.32.240.35)
  4. The server at the IP address for the Belper Computing site returns the files and the data.
  5. The site www.belpercomputing.com is shown on the user’s screen.

Task

In your exercise book create a graphical document showing how the Internet finds a website using a URL and IP address (use the 5 steps from above to help you).

URLs for different purposes

The ending of a URL can tell you a lot about a website.  For example, a URL ending in .co.uk is a site that is based in the United Kingdom.  A website ending in .ac.uk is an academic institution such as a college or university based in the UK.  The technical term for a URL ending is called the TLD (Top Level Domain)

Below is a list of the most common TLDs (Top Level Domains)

.ac – academic site – academic site

.ac.uk – academic site based in the United Kingdom

.com – a commercial website, most commonly associated with the USA, but they are used by a non-USA based companies such as Lego (www.lego.com)

.co.uk – a site based in the United Kingdom

.gov.uk – a United Kingdom based government or council based site.

.org – a charitable or non-profit association.

Task

  1. In your exercise book write down 5 examples of different TLDs for each type listed above.

2. Using the Map of Europe, identify at least 15 different countries and their associated TLDs.

Plenary

Using the website 123reg to help you with this task.

The following companies, who are not online at the moment, require URLs for their websites.  Recommend a URL name to them and what TLD they should choose.  Explain your answer clearly to them.

  • Paolo’s Perfect Pizzas – a small pizza chain based in the East Midlands.
  • German Cycling Holidays – a small UK based organisation that offers cycling holidays in Germany.
  • Helping Hand – a not for profit organisation offering odd jobs to elderly people based in Belper.