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Class 4.05: Web Addresses

Regular mail requires a street address so that the U.S. Postal Service knows where to deliver it. Websites and web pages also need an address so that computers know where to locate them.

A web address, also known as a Uniform Resource Locator or URL, is the location of a particular website or web page on the World Wide Web.

Note: Even though URLs or web addresses may appear in print with the prefixes http:// or www., today’s browsers do not require typing those prefixes.

Types of Websites

The ending of a web address tells what type of institution the sponsor or owner of the site is. The most prominent domain name suffixes are listed below.

.com or .biz Commercial business
.gov Government site
.edu Educational site (schools, universities)
.org Non-commercial sites (organizations)
.mil U.S. military organization
.net Network operators

Almost any individual can obtain a .com, .org or .net website. However, only the United States government can obtain a .gov site, only a member of the United Stated armed forces can obtain a .mil site, and only an academic institution may obtain an .edu site.

You may also see suffixes that relate to the state or country of origin. For example, Ohio officials may use as a suffix, while Pennsylvania officials use A site based in the United Kingdom ends in while one from Russia ends in .ru.

For additional information see the List of Internet Top-Level Domains.