What does URL mean?

URL is an acronym of Uniform Resource Locator. However, if you don’t know what URL means, knowing that isn’t likely to make things any clearer. So let’s explain a little more and definitively answer the question, “What does URL mean?”

What does URL mean?

A URL is a distinct, unique address of an internet-accessible file.

So when you go into a web browser and enter an address such as QuickAnswer.org or facebook.com you are actually entering a URL.

In effect, the URL is similar to your house address. When you tell someone your home address they then know how to find your home.

Similarly, when you enter a URL in your browser, the browser is then able to go off and find the file you requested (in most cases, the file is a web page such as the QuickAnswer homepage).

IP addresses

In reality, behind the scenes your browser actually uses an IP address to find the web pages or files that you want. An IP address will take this form:

Humans aren’t very good at remembering number like this, nor are IP addresses for websites always static (for example, if a website is moved to a new server). So URLs were invented to make things easier and provide a constant and easier to remember way of specifying where you want to go on the internet.

When you enter a URL into your browser, the browser then converts the address into an IP address by looking it up in what’s called a domain name server (DNS for short).

Once it has the IP address, the browser can then get the file for you.

So that’s what URL means: it’s an easy to remember way of identifying a file on the internet which your browser then converts into an actual IP address before retrieving that file for you.

URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator.