Picking the right URL

In many cases you are looking for information from a particular organization. The best strategy for finding this information is to go directly to thatorganizations website.

For example to find the email address for Bill Clinton go to http://www.whitehouse.gov

You can normally find the website for an organization in the online directoriesor by wading through a list of results in a search engine. But many times you can go directly to the website by guessing the URL for that organization. In order to help you make educated guesses here is a quick review of how URL's are structured. A URL is the electronic address for a resource on the Internet and has the following form:

http://scilnet.fortlewis.edu/edtech/default.htm

http:// The first part of a URL indicates the type of resource, where http corresponds to a webpage. The type idicator is followed by the characters ://

scilnet is the computer name where the resource is located. Some organizations mayhave several computers on the Internet. For example at Fort Lewis k12, www, scilnet and webmailare all valid computer names. The computer name can be an optional parameter andmay not appear in every URL. The most common computer name on the Internet is www.
fortlewis.edu is the domain name. Most Internet addresses in the United States end in one of six ways:

.com for commercial businesses
.gov for federal governmental bodies
.org for non-profit organizations
.net for networks
.edu for educational institutions (mostly higher ed)
.mil for the military

Proposals for new domains include:

.store for businesses selling goods
.nom for personal sites
.firm for businesses
.info for information services
.web for sites related to the World Wide Web
.arts for cultural groups
.rec for entertainment or recreation.

For state and local government sites and all Internet addresses outsideof the United States. These addresses have a domain name that ends with a country code. For example the State of Colorado website is http://www.state.co.us.The town of Ignacio, Colorado website is at http://www.ignacio.co.us and the address for the French version of Yahoo is http://www.yahoo.fr

The domain name does not alway correspond to the most obvious ogranization. For instance, www.plymouth.com has nothing to do with cars made by Chrysler - but www.plymouthcars.com is the Chrysler website.

edtechis a directory name. The directory name may not exist is all URLs because the file may be in the root directory. On the other hand a URL may contain several directories.

Directory names that have a tilde ~ character correspondto a personal website.

default.htmthe file name. The file name is generally the very last part of the URL. The file name can be distinguished from the directory name because it containsa period near the end of it. If the file name is left off of the URL a default page is returned. The name of the default page name can be any of the following default.htm, default.html, index.htm or index.html dependingon how the web server is configured.