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What is the definition of a URL?
A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator, which is more commonly referred to as a domain name. By most accounts, it is an addressing system used on the Internet to define a specific location. The URL can also be classified as a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), a set of characters used to identify a physical IP (Internet Protocol) address on the Internet. We use URLs every day when navigating the Internet, whether we know it or not. In fact, you are at our URL while you are reading this material. The reason URLs are important because they allow you to easily identify and remember an address on the World Wide Web. It would be difficult to remember an IP address like an example: 126.96.36.199 every time you wanted to check your bank statement or log in to your email account, and that is one of the reasons that the URL was created.
Importance of URL Definition.
The most important URL feature is that it allows you to change IP addresses while maintaining the same name. A personal site or even a large corporation can relocate their website hosting to another physical location without notifying every customer of the change. The change of the IP Address is transparent to visitors of the site and usually occurs over a period of 24 to 48 hours.
An important feature of the URL is that each one is unique, thus preserving the Internet’s integrity. If anyone could call their own IP Address whatever URL (or domain name), they wanted then no one would trust the sites they were interacting with. A hacker could thus call his own address Microsoft.com or Cisco.com and steal important personal information and credit card data.
A URL also allows large corporations with numerous IP addresses and servers to direct all traffic to one canonical name. For example, a company like MySpace.com has dozens of IP Addresses, which are all bound to the URL name MySpace.com and thus enable them to balance load their website traffic to different servers. They would not be able to balance the traffic very easily if they did not have the URL.
Where can I register a URL?
You can register (aka purchase) a URL with any domain name registrar. We have been using Host Otter for 7 years now and have nothing but great things to say about them. In fact, most of our URLs are registered through them.