Types of Web Addresses

By Nikki Van De Walle

URLs and domains provide you with information before entering the site.
i http:// (in macro) image by Igor Negovelov from Fotolia.com

The Internet is full of different websites, each with different agendas and purposes. Usually the domain can give you a hint at what type of website you will be visiting. You can identify a domain by the last three letters in the Uniform Resource Locator, commonly known as the URL. For example, www.ehow.com is an URL, the domain is .com.


The most common domain is .com, which commonly refers to a business or commercial website. Many companies, stores and products use this as their domain. These websites can provide information about companies, people, or products. Along with providing information, some of these websites can also sell products or display videos, or provide the viewer with extra content to accompany a television show or other form of media.


If the domain is .edu, the website usually belongs to a place of education, like an university or college. These websites are very trustworthy because usually the proper channels at the institution have filtered and approved the posted information on the website. The information usually reflects the institution, whether that be providing information about the school or publishing work done by faculty or prominent students.


The domain, .gov, refers to a government-owned website. It could be for your country, state or a government-sponsored organization. These websites are just as reliable or perhaps more reliable than .edu domains because the content on these websites has been approved and reflect the company or agency which registered the domain. The government could use these websites to publish new laws or bills, announce upcoming press conferences, or release bulletins and other vital information.

Search Engines

Some websites specialize solely as search engines to provide people with easier navigation of the Internet if they do not know the URL of an exact website. Search engines provide a list of websites you can visit based on the criteria you typed in for your search. Many of these websites end in the domain of .com. For example, google.com, bing.com, ask.com are all search engines.

Other Domains

More domains exist than the three previously mentioned. Each country specifically has a domain to represent its nation. For example, Canada owns the domain .ca. If a Canadian company or government wants to represent its Canadian affiliation, it could request the domain .ca. This designation allows searchers to identify the national source of the information and determine whether it will be relevant to them.

Blogs and Personal websites

The Internet is becoming more user-friendly and allowing average citizens who are not computer geniuses to post their own thoughts, images and work on the Internet. Websites like Blogger or Wordpress allow you to create and customize your own blog so that you can write on topics that interest you and publish them on the Internet. If you wish to design your own website, you can purchase a domain and upload your content. Often laced with opinion, content from these websites is more difficult to verify unless the author lists citations.