Web addresses and links

 

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Web addresses and links

A tablet with an ebay page displayed

What's coming up?

Starting the web browser application is the first step towards exploring the internet. The next step is to enter a web address into the browser so you can visit a website.

In this activity, you'll learn how to do that, as well as what to expect to see as you explore the internet.

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What is a website?

Websites, or sites, are places on the internet where you can find information, pay bills, play games, share photos and stories with others, and more. Banks, shops, governments and even individual people can have a website.

Each website is made up of related pages. A web page can show text, images, video and sound.

A computer screen displaying the ABC News web page
A web address for the ABC sports page enlarged and highlighted on a computer screen

What is a web address?

You may have heard of www in connection with the internet. This stands for worldwide web and it usually appears at the beginning of a web address. Every website has a unique address, and if you type a web address into a browser, it will go to that site and open it.

Web addresses may look strange at first but they're usually made up of www followed by two or more words, separated by dots. For example, the ABC's web address is www.abc.net.au.

Let's type a web address

If you know the address of a website you want to visit, you can type it into your browser. Let's watch how it's done.

Click Continue to watch the video on the next screen.

Typing a web address

This demonstration video is approximately 31 seconds in duration. It demonstrates how to type a web address into a browser.

Once the video starts, the intro panel fades and we see the screen is split into two parts. On the left-hand side is an animation of a web browser address bar with the cursor blinking waiting for some text to be typed in. On the right-hand side, there is text displayed, which is the script for the voiceover track.

Voiceover: "To type in a web address, you first need to click on the Address bar located at the top of the browser. Next, you need to type in the web address of the site you want to visit."

The left-hand panel updates to zoom in to the address bar and we see "www.abc.net.au" being typed in.

Voiceover: "When you press Enter on your keyboard, the browser will open to the page you asked for."

The left-hand panel updates to display the ABC website.

Video ends.

What is a web link?

On a web page, you may notice that some words or phrases are underlined or coloured, usually in blue. These are called web links, also known as hyperlinks, and they can help you move around the internet.

When you move the cursor over a web link, you'll see that the pointer changes, usually to a pointing hand.

A computer showing the ABC website, with the Programs web link highlighted and the pointer displaying as a hand

When you click on it, the web link will take you to a different web page. The address in the Address bar will change, and the page you're currently looking at will be replaced by the page that the web link points to.

A new page, Programs, displayed on the computer screen
A web page displayed on a computer screen, with the Back button highlighted

How do you go back?

If you click on a web link but want to go back to the page you were just at, you can press the back button on your web browser. This looks like an arrow pointing left, and takes you back to the previous page.

Let's take a look at a web link in action. On the next slide, click the play button to watch the short video demonstration.

Clicking on a weblink

This demonstration video is approximately 54 seconds in duration. It demonstrates how to click on a weblink.

Once the video starts, the intro panel fades and we see the screen is split into two parts. On the left-hand side is an animation of a web page about Dalmatian dogs. On the right-hand side, there is text displayed, which is the script for the voiceover track.

Voiceover: "Web links are links inside a web page that you can click on. You'll see them underlined and in a different colour to the regular text."

The left-hand panel updates to zoom in on a weblink called "dog" on the web page. We see the mouse pointer hover over the link, and the pointer changes from an arrow to a hand icon, indicating the link can be clicked on.

Voiceover: "If you click on a link, it will take you to another web page. Usually, the web page will be related to the text of the link you clicked on, so you can learn more."

The left-hand panel updates to display the Dog page.

Voiceover: "The new page might have links as well, and you can click on those too. Page links are a great way to continue exploring a topic you are interested in."

The left-hand panel updates to show the mouse pointer clicking on another link, called "hunting" and the page updates to the Hunting dog web page.

Voiceover: "If you want to go back to the page you were just at, you can click on the Back button in the web browser. It looks like an arrow and will return you to the previous page."

The left-hand panel updates to zoom in to the top, left-hand corner of the web page and click on the backward facing arrow to return to the previous page.

Video ends.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

We recommend being cautious about clicking on links on websites, in emails or in text messages. Especially if you receive messages from people you don't know or you are visiting websites for the first time.

A computer screen showing a web page from the National Library of Australia

Congratulations!

You've completed the Web addresses and links activity.

You should now know:

  • What a website and a web address is.
  • How to type an web address into a browser.
  • How to use web links to visit web pages.

There is another way to find websites on the internet too, and we'll look at this in the next activity, Search engines.