URI Vs. URL: 5 Hidden Differences To Help Distinguish Between Them

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If you are someone who browses the internet entering and exiting sites, you definitely came across these two acronyms URI & URL. But, have you ever thought about the difference between the two? We can’t blame you if you got the two confused.

They are what links a webpage. Providing information about the webpage like domain name, the path to the webpage, webpage name, and identifying resources. Not to mix the two up, the URL is a specific address while links are the paths to these addresses. On the other hand, a URI represents both URL and URN.

To break down the 5 main differences between a URI and URL, we need to understand more about what are they.

URI, Uniform Resource Identifier

By definition, URI is a sequence of characters that represents physical sources and separates one location from another. The two extensions of it are as mentioned before URL and URN. An example of what it looks like is: 

  • With Protocols


  • Without Protocols


URL, Uniform Resource Locator

URL is to define an item’s identity. It’s only used for the web pages HTTP. It’s a subset of URI that comes in the form of an address to the resources and information. The link contains an array of components displayed, Example :


The 5 Key Differences Between URI Vs. URL

1. Goals

A major key difference between URI and URL is the goal behind using each one. URI’s main purpose is only to use a name or location to find a distinguished resource and separate it from other resources. Here’s a URI Example showing a distinguished protocol and computer name : 


On the other hand, URLs’ main purpose is to get you to the address or location for the specific target resource that is separated in the URI. Currently, there is a total of 1.14 billion websites in the world, and only 17% of these websites are active. This is URL Example of a clear address for a website:


2. Components

The components each one holds and represents are basically the central difference between them. The URI contains components of path, scheme, authority, and query. Although URL contains some mutual components like path, scheme, and query, there is an addition of domain name and protocol to it. Here’s an example of components displayed:

URI: [protocol][computer name][directories path][file]

URL: [protocol][computer name]/IP address

Most used TLDs on Websites. Source: techjury

3. File Usage

The usage of URI is unlimited and can be used in a variety of different files like HTML, XML, XSTL, tag library files, and other types of files. While URLs are much more limited to web pages, as they can only be used to locate web pages. Example of the file usage:

URI: Foo://teckremoteva.com:2374/wrkspace=Metaverse#faces

URL: http://contentjobrem.com

This is an example of a URI https://teckyou.com/about-us/ from TeckYou website when clicking on about section.

4. Scheme

Uniform Resource Locator is a subset of the Uniform Resource Identifier but each one has a different scheme. URI can be in any of the following schemes of a protocol like  HTTP, FTP, File, and Data or can be given in a name. Unlike URLs that only need to follow protocol schemes like HTTP. Examples of the schemes:

URI:  smn:htyu:0-155-7092-3

URL: https://TeckYou.com

5. Mechanism

The resource that is desired to obtain using both the mechanisms of URI and URL, is identified as differences between the two. Uniform Resource Identifier identifies a resource using both URL and URN. It allows the identification of new files without interfering with the old resources files, thus insuring smooth access with limiting error complications.

However, Uniform Resource Locators cannot identify resources since they are subset of Uniform Resource Identifiers. They can only retrieve and locate the target resource address.

We hope that clears things up for you. Now you can distinguish between URI and URL. Did you know that the Uniform Resource Locator is the one used by internet users in the search engine to reach your site? This means that URL is serving you a huge deal for SEO purposes.

TeckYou will help online businesses develop the best URL for their site. From web development to handling all your digital marketing aspects, creating efficient online solutions for your site. Keep yourself in the loop of what’s new in the web development world, and look out for more helpful blog posts like this.

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