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What’s the difference between a domain name and a URL?

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Last updated Apr 21, 2022

What’s the difference between a web address, a URL and a Domain Name?


OK – pretty much nothing.

A domain name is the master web address. A URL is a web address (most of the time).

They have slightly different uses and there’s usually certain times when they get called one thing or the other.

What they have in common is they can all be found in the address bar of your browser.

So let’s look at when, and why, you would call it, or others would call it, a Domain Name, a Web Address or a URL.

Domain Name

When you are buying a web address it’s called a domain name. It’s almost the only time you will call it that.
Let’s say your web address is  That means your domain name is

The other time domain name is used is when it refers to a business or domain name email address.

Choosing and Purchasing your Domain Name

You can purchase your domain name online.  At DIY Digital we use and recommend Web Central. If you like your independence and prefer to keep control of your own business assets, this option will appeal to you.

If you prefer to have the domain name purchased on your behalf DIY Digital will place this order at the same time as placing the hosting request. If you prefer IT people to do the techy stuff this option will appeal to you.

To get a “.au” domain name, which we recommend, you will need to register your ABN prior to your domain name registration.

The domain name is important for Google Searches. If you want your website to rank high on google searches choose one that is relevant to your business, memorable and a phrase that people will search for on the internet.

A domain name normally costs around $25/year.

Web Address

Your website is likely to have a number of pages such as:

  • contact
  • shop
  • recipes

Each page will have it’s own unique web address, also known as a URL, and the web address for each of those pages is likely to be


Each of the above is a separate web address or URL.

However, there is only one domain name. And it is So the difference between a domain name and web address is the domain name is the “master” – it is the one that all subsidiary pages sit under.


The URL is the Uniform Resource Locator.

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And no.

It has nothing to do with uniforms we wear.

About the only time you, or others, will refer to the web address as a URL is when you’re having a problem with your computer.

The URL is the web address used, and needed by IT people when they are solving computer problems. One of the first things an IT person needs to do to solve a problem, is to locate where that problem is. You can let them know where it is by sending them the URL.

Click in the address bar and highlight the whole address from the very first “h” in http, right through to the “u” in .au. Use “Ctrl C” to copy the URL and “Ctrl V” to paste it into the email to your IT person. This can be very useful to them as it tells them exactly where the problem occurred.

So what’s the difference between a URL and a web address? A web address is publicly accessible, however a URL may not be. Think about how many computer programs you use online.

Let’s say you are using a financial software package like MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks. You have access to it in the shop and your accountant down the road does as well. Most likely you are using the software online. And each screen you use will have its own URL. It’s not a publicly available webpage your customers visit, but an online page that, like a web address, that has a unique location on the internet.


Final Takeaway

Remembering the minor differences is unlikely to help much, but knowing that a web address can get called different things is handy knowledge. It can also be useful to know how to copy and paste a web address.

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