Demystifying Web Identifiers: What is the Difference Between a URI, URL, and URN

Welcome to another edition of The Tome of Zeal, your ultimate resource for all things coding and development. Today, we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind those confusing abbreviations that often perplex beginners in the world of web development—URL, URI, and URN.

Diving Into The Alphabet Soup

You may be familiar with the term URL (Uniform Resource Locator). It's the address you type into your web browser to access your favorite websites, like:

URLs are widely known because they provide the specific location of a resource on the internet. However, URLs are just one piece of the puzzle within the broader realm of web identifiers.

Enter URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), a term that might be less familiar to you but holds significant importance in the web development world. Think of URI as the overarching concept that encompasses both URLs and URNs (Uniform Resource Names). While URLs are used for resource location, URNs, on the other hand, are used for resource naming.

A URI is a string of characters that uniquely identifies a resource, regardless of its location. It serves as a universal identifier for various resources, be it a webpage, a file, or even a book. By understanding URIs, you're taking a step ahead of the average internet user.

URLs, being a subtype of URIs, provide the means to locate a specific resource on the internet. They consist of several components: the protocol (such as HTTP or FTP), the domain name or IP address of the server, and the path to the resource. For instance, in,the protocol is https://, the domain name is, and the path is /index.html.

On the other hand, URNs are a lesser-known aspect of URIs. They offer a persistent and location-independent name for a resource. Unlike URLs, which may change if a resource is moved, URNs provide a consistent identifier that remains the same even if the resource's location changes. An example of a URN is urn:isbn:0-486-27557-4, where urn:isbn indicates that it's an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) resource, and 0-486-27557-4 is the unique identifier for the book.

Wrapping up

By delving into these distinctions, you've gained a deeper understanding of how web identifiers work. You're now equipped with knowledge that sets you apart from the average internet user. Embrace this newfound knowledge and leverage it to enhance your web development skills.

Remember, as aspiring developers, continuously expanding our understanding of the technologies we work with is crucial. Stay curious, keep exploring, and never hesitate to seek knowledge from resources like The Tome of Zeal.

Happy coding!