Web address styles

By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: Are there any conventions for web addresses, i.e. should you try and get the whole address on one line and should you use http or www or both?

My answer: I have updated my original response to this question because styles have changed.

How you write web addresses depends on whether you are writing the web address in a print or online document.

Online urls

Web addresses, often called urls, are usually hyperlinked to a word or phrase in online text. For instance:

Learn more about my online writing courses.

In the past, I didn’t use a full stop at the end of a sentence with an url because there was a risk it would be picked up with the url and cause the link to fail. This is not usually a problem these days, but check your links to make sure they work.

With online urls on your website, you don’t need to worry about their length and when posting in social media, they will usually be abbreviated for you. I used to often shorten links with Bitly, but seldom need to these days.

Print urls

In print, how you use links is a style choice. Your choices are:

  • http://www.onlinewritingtraining.com.au
  • http://onlinewritingtraining.com.au
  • www.onlinewritingtraining.com.au
  • onlinewritingtraining.com.au

You can also highlight them by underlining them or using colour.

To answer your original question, I would try and keep the url on the same line if possible.

Read what Grammar Girl has to say on this topic.

Online grammar programs

See the full list of the Online Writing Training courses.

 
 

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