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3.. Find the home page of a site from anywhere in a site

Very often, you'll find that search engine directs you to a page which has an article or document on it, but you can't tell immediately which organisation the article belongs to. You might want to do this:

  • To judge the reliability of the source by checking which organisation has published it
  • To see if you can trace the proper address for an article when you get a "404 Not Found" page after clicking on a link
  • To find other interesting or relevant articles from the same site
  • To see if there are any contact details for the person who wrote the site

To do this, you need to truncate the address in the address bar. All web addresses are in fact 'file locations', just as you have on your computer. Every slash (/) in the address represents another folder in the sites folder hierarchy. Every time you delete backwards to a slash, you are 'going up' a level.

The home page of a site is always found at the root level of the address - i.e. the point at which the domain name ends. Domains usually end in a country code (.uk, .de, .my, .za, .au etc) or an organization code (.gov, .org, .com, .mil, .edu etc.)

systematic truncation looks like this:

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Glossary.html#URL

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ - the homepage will be here

You can deduce from the truncation above that there is a rational organization in the folder hierarchy. Truncating back to the http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/ level might give you a list of documents under the general heading of Internet guides.

Not always, though. Sometimes, if you truncate back like this, you'll get a "You are not authorized to view this page" message. If that's the case, keep truncating until you see something worth seeing. This often means going right back to the actual homepage which is http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/

 

Updated Sunday November 11, 2001 4:29 PM

© Jonathan Still 2001 You may quote from these pages, but if your selection includes a reference I have made to someone else's work, please make sure that the attribution is clear. By not doing so, you may implicate me in plagiarism.