I am wondering why some websites have a
/ at the end of their URL, but others don't.
- but then
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A slash at the end of a domain tells the server that the request is for the directory and that it should look for the default file (index.html, index.php) first.
It allows for faster loading time by telling the browser to look for the default file.
Traditionally, URLs that pointed to files did not include the trailing slash, while URLs that pointed to directories do include the trailing slash. This means that:
http://example.com/example/ is a directory, while http://example.com/example is a file
All websites can be accessed with or without a slash on the domain name. All of the following work:
In fact, when the browser requests home pages, it is required to submit the slash in the request, even if the slash is not present on the URL. This is a valid http request for example.com:
GET / HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com
This is an invalid request (because it is missing the slash):
GET HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com
The valid request corresponds to the either URL:
http://example.com. There is no functional difference between those two URLs.
Webmasters are free to include or to leave out that trailing slash when linking. It makes no difference.