Website Evaluation Tool
checkmarkSite Address

S in SPAT represents the word 'Site.'

The 'S' reminds you to look for the website's address. The website's address contains information that tells you who is providing the site's content. It also is vital for finding that information again.

[ How Do I Find That? ]  [ Why This Matters ]  [ Review Question ]  

how to find site address and provider.   How Do I Find That?

1. Find the site's address.

Look in the address bar of your web browser and read the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) -- the http://... section. For example, the root of the URL for this page is Let's break this address down to its components:

1. The first section, 'http://' is the protocol.
In this case we are using Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
protocol example

2. The next section, '', is the domain name.
The 'www' stands for World Wide Web and the '' is the server name.
domain example

Note: Often after the root URL there will be a file name, for example, this page URL ( includes the /site.php file name.
file example

2. Find the type of content provider?

Look at the last two to four characters of the domain name. For example, the domain name '' ends in '.com'.
dot com example

These last two to four characters are called the URL extension. URL extensions usually represent the type of entity that is providing the website content. For example, the '.com' extension usually means the source providing the website is a company or corporation and usually operating for-profit. Where as a .org extension usually means the source is a non-profit organization.

View more URL extensions and their related providers.

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why these matter   Why This Matters
  • Knowing the Site Address
    1. Allows you to find the site again.

    2. Allows you to decipher the type of content provider for the site.

  • Knowing the Type of Content Provider
    1. Gives you insight into the motivation and purpose of a website's content.

      For example, content provided from a for-profit company or institution may have content with a biased slant towards promoting its products or services vs. content provided from a non-profit organization. Keeping this in mind, someone searching for medical information for a particular condition should be more critical of information they find on a .com such as a pharmacuetical company's website verses information they find on a non-profit medical organization's website. In any case, it is always good to double check any information you find by using other web sources or printed resources.

    2. Keeps the possibility of content bias in mind so you can decide whether you want to use a site's information or look for another site.

review question   Review Question

Question: What would be a good source for information on an illness?

Answer: A non-profit organization or association.

Reasoning: A .com may not be your best source of information because companies often want to sell something to you. They present only information that benefits them -- which means they are biased.

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