Does capitalization and spaces matter in Internet addresses?

Updated: 09/03/2019 by Computer Hope

Spaces

Spaces are not allowed in any Internet address. Therefore, never use spaces when typing in an address.

If you need to create a URL or address with spaces, substitute the spaces with a + (plus). Otherwise, the browser automatically encodes the space to a value of %20 when entered through the address bar.

Capitalization

Uppercase text example

When typing an Internet address, capitalization may be necessary. An Internet address is only case sensitive for everything after the domain name. For example, it does not matter if you use uppercase or lowercase with "computerhope.com," it still reaches the same page.

However, when typing the name of the page, file, or directory in the URL, it is case sensitive.

Example

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon.htm

The address above is different than the address below.

https://www.computerhope.com/JARGON.HTM

Reason

Although the domain is valid, the jargon.htm file name is uppercase in the second example, and that file does not exist on the server. The Linux operating system treats a file with different capitalization as a different file. Because the all capital file does not exist on the server your browser would generate a 404 error message.

If the file name were all uppercase on the server, the uppercase example would work, but not the lowercase version.

Tip

If you are uncertain if the page or directory is uppercase or lowercase, always use lowercase. The majority of pages on the Internet are going to be in all lowercase. If you create web pages, always save all files as lowercase (including the file extension).

Additional information