Determining the Source of Web Pages

When viewing a web page, it may be useful to determine who controls the web content and the web server.

1. Study the URL

The URL of every web page is displayed at the top of your web browser. Get into the habit of always reading the URL first before looking at the web page.  Often times you have arrived at a web page via a search result or another hyperlink. You may be several levels "deep" in a particular web site. Study the URL and determine what kind of web server the page is hosted within. For example, delete the latter half of the URL and visit the main page at ""

2. Do a "whois" on the domain name

All Domain names on the Internet are registered with "Domain name registrars". Domain name registrars are organizations which have been authorized to register names for a specific subset of domain names. Most domain name registrars provide a "whois" function, where you can search for the owner of a domain name. See my WHOIS Overview.

3. Perform a traceroute to the host name

Knowing who owns the domain may not satisfy your curiosity. You may also be interested in where is the Web server located, and how is it connected to the Internet. There is a network utility called traceroute which is often used to trouble shoot network connections. There are many websites that will allow you to originate a traceroute from their location to any other location that you specify. See my Traceroute Overview.  A web server does NOT have to be hosted at an organization's location, but may be hosted with a web hosting company.

4. Read the web page and follow up with the point of contact (if any)

Some webpages include point of contact information. You could also examine the HTML Source code of the web pages - Some web authoring programs include the author's name within meta_tags which are included near the beginning of a web page. 

Russ Haynal -  Internet Instructor and Speaker

Contact me at 703-729-1757 or  Russ 'at'  
If you use email, put "internet training" in the subject of the email.
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