Here is a simple thing to learn but a big time-saver you really need to know about using the Internet. Unfortunately, I see many rookies and even experienced computer users making this blunder (and remember, I’m not critical; it’s not your fault if you’re making this computer mistake). Don’t use a search engine like Google or Bing to search for web pages or websites if you already know the address! Search engines are like phone books. When do you use a phone book? You use it to look up a number if you don’t know it, right? You don’t use a phone book when you already know the number because that would be a waste of time and wouldn’t make sense, right? But that’s exactly the mistake I’ve seen people making again and again over the many years I’ve helped people with their computers. So, for example, in my computer newsletter, I may send out a link to a lesson on my site. Now, normally, you should click on it, but sometimes email programs will “break” the link, so clicking it doesn’t work. So what some people do is try typing the address of the link into a search engine and end up not finding the page!
That’s because the page in the example is for my subscribers only, and so is an “unlisted number” (so to speak) that isn’t listed in Google or any other search engines, just like an unlisted number isn’t found in Google the phone book. Make sense? So how do you “directly dial the number” of a web page you know? Simple. In your web browser window (a web browser is a program you use to look at web pages, such as Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer), at the top of the window, you should normally see a bar with the address of the website you are currently viewing.
So if you are on Amazon, you’d see
or if you’re using Google, you’d see:
etc. You’d actually see something longer in most cases, but it will always begin with the “domain name” of the website.
That bar where you see the site’s address is called the location bar, or the address bar. All you need to do to go to a website you know the address of, whether it’s a public page a private page, is to click ONCE on the address you see in that bar, and typically, this will “highlight” that address. You can then either hit the delete or backspace key on your keyboard to clear it, or usually, you can start typing, and everything highlighted in blue will be replaced by what you’re typing. So if you wanted to go to Facebook, you could type:
into that address bar and press Enter or Return on your keyboard, and it would take you directly there.
You could also type
and that would work, too, because the first part is almost always optional.
This is much better than *searching* for an address, finding it in the search results (or maybe not even find it at all). Then clicking the link in the search results to get there, when you could dial direct. Even if it’s a public page that is listed, at the very least, you’ve wasted time and effort searching for something you don’t need to search for because you already know where it is. Again, this is like using a phone book to look up a number you already know — and if it’s a private, unlisted web page, like the ones I share with my newsletter, it won’t even turn up. Personally, the only time I type the website’s address into a search engine and search for it is when I’m trying to learn more *about* the site rather than searching to get there. So learn this basic computer tip:
If you know an address, type it into the address bar at the top of your web browser window and press the enter key on your keyboard. Do not search for it as you are at best wasting time and effort, and at worst, will not get where you’re trying to go. I hope that helps.
Worth Godwin is a computer coach with over 15 years of experience helping computer users of all levels and has also worked for many years “in the trenches” as a hardware and software tech, solving real-world computer problems.
Worth has also been studying the human mind and how people learn since the early 1990s. He draws upon all of this experience and his English and writing degrees to teach people uniquely with explanations that really make sense.
In 2006, Worth began putting his easy lessons together on CD, helping you with either Apple Mac training or Windows computer training that lets you go at your own pace, for an affordable price, with a system that is both simple and easy.