You can visit websites from many mediums such as social media, through another website, typing the website's URL into your browser's address bar directly, or via some search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.). 

However, on a web browser, two common ways of accessing a website are via the search bar or search engine or typing out the URL of the website into the address bar.

Which one is the better way to load up a website, though? No one method works for all but depending on certain factors and scenarios. One is always better than the other. We highlight such factors in this article.

Using Search Engines

If you cannot remember the exact address of the website you intend on visiting, or perhaps you cannot seem to remember the exact spelling or phrases that complete the website's URL, searching for it using keywords is the next best thing to do. 

On the other hand, if you know the exact URL of the website you are looking to visit, doing it through a search engine or your browser's search bar is not only time-consuming but also unnecessarily wasting up your bandwidth/internet/data plan. You would have to first load up the search engine results page before proceeding to the desired website.

If you already know the exact address of the website but only need specific content on the site, using a search engine is brilliant.

Typing a URL into the Address Bar

Instead of using the search bar, visiting a website by typing its URL in your browser's address bar saves time and consumes less bandwidth. Also, if you search for a website using the search bar, it may not appear on the search results page if the website has not been indexed by the search engine yet.

If you do know the exact URL address of a website, the best method is just to type it into the address bar; the HTTP:// or www. prefixes are not necessary, though. 

Some websites even have shorter, lightweight URLs that redirect to the main URL so users can easily visit them without typing the full URL address. You can simply type instead of into your address bar, and the address will still direct you to the Facebook website.

Summarily, type in the URL of the website you want to visit into the address bar when you know the URL. It's almost the easiest and best way to load a website, especially websites that aren't indexed by Google (or other search engines) yet. 

If you need to access only a specific content on a particular website or cannot remember a site's exact URL, your best bet is to type in the URL and keywords into the search bar.

With the tips and differentiations made above, I hope you now know when (and why) you should search on Google and when you should visit a site by directly entering the URL in a browser's address bar?

Do we still need a URL? That gangly collection of slashes and all sorts of characters and symbols? There is a new experimental version of the Google Chrome browser, which says no.

Chrome Canary

Like the legendary Canary, Chrome Canary is an advanced version of the Chrome browser. Google uses this to test out ideas and new features, and one of those ideas in the new Chrome 36 version of Canary is to hide the complete URL into the top-level domain name. Even navigating within the site shows only the site name.

The space that many still refer to as the "address bar" is now more appropriately called the Omnibox, showcasing the ability in Chrome and Firefox for users to type a search term into that box and get Google results, as well as to input a URL.

When only the top-level domain shows in the Canary's Omnibox, you can still view the complete URL by clicking on the "origin chip" button. That is present on the domain name itself. 

This button becomes enabled only by typing chrome://flags/#origin-chip-in-omnibox into the Canary Omnibox. Clicking on this domain will allow you to edit it as you please.

The domain-only approach simplifies typing the Web address and creates room for a sub-field that gives the option to "search Google or type a URL."

Debates are now raging on the Web about whether this is a move forward or not. On the one hand, many users navigate the Web by going first to Google and searching and clicking on the link instead of typing out the address. 

Similarly, many new website visitors ignore other options and move around a website through its built-in search features.

And there's also the fact that URLs are often confusing and can be pretty long. 

Many users still like to view the URL to see if they got phished, get a sense of where they are on the site, or navigate another part of the site by modifying a part of the web address. Canary fans might argue, though, that the button still allows you to see the site's hidden URL.

Canary's solution is to let a user bury the URL in the site name, use the Omnibox for searching as shown, and then either pull up the complete URL when needed or let it show all the time. Google could still make it easier for users to find where to change the options.

Most users, of course, will keep whatever the set default is. Which do you prefer?


Searching Google or typing URL is something you search for when your life is directionless, and you have absolutely nothing going on, so you have to type something so worthless. 

It can also get typed by someone who is completely bored and is about to cross the plateau of existence into an infinite pit of boredom. You really shouldn't be searching for this unless it's the last possible thing you can do.

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