Normally, when you type in an URL or click on a link, your browser will show you the web page you want.  Sometimes however, there's a problem. 

An URL is like a phone number; if you don't type it exactly right, you won't get through.  If the browser can't find the URL you typed in, it will usually show you a list of links to web pages that resemble the URL you typed in.  If there's a link to the web page you want, just click on it.  If not, try typing the URL again.

Remember that, like telephone numbers, sometimes URLs change.  That makes a link that used to work suddenly stop working.  When that happens, you'll have to find out the new URL.

Sometimes, the people who own a web site will go out of business and/or sell their URL to someone else.  When that happens, the old web site vanishes and/or is replaced by a new one.

Sometimes web sites are so busy, they just can't respond when you try to reach them.  It's like getting a busy signal on the telephone; if you try back later, you'll probably get through.

Sometimes your browser may pop up a small gray box called a dialog box.  It might tell you that you are about to send information over an insecure line, or that you are entering or leaving an encrypted site.  It might tell you that you need  different software to view the web site you want.  It might ask permission to download something to your computer.  A dialog box won't go away until you have clicked an answer button.

Always read a dialog box before you click "OK," because dialog boxes can contain very important messages.

Click here to see a real dialog box.


Glossary of terms used so far:
  • browser - A computer program that helps people use the Internet.
  • click - To quickly press and release the left mouse button.
  • dialog box - A small box that pops up on screen to give you information.  You must respond to a dialog box by clicking on a button.
  • drag - To move an onscreen object by putting the pointer over it, holding the mouse button down, and moving the pointer.
  • Google Chrome - A browser.
  • graphics - Pictures.
  • HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol; the way computers communicate on the World Wide Web.
  • highlighted text - Text with a different background color. This sentence is highlighted.
  • insertion point - A little blinking line that shows you where the next letter you type will appear. 
  • Internet Explorer - A browser.
  • link - A connection to another web page.  (Sometimes called a "hyperlink".)
  • location toolbar - The browser toolbar that contains a text box.
  • navigation toolbar - The browser toolbar that contains the "Back" and "Forward" buttons.
  • Mozilla Firefox - A browser.  Firefox is an updated version of Netscape Navigator.
  • pointer - The little arrow that moves around the computer screen when the mouse is moved.
  • Safari - A browser.
  • scroll - To move a web page up and down on the computer screen.
  • scroll bar - A bar that appears at the edge of the computer screen when a web page is too large to fit on the screen.
  • slider - Part of a scroll bar; the box that moves up and down as a web page is scrolled.
  • text - Letters and numbers.
  • text box - A white box that you can type things into.
  • toolbar - A group of tools to help you use the Internet.  Toolbars are part of a browser.
  • URL - The address of a web page.  Pronounced "earl," URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.
  • web page - A computer file that looks like a printed page when viewed with a browser.
  • web site - A group of related web pages.
  • World Wide Web - The part of the Internet that can be viewed with a browser.