How to Cite a Website to Improve Your Google Ranking

how to cite a website

How to cite a website

How to cite a website, this can be confusing and tricky, but it’s important to make sure you’ve included your sources and cite them correctly. This article will provide an understanding of How To cite a Website, the different formats for each style, as well as common mistakes to avoid. By the end, you will be on your way to perfecting your website citations.

Understanding Citation

When citing a website, it’s important to understand what citation is and why it’s important. Citation is the process of providing a reference for a source you have used for your research, writing, or ideas. This includes such sources as books, journal articles, websites, and other materials. When citing websites, it provides readers and researchers with information about the source and makes it easier to find and use.

Citations also help give credit to authors and other creators who have written or created materials. Without proper citation, they are not given the recognition they deserve for their work. When writing research papers, it’s essential to cite sources or it is considered plagiarism. It’s also important to remember when citing a website, to include all the information needed to be able to locate the source.

When citing a website, you should include the author’s name (if available), title of the website, name of website publisher, and the URL. If there is no author listed, you can cite the title of the website, name of the website publisher, and URL. Other information that is important to include is the date the website was accessed and the date the content was published or updated.

By understanding and mastering the process of citing a website, you can help ensure accuracy and integrity of your sources and improve your research and writing. Plus, properly citing sources shows that you are familiar with the conventions of academic writing, which is crucial for success in an academic setting.

how to cite a website

What is a Citation?

Citations are an important part of the writing process and allow you to give credit to other scholars and authors who have influence your work. A citation is a brief reference to the sources you have used or cited in the text of your paper or project. They generally include the authors name, title, publisher, and date of publication.

Citations allow readers to identify, locate, and access the sources you have consulted while researching and writing your project. Furthermore, they help to distinguish your own words and ideas from those of other authors and to give your paper/project credibility. Proper and complete citation of your sources is also extremely important in avoiding plagiarism.

Why is Citation Important?

Citing sources is an important part of academic and professional communication. It allows readers to trace the origin of any data, quotes, and ideas used in a piece of writing. Properly citing these sources helps to ensure that the work is not plagiarized and that the author is properly giving credit to the original author. Citing sources is also important for verifying the accuracy of facts used within work.

By including a reference to the original source, readers can double-check the accuracy of any claims made in the writing. Lastly, citing sources also provides readers with a better understanding of the topic by allowing them to view other sources of information. Regardless of the area of writing, citation is an essential part of communication.

How to cite a website

Citing websites in academic and professional writing is essential for giving credit to the source of the information used. In addition to providing accuracy, citing websites can also help build trust with the reader. The following guidelines provide basic information about citing websites in a variety of formats.

When citing websites, it is important to include the author and date of publication (if available). The site’s name, publisher, and the date of access should also be included. For example, a simple citation may look like this:

“Smith, J. (2020). The Benefits of Citing Sources. ABC Publishing. Retrieved March 12, 2020, from”

When citing websites, also be sure to include any parenthetical information, such as page numbers or specific passages. For example:

“Smith, J. (2020). The Benefits of Citing Sources. ABC Publishing. Retrieved March 12, 2020, from (pp. 5-6).”

It is important to note that some websites do not have authors, and in these cases the website title should be used instead. For example:

“ABC Publishing. (2020). The Benefits of Citing Sources. Retrieved March 12, 2020, from”

When citing websites in MLA format, the publisher and the URL should be omitted. For example:

“Smith, J. The Benefits of Citing Sources. ABC Publishing, 2020.

When citing websites in APA format, the author and date of publication should be omitted. For example:

“ABC Publishing. (2020). The Benefits of Citing Sources. Retrieved from”

how to cite a website

How to cite a website in MLA

Creating correct citations for online sources can be tricky, but with a few simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to perfecting them. When citing a website in Modern Language Association (MLA) format, you need to include the following bibliographic information:

1. The title of the website

2. The website publisher

3. The date of publication

4. The URL

The title of the website should appear in italics, with the publisher and publication date listed in parentheses. If the information is not available, you can cite the URL instead. At the end of the citation, add an access date if applicable. For example:

Smith, John. “How to Cite a Website.” Study Guide,, 30 July 2020, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

How to Cite a Website in APA

When and How to cite a website in the American Psychological Association (APA) style, you must include the website title, URL, and the date that you accessed the resource. Depending on the type of source you’re citing, you might also need to include other information.

To cite a website in APA, you should follow this structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of page/document [Format]. Retrieved from URL

In this example, the website title is “The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide”, the URL is “” and the date accessed was October 5th, 2020. The format of the resource is a website.

The citation would look like this:

American Psychological Association (APA). (2020, October 5). The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide [Website]. Retrieved from

How to Cite a Website in Chicago

Citing a website in the Chicago style is a straightforward process that requires you to include information about the author, title, and the website. If a website does not list any author, date, or title, you can use the URL (but only if it is stable and not a search engine query).


When citing a website, the first thing you will need to include is the author of the website. If the website doesn’t have an author listed, you can use the website name or the URL instead. It is important to note that if there is more than one author in the website, the name should be listed in the order it appears in the source.


The title of the website should be included in the citation. If the website does not have a title, you can use the website name or the URL instead.


If the website does not have a publication date, you can include the date you accessed the website.


The URL should always be included in the citation – this will help to ensure that the reader can find the website. If the website does not have a URL, it should not be included in the citation.


The citation for a website should be formatted like so:

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Page.” Website Title, URL. Date Accessed.

For example:

Smith, John. “How to Cite a Website.” Citation Guides, 5 October 2020.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Citing sources correctly is an essential part of proper academic research, but it can be tricky when it comes to websites. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when citing websites:

1. Forgetting to Include the URL: The URL is the web address of the website, and it’s important to include it in your citation because it gives readers access to the page. Make sure to include the full URL, including the “http//” part.

2. Using Incorrect Information: It’s important to double-check the information in your citation. Make sure the author’s name, date, and other important facts are correct, since they will be used to evaluate the accuracy of your work.

3. Failing to Cite Deep Links: Deep links are links to specific pages or sections within a website, and they must be cited separately from the main URL. This is important because it allows readers to quickly access the specific material you referenced.

4. Ignoring Format Requirements: Different formats require different information and punctuation in citations. Be sure to check for any specific requirements for the format you’re using to make sure you’re citing the website correctly.

5. Not Bookmarking Sources: Keeping track of all the various websites you’re using can be difficult. To save time and stay organized, be sure to bookmark any pages you’re citing so you can easily refer back to them when creating your citations.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can make sure your website citations are accurate and professional. Following the rules of citation is essential to ensuring your academic work meets the highest standards.

Incorrect Formatting

Incorrect formatting is a common mistake made when citing websites. There are a few elements that must be considered when citing websites in order to ensure accuracy. Here are a few tips to help you perfect your citations:

1. Make sure the author’s name is correctly displayed. This could mean including a full name if available, or just the last name with the initial for the first name.

2. If the website does not have an author, use the organization or website title as the author.

3. The publication date should be as specific as possible and should include the day, month and year. If there is no publication date, use the abbreviation ‘n.d.’

4. The title of the website should be in italics and should not include any quotation marks.

5. The URL should be provided and should include the https:// protocol.

6. Include any relevant page or section numbers if applicable.

By taking the time to ensure your citations are correct, you will be able to improve the accuracy and quality of your work. It is important to be mindful of the details when citing websites as even small mistakes can lead to confusion and misinterpretation.

how to cite a website

Outdated Sources

When citing information from a website, it is important to consider the age of the source material. If a site contains information that is more than five years old, then it may be considered outdated. Even though it is good practice to use recent sources, there are times when it may be appropriate to use an older source. For example, when discussing an event of historical significance, a source that is older may be more appropriate.

When citing an outdated source, it is important to note the age of the source in the citation. This acknowledges that the source may not contain the most up-to-date information. It is also important to research other more recent sources to make sure that the information cited is still relevant.

There are certain elements of websites that may indicate the age of the source material. For example, some older sites may contain links to webpages that no longer exist. Additionally, the formatting of the webpage may be different from contemporary pages. Graphics and images may be outdated, and the writing style used may be different from current standards.

Using an outdated source may be necessary in some situations. Before citing any website, you should know how to cite a website and consider the contents of the page, the links present, the formatting and design of the page, and the writing style used.

If any of these elements suggest the page may not be up-to-date, then it is important to consider a more recent source. Additionally, it is important to note the age of the source by including this information in the citation.

how to cite a website


In conclusion, understanding how to cite a website is a critical skill for all professionals. Whether you are citing sources for a research paper, an article, or a presentation, having a thorough knowledge of the different citation styles and how to properly cite websites is essential. Properly citing websites will help you showcase the credibility of your work and avoid any potential plagiarism.

By understanding what a citation is and why it is important, taking the time to reference materials correctly, and avoiding the common mistakes of mismatched sources, incorrect formatting, and outdated sources, you are well on your way to perfecting your citations. With a little bit of knowledge and a few simple steps, you can efficiently and accurately cite websites for any project.

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