How to cite a website

To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.

This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA, MLA, and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.

Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.

Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image.

Citing a website in APA Style

An APA reference for a web page lists the author’s last name and initials, the full date of publication, the title of the page (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.

The in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the year. If it’s a long page, you may include a locator to identify the quote or paraphrase (e.g. a paragraph number and/or section title).

APA format Author last name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Page title. Website Name. URL
Reference entry Brice, M. (2021, March 4). U.S. Senate expected to begin debating coronavirus package on Thursday. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-congress/u-s-senate-expected-to-begin-debating-coronavirus-package-on-thursday-idUSKBN2AW18U
In-text citation (Brice, 2021, para. 6)

Note that a general reference to an entire website doesn’t require a citation in APA Style; just include the URL in parentheses after you mention the site.

You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to create your web page citations. Search for a URL to retrieve the details.

Blog posts and online articles

Blog posts follow a slightly different format: the title of the post is not italicized, and the name of the blog is.

The same format is used for online newspaper and magazine articles—but not for articles from news sites like Reuters and BBC News (see the previous example).

APA format Author last name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Blog/Publication Name. URL
Reference entry McKenna, J. (2021, March 3). Assisted reproduction science could be a lifeline for koalas. ScienceBlog. https://jmckenna.scienceblog.com/2021/03/03/assisted-reproduction-science-could-be-a-lifeline-for-koalas/
In-text citation (McKenna, 2021)

Web pages with no author or date

When a page has no author specified, list the name of the organization that created it instead (and omit it later if it’s the same as the website name).

When it doesn’t list a date of publication, use “n.d.” in place of the date. You can also include an access date if the page seems likely to change over time.

APA format Organization Name. (n.d.). Page title. Website Name. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL
Reference entry Scribbr. (n.d.). Citing sources in academic writing. Retrieved March 4, 2021, from https://www.scribbr.com/category/citing-sources/
In-text citation (Scribbr, n.d.)

Citing a website in MLA Style

An MLA Works Cited entry for a web page lists the author’s name, the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL.

The in-text citation usually just lists the author’s name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to locate the specific passage. Don’t use paragraph numbers unless they’re specifically numbered on the page.

MLA format Author last name, First name. “Page Title.” Website Name, Day Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry Brice, Makini. “U.S. Senate Expected to Begin Debating Coronavirus Package on Thursday.” Reuters, 4 March 2021, www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-congress/u-s-senate-expected-to-begin-debating-coronavirus-package-on-thursday-idUSKBN2AW18U.
In-text citation (Brice)

The same format is used for blog posts and online articles from newspapers and magazines.

You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to generate your website citations.

Citing a whole website

When you cite an entire website rather than a specific page, include the author if one can be identified for the whole site (e.g. for a single-authored blog). Otherwise, just start with the site name.

List the copyright date displayed on the site; if there isn’t one, provide an access date after the URL.

MLA format Author last name, First name. Website Name. Year or Year range, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Works Cited entry Scribbr. www.scribbr.com. Accessed 4 March 2021.
In-text citation (Scribbr)

Web pages with no author or date

When no author is listed, cite the organization as author only if it differs from the website name.

If the organization name is also the website name, start the Works Cited entry with the title instead, and use a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation.

When no publication date is listed, leave it out and include an access date at the end instead.

MLA format Organization Name. “Page Title.” Website Name, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Works Cited entry “Citing Sources in Academic Writing.” Scribbr. www.scribbr.com/category/citing-sources/. Accessed 4 March 2021.
In-text citation (“Citing Sources”)

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Citing a website in Chicago Style

In Chicago notes and bibliography style, footnotes are used to cite sources. They refer to a bibliography at the end that lists all your sources in full.

A Chicago bibliography entry for a website lists the author’s name, the page title (in quotation marks), the website name, the publication date, and the URL.

Chicago format Author last name, First name. “Page Title.” Website Name. Month Day, Year. URL.
Bibliography entry Brice, Makini. “U.S. Senate Expected to Begin Debating Coronavirus Package on Thursday.” Reuters. March 4, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-congress/u-s-senate-expected-to-begin-debating-coronavirus-package-on-thursday-idUSKBN2AW18U.
Footnote 1. Makini Brice, “U.S. Senate Expected to Begin Debating Coronavirus Package on Thursday,” Reuters, March 4, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-congress/u-s-senate-expected-to-begin-debating-coronavirus-package-on-thursday-idUSKBN2AW18U.

2. Brice, “Coronavirus Package.”

Chicago also has an alternative author-date citation style. Examples of website citations in this style can be found here.

Blog posts and online articles

For blog posts and online articles from newspapers, the name of the publication is italicized. For a blog post, you should also add the word “blog” in parentheses, unless it’s already part of the blog’s name.

Chicago format Author last name, First name. “Page Title.” Blog/Publication Name (blog). Month Day, Year. URL.
Bibliography entry McKenna, Jarrod. “Assisted Reproduction Science Could Be a Lifeline for Koalas.” ScienceBlog. March 3, 2021. https://jmckenna.scienceblog.com/2021/03/03/assisted-reproduction-science-could-be-a-lifeline-for-koalas/.
Footnote 1. Jarrod McKenna, “Assisted Reproduction Science Could Be a Lifeline for Koalas,” ScienceBlog, March 3, 2021, https://jmckenna.scienceblog.com/2021/03/03/assisted-reproduction-science-could-be-a-lifeline-for-koalas/.

2. McKenna, “Assisted Reproduction.”

Web pages with no author or date

When a web source doesn’t list an author, you can usually begin your bibliography entry and short note with the name of the organization responsible. Don’t repeat it later if it’s also the name of the website. A full note should begin with the title instead.

When no publication or revision date is shown, include an access date instead in your bibliography entry.

Chicago format Organization Name. “Page Title.” Website Name. Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.
Bibliography entry Scribbr. “Citing Sources in Academic Writing.” Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.scribbr.com/category/citing-sources/.
Footnote 1. “Citing Sources in Academic Writing,” Scribbr, accessed March 4, 2021, https://www.scribbr.com/category/citing-sources/.

2. Scribbr, “Citing Sources.”

Frequently asked questions about citations

What are the main elements of a website citation?

The main elements included in website citations across APA, MLA, and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.

How do I cite a source with no author?

In APA, MLA, and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.

If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:

  • In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
  • In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.

If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.

How do I cite a source with no page numbers?

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation. You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style, you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

Which citation style should I use?

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

Is this article helpful?
Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

2 comments

Reja Sulaiman
June 25, 2021 at 8:23 AM

Hi. I have a small doubt about citing a webpage of the World Health Organization.You said we can omit the website name if the organization and website name are the same. In the case of WHO is it the same? I mean what should be given as website name? Can you please cite an example. Kindly looking forward to your reply.

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
June 28, 2021 at 5:57 PM

Hi Reja,

Usually the website name is displayed prominently on the page, for example at the top and/or bottom. "World Health Organization" is both the organization name and the website name in this case, so you'd just list it in the author position.

An example where the organization name would differ from the website name would be something like the APA Style Blog, which is published by the American Psychological Association but has the specific name "APA Style Blog."

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