How to Cite a Website in APA
Published April 20, 2012. Updated September 3, 2021.
It’s probably no surprise that websites are the most cited source type on EasyBib.com. If you’re writing a research paper, you probably have information from sites included in your project. This guide explains all of the juicy details to referencing sites in your APA research papers.
Here’s a quick video overview of how to cite a website in APA:
What is a website?
This is a question that might seem silly, but believe it or not, there’s some confusion as to what a website truly is.
It’s a place on the Internet that holds a group of individual pages.
Think of it like a tree. A site is the tree and the individual pages are the branches. Let’s use YouTube as an example. YouTube is the site, and the individual channel pages are the branches. Wikipedia is a site, and each article has its own individual page on that site.
Most students and researchers aren’t trying to cite a whole entire site, but actually an individual page. If you used a YouTube video to help you with your research project, you wouldn’t cite the entire YouTube site, you would cite the specific YouTube page the video was found on.
Here’s a similar question we’re often asked when it comes to the APA citation of a web page:
Q: This page describes citing specific pages and articles. Can I cite an entire site?
A: According to the APA manual (6th edition), it is not necessary to cite a site in its entirety in a reference list. Instead, include a reference in the body of your paper.
Example: The Department of Justice has just released a new site called ReportCrime.gov at https://www.reportcrime.gov/ to help people identify and report crimes in their area.
This guide focuses on how to cite individual pages found on the web. If you used a whole entire site, it’s perfectly acceptable to cite the whole site in the text of your paper, as shown above, but for the most part, you want to cite the page where the information was found.
If you’re seeking out an APA citation website to take the stress away from proper referencing, try out EasyBib.com! Stop typing into the search bar, “how to cite a website APA,” or “APA in-text citation website.” EasyBib.com is the answer to your referencing questions and needs!
Citing a website in the text (in-text citation)
When you include a piece of information from a site in your project, you must include two citations: a brief citation in the text and also a full citation on the reference page.
When it comes to mentions in the text, students are sometimes tempted to put the web address in the body of a project. However, URLs can be long, clunky, and distracting. They should never be written in the body of a project.
Instead of writing the full address in the text, either use the last name of the author and the date the source was published OR, if no author is shown, the title of the individual page and the date.
Check out this in-text citation APA website example:
|Example||After landing back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 10 were picked up in the Pacific Ocean by the USS Princeton (Uri, 2019).|
The above APA website in-text citation (the author’s last name and the date the information was published), corresponds to the information on the final page of the project, the reference page.
Here’s how the full APA citation for a web page looks on the final page of the project:
Uri, J. (2019, June 14). Fifty years ago: Nearly one month to boots in lunar dust. Retrieved from https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/pages.ashx/1184/Fifty%%20Month %20to%20Boots%20in%20Lunar%20Dust.
If you’re looking for information on structuring other styles in the text of your paper, check out our page on MLA in-text and parenthetical citations.
Citing a website on the reference page
In the next section of this APA citation website guide, we’re going to focus on how to format an APA website citation. If you’re wondering how to create an APA citation of a web page, the majority of web references use the structure shown below.
General structure for how to cite a website in APA
Note: A retrieval date is no longer required for all online sources. It’s only needed if the content is likely to change over time (such as wikis and social media). If necessary, include the retrieval month date, year, (in that order) between “Retrieved” and “from URL” in the last segment of the citation.
Note: When a site does not have a web page/article title, replace it in the citation with the full site’s title.
Full reference example:
Last, F.M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title or page title. Retrieved from URL
Limer, E. (2013, October 1). Heck yes! The first free wireless plan is finally here. Retrieved from https://gizmodo.com/heck-yes-the-first-free-wireless-plan-is-finally-here
Example of an in-text citation for website APA:
In the text, reference the article above as (Limer, 2013) OR something along the lines of “According to Limer (2013), …”
Cain, K. (2012, June 29). The Negative effects of Facebook on communication. Retrieved from https://socialmediatoday.com
Satalkar, B. (2010, July 15). Water aerobics. Retrieved from https://www.buzzle.com/articles/aerobic-exercises/
If you’re looking for an APA format website to do the work for you, try out EasyBib.com’s citation generator. Our APA citation website makes referencing a breeze!
Citing a general web article without an author
APA citation for website structure:
Missing an author? No problem. Wikipedia pages, online dictionary sites, and online encyclopedia sites are just a few examples of sites without an author. In an APA citation of a web page, begin with the page’s title.
APA citation for website example:
Title of page/article. (Year, Month Date of publication). Retrieved from URL
India: Country specific information. (2013, October 3). Retrieved from https://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1139.html
(“India: Country Specific Information,” 2013)
There are plenty of times when an individual’s name isn’t listed as the author, but the information on the site is written by a group, organization, or company.
In an APA website citation, it is completely acceptable to use the group’s name in the author position. Type it out in its entirety and add a period at the end. Check out the various APA citation of web page examples at the bottom of the page to see group authors in action!
If you’re wondering whether to include the full date in your APA citation for web pages (month, day, and year) or just the year, we have the answer for you here.
An APA citation of web page reference includes the month, day, and year if it’s a site that is updated with new information frequently. Blog posts, newspaper articles, posts from social media profiles, and YouTube videos are just a few of the sources that would display the full date. In an APA citation for web pages, it’s written in this order, in parentheses: (Year, Month Day).
Mukherjee, S. (2016, November 17). How far can we push the limits of human life? Scientists explore the edges of our morality. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wdj7qz/how-far-can-we-push-the-limits-of-human-life
See the APA in-text citation for website example below. Only include the year the source was published.
If you’re using EasyBib.com’s generator to create an APA citation for a web page, our technology structures dates for you, in their proper order. It’s the APA format website (and also the APA in-text citation website) you’ve been waiting for. Give it a whirl!
Titles of pages on the web
Here’s the advice we provide on many of our guides:
If the source you are citing is a standalone source, meaning an entire book, television series, or film, the title of such sources should be in italics. If, however, you are citing a piece of a larger source, i.e., a journal article, a page on a site, or an episode of a show, the title should be in sentence case and not in italics.
Long story short, do not italicize an APA citation for web pages’ title in the text and on the final page of references.
For full references on the final page of the project, only include capital letters at the beginning of the title, at the beginning of each proper noun, and at the beginning of the first word in the subtitle.
The title is written in the text only when there isn’t an author listed. So, instead of showing the reference as (Author, Date), use (“Title of Page,” Date) in any APA citation for web pages. Notice the switch from sentence case to title case in the text reference.
A little extra information goes a long way when it comes to site citations. If you’re including a unique source type, include information about the medium directly after the title. This information is placed in brackets. Only the first letter is capitalized.
Here are a few examples you might see in an APA citation for a web page:
[Facebook status update]
To see some of the extra information in action, scroll down to the examples towards the bottom of this page.
Speaking of extra information, it may not hurt to get some extra details on grammar topics in that brain of yours. Brush up on your adjective, pronoun, and interjection knowledge with our comprehensive guides!
Any information related to the publisher is not invited to the web citation party. In an APA citation of a web page, you do not need to include information about the company that made the site, where its offices are located, or any other similar information about the company in any web references. One thing less to worry about in your APA citation for web pages!
Other source types are much different, so before you exclude publisher information from all of your references, make sure you check out our APA citation page. While you’re at it, check out our other helpful resources, such as APA reference page and MLA works cited.
Web addresses and DOIs
We need food, shelter, and water in life. We also need a web address and DOI number in an APA citation for a web page. Including site addresses and DOIs are an absolute necessity. Addresses and DOIs (which stand for direct object identifiers) are usually the last item in an APA website citation.
For sites, include “Retrieved from” before the web address. After adding the full URL to the APA citation for a web page, do not end it with a period. If the address is very long, it is acceptable to roll it onto the next line, but break it up so that a type of punctuation mark or symbol is the first item closest to the left margin. Check out the APA citation of a webpage URL below.
APA citation of webpage example of a properly structured URL:
https://books.google.com/books?id=Oa0JAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=sports+ medicine&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1l-jy-fPiAhVLMY8KHQD6BfUQ6AEIWjAJ#v=onepage&q=sports %20medicine&f=false
DOI numbers are assigned by publishers to electronic sources such as journal articles, e-books, datasets, and more. They’re a string of numbers and sometimes other characters. If the source you’re using has a DOI number assigned to it, place it at the end of the APA website citation, instead of the URL, in this format: https://dx.doi.org/10.XXXXXXXXX. Place the DOI string in place of the X’s shown above. Do not include “Retrieved from” before it, as you would for most APA citation of a webpage references.
DOIs were created to combat the problem of broken links and 404 errors (pages taken down). Think about it, if a webpage is taken off of the Internet, it can be pretty difficult to find a copy of it. If you’re lucky, an archive site may have a copy stored somewhere, but for the most part, when sites are gone, they’re gone. DOIs are permanent, making them the ideal choice to include in any APA citation for webpages.
Additional Website Citation Examples
Below are various web reference examples to give you a quick visual of how pages are structured and organized. Quick reminder that if you’re trying to create a reference for an e-book found on the web, use the APA book citation page. In addition, if it’s an online article from journal, use our APA journal page.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to build your references, EasyBib.com is an APA citation website that does the work for you. Try it out and say hello to stress-free referencing and goodbye to constantly searching for “how to cite a website APA” or “how to cite APA,” on search engines.
How to cite a group/organization/company:
Columbia Doctors. (2016). Vital signs (Body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure). Retrieved from https://www.columbiadoctors.org/condition/vital-signs-body-temperature-pulse
How to Cite a Blog Post in APA
Last, F. M. (Year Month Date Published). Article title [Blog post]. Retrieved from URL
Schonfeld, E. (2010, May 3). Google throws $38.8 million to the wind [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2010/05/03/google-38-8-million-wind/
APA citation of web page example for newspaper articles read on a newspaper site:
Nunn, G. (2019, April 2). Don’t ditch the adverb, the emoji of writing. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/29/dont-ditch-the-adverb-the-emoji
APA citation of web page example for Facebook:
Kaku, M. (2019, April 10). Congratulations to the National Science Foundation (NSF) on the success of the Event Horizon Telescope Project, which Wednesday unveiled the first-ever image of a real supermassive black hole and its shadow, 55 million light-years away from Earth [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/michiokaku/
APA citation of web page example for Twitter:
If the name of the author is displayed, place the username in brackets after their name.
Kaku, M. [michiokaku]. (2019, May 31). It was 100 years ago, this week, that the results from then solar eclipse came in, verifying Einstein’s theory. Max Planck predicted that if the experiment was true, Einstein would be considered the successor to Copernicus. This has come to pass [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/michiokaku/status/1134489848994258945
If the name of the author is unknown, start the APA citation of a web page for Twitter with the username.
Rdjquotes. (2019, June 19). “I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb. #RDJ [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/rdjquotes/status/1141344520535252993
Need another set of eyes to check your paper for grammar and spelling edits? Not quite sure if every determiner, preposition, or conjunction is where it belongs? Check out our grammar and plagiarism checker. It’s the answer to all of your grammar questions!
If you’re still confused and typing into the search bar, “how to cite APA,” or “how to cite a website APA,” try out EasyBib.com’s reference generator. It’s fast, easy, and allows you to focus on your writing and research, and less on your references. The best part? It creates both types of references. It has an in-text citation website APA generator and also a full reference generator! What are you waiting for? Go see the magic happen!
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- How do I format a reference list entry for a website in APA style?
You will need the webpage’s author’s name, publication date, title of the page, website name, and the URL.
Here is an example with an author:
Geggel, L. (2021, July 6). A brief history of dinosaurs. LiveScience. https://www.livescience.com/3945-history-dinosaurs.html
Usually, if no author is shown the website is assumed to be the author. In these cases, the website name replaces the author name in the beginning of the reference.
National Park Service. (2018, July 23). Night skies as a cultural-historical resource. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/cultural.htm
- Do I need to include the URL for a website in APA?
The URL of a website is mandatory if you cite a website or a webpage. Where you include the URL depends on the type of citation. To cite a website as a general reference without any reference to a specific page or particular details, simply add the name of the website in the text and include the URL in parentheses. There is no need to add a reference list entry. However, to cite a webpage on a website, you need to provide both an in-text citation and a reference list entry. Do not add the URL in the in-text citation. Just add the author’s name and year. The URL is given only in the reference list entry. Templates for in-text citations and reference list entries of a website or webpage along with examples are given below.
Website as a general reference
We took the data from the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India (https://censusindia.gov.in/).
Webpage of a website
In-text citation templates and examples:
Author Surname (publication year)
(Author Surname, publication year)
Note that month and day are not mentioned in in-text citations.
Reference list entry template and example:
Author Surname, F. M. (Year, Month Day). Title of the webpage. Name of the Site. URL
Skelton, R. (2017, February 16). Fact check’s return perfect timing in ‘post truth’ age. ABC Opinion. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-16/fact-check-return-perfect-timing-in-post-truth-age/8277268