Jun 8, 2023

How to Cite a Website | APA, MLA, Chicago & Vancouver

What is a website? And what is a webpage?

A website is a collection of interconnected pages and multimedia content that is typically accessible through a unique domain name on the Internet. Websites range from simple static pages that display text and images to complex dynamic sites with interactive features. Websites are used to share information, provide services, conduct business, and engage with online communities. Examples of static websites are blogs, portfolio websites, and event/conference sites. Dynamic websites are built to handle real-time interactions, data processing, and frequent content updates, and often incorporate various multimedia elements to enhance the user experience. 

A webpage, which is what you usually refer to when citing content on a website, is a single document presented within the framework of a static or dynamic website, such as an article published by an online newspaper or a single blog article. To properly cite a website/webpage, you need a short citation included in the text of your manuscript and a corresponding reference list entry that contains the author name, the publication date, the title of the webpage, the name of the website, and its URL. Depending on the formatting style you are following, these details are listed in a slightly different way. In the following, we summarize the main requirements for citing a website in the most common styles.

Citing a Website in APA Style

To cite a website in APA 7 Style, include the following elements: the last name and initials of the author(s), the full date of publication, the webpage title (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.

The in-text citation for a website only lists the author’s last name and year. If the page is long or cluttered, you can help the reader identify the quote by guiding them to a specific subsection or paragraph.

APA website citation examples

Remember to italicize the title of the web page or article. The URL should be included as a clickable hyperlink without any additional punctuation:

APA formatAuthor, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Page title. Website Name. URL
APA reference list entrySmith, J. (2022, January 15). How to Cite a Website in APA Style. Example.com. https://www.example.com/how-to-cite-apa
APA in-text citation(Smith, 2022)

Note that when the author and site name are the same, you can omit the site name altogether:

APA reference list entryNational Institute of Mental Health. (2021, July). National Institute of Mental Health Strategic Plan for Research. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/sites/default/files/documents/about/strategic-planning-reports/NIMH-Strategic-Plan-for-Research-2021-Update.pdf 
APA in-text citation(National Institute of Mental Health, 2021)

Citing an entire website vs a webpage

If you want to reference an entire website (not a specific page within that website), you do not need to provide an APA-style citation—simply cite the website in the text, followed by the URL in parentheses:

The New York Times’ online edition (https://www.nytimes.com/) is the news website with the most monthly visits in the United States.

Blog posts and online articles

When citing a blog post or article from an online newspaper, provide (and italicize) the name of the blog/newspaper, not the title of the post/article.

How to cite a blog:

APA formatAuthor, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of blog post. Title of Blog. URL
APA reference list entryKaufman, S. B. (2019, November 6). Can empathetic concern actually increase political polarization? Beautiful Minds. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/can-empathic-concern-actually-increase-political-polarization/ 
APA in-text citation(Kaufman, 2019, para 4)

How to cite a news article:

APA reference list entryAw, J. (2012, June 12). Stopping the soda bulge: Why we need to consider restricting sugary beverages. National Post.  https://nationalpost.com/health/stopping-the-soda-bulge-why-we-need-to-consider-restricting-sugary-beverageshttps://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/can-empathic-concern-actually-increase-political-polarization/ 
APA in-text citation(Aw, 2012)

Note that articles on news sites such as Reuters and BBC News that are not linked to a print newspaper are not cited using this format—follow the general website citation format above for such articles (title in italics, site name in plain text).

Citing a website with no author or date

If there is no specific author listed, start the citation with the organization that created it, or with the title of the web page or article. If there is no publication date provided, you can use “n.d.” (for no date) instead, or the date you accessed the article.

APA reference section

Generally, for APA in-text citations, you include the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses:

(Lowry et al., 1951)

If you directly quote a source, include the page number as well: 

(Lowry et al., 1951, p. 45). 

At the end of your paper, you create a reference list, arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, that contains the following details for each source

  • author’s name
  • publication date 
  • title of the work
  • journal’s title/publisher (in italics), volume (issue), page numbers
  • DOI (digital object identifier) if available, 
  • URL if there is no DOI but the article is accessible online

Examples of APA citation list entries:

Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L., & Randall, R. J. (1951). Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 193, 265-275. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19511404458 

Thompson, J. D., Gibson, T. J., & Higgins, D. G. (2003). Multiple sequence alignment using ClustalW and ClustalX. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics, (1), 2-3.  https://doi.org/10.1002/0471250953.bi0203s00 

You can use our APA Citation Generator if you want to make sure your references are in order before you press that “submit” button!

Citing a Website in MLA Style

Wondering how to cite a website in MLA 8 Style? MLA website citations list the same elements as APA citations, with small differences in author names (full names vs initials), capitalization, and the use of italics. MLA in-text citations for a website also only list the name and year, but the MLA does not recommend referring to paragraphs by numbers unless they are indeed numbered on the webpage. Point the reader to a subsection instead.

MLA website citation examples

MLA formatAuthor last name, first name. “Page Title.” Website Name, Publisher/Sponsor, Day Month Year, <URL>.
MLA reference list entryPratt, Elizabeth. “Exercise and the Brain: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.” Healthline, Healthline Media, January 12, 2021,<https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise#The-bottom-line>
MLA in-text citation(Pratt, 2021, subsection on stress)

As for APA website citations, if you do not find a publication date, provide the date at which you accessed the article or use “n.d.” for “no date”.

Citing an online newspaper site

Citations to blog posts and online newspaper/magazine articles follow the same format. If you cite the entire website, not just a specific page, start with the site name—unless the whole site/blog is written by the same author. When no author is listed at all, list the organization that publishes the blog/website as the author (but leave the website name out if it is identical to the organization’s name).

MLA reference section

When referring to a source within the text of your paper in MLA style, include only the author’s last name and the page number or page range in parentheses:

(Smith 45-47) 

If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, only include the page number in parentheses: 

Smith (45-47) has argued… 

At the end of your paper, you then create a “Works Cited” page that lists all your sources arranged in alphabetical order and includes the following:

  • author’s name
  • title of the work
  • publisher/journal title
  • URL if applicable
  • date of publication, page ranges

Lowry, Oliver H., et al. “Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 193 (1951): 265-275. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19511404458

Thompson, J. D., T. J. Gibson, and D. G. Higgins. “Multiple sequence alignment using ClustalW and ClustalX.” Current Protocols in Bioinformatics 1 (2003): 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471250953.bi0203s00

Use our MLA Citation Generator to correctly cite websites in your paper.

Citing a Website in Chicago Style

Chicago 17th Style uses two different citation formats: long or short footnotes (with superscripts) that refer to a bibliography at the end of the document, and an alternative author-date citation style. 

Citing a website with no author or date

When a web source does not list the name of an author, use the name of the organization responsible for the content for your bibliography entry and short-form footnote. As for APA and MLA citations, don’t repeat the organization’s name if it is also the name of the website. The full note should start with the title instead. 

Add the date when you accessed the website in the following situations: if there is no publication date, if the content you want to cite was published a long time ago, or if you are unsure whether the website might undergo regular changes.

Chicago website citation examples

Chicago formatAuthor last name, first name. “Page Title.” Website Name. Month Day, Year. URL
Chicago bibliography entryBernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002. alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed June 2, 2023.
Chicago footnotesLong-form: Mark Bernstein, “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web,” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving.
Short-form: Bernstein, “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.”
Author-date: Bernstein, 2002.

Cite a page with no author and no publication date, published on a website created by a corporation, group, or organization:

Chicago bibliography entryChartered Professional Accountants Canada. “Audit and Assurance.”  Accessed June 2, 2023. www.cpacanada.ca/en/business-and-accounting-resources/audit-and-assurance 
Chicago footnotesLong-form: “Audit and Assurance,” Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, www.cpacanada.ca/en/business-and-accounting-resources/audit-and-assurance
Short-form: Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, “Audit and Assurance.”

Blog posts and online articles

To cite blog posts and online articles from newspapers, italicize the name of the blog/publication (not the name of the page/article). If the name does not already contain the word “blog” itself, add it in parentheses, for clarity:

Walsh, Brendan. “Lorenzo Bini Smaghi on the Impact of Basel III.” Irish Economy (blog). April 2, 2011.http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2011/04/02/lorenzo-bini-smaghi-on-the-impact-of-basel-iii/

Chicago style reference section

The general format for a Chicago reference entry includes:

  • author names
  • “title of the work” in quotation marks
  • journal/publisher/place of publication
  • year of publication
  • specific page numbers (if applicable) 
  • DOI/URL (if applicable)

Lowry, Oliver H., Nira J. Rosebrough, A. Lewis Farr, and Rose J. Randall. “Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent.” Journal of biological chemistry 193 (1951): 265-275. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19511404458

Thompson, Julie D., Toby J. Gibson, and Des G. Higgins. “Multiple sequence alignment using ClustalW and ClustalX.” Current protocols in bioinformatics 1 (2003): 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471250953.bi0203s00

Our Chicago Citation Generator helps you cite websites in Chicago 17th style.

Citing a Website in Vancouver Style

Vancouver style is commonly used in the field of medicine and biomedical sciences and differs from other styles in that it is not too concerned with some of the more trivial details such as title/sentence case, punctuation, and italics. In the broader sense, the Vancouver system refers to any author–number system that contains the usual information, regardless of the specific formatting details. Source/journal names are often abbreviated for brevity, following the standard formats of Index Medicus or PubMed.

A source within the text of your paper in Vancouver style refers to a numbered list, with an Arabic numeral following the quote/citation in superscript or in brackets/parentheses:

Smith5 has argued that… 

Whether the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence or not does not change the in-text citation:

An earlier study on the relationship between sleep and cognition [5] reported that… 

The reference list at the end of the main text is thus numbered in the order of the appearance of each source in the text, rather than alphabetically.

Vancouver Style website citation example

Website citations in Vancouver Style list all the usual information, but details can vary across publishers and outlets. Substitute missing publication dates with the date the information was accessed, but use [place unknown], [publisher unknown] if these details are not available.

Vancouver formatTitle of homepage [Internet]. Place of publication: Publisher’s name; Publication date or year of homepage. Title of specific page/part; Date of publication of part [Cited date of part]. Available from: URL of part
Vancouver website citation1. Australian Medical Association [Internet]. Barton (AU): AMA; c2016. Junior doctors and medical students call for urgent solution to medical training crisis; 2012 Oct 22 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; Available from: https://www.ama.com.au/media/junior-doctors-and-medical-students-call-urgent-solution-medical-training-crisis 
Vancouver in-text citationJunior doctors and medical students in Australia have been demanding guaranteed intern places for locally-trained medical students for more than a decade.1

Not sure if your website citations are in line with Vancouver style? Use our Vancouver Style Citation Generator

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