How to Cite a Website?

If you are a student faced with creating an MLA website citation for the first time, you may be confused about where to begin. This guide is here to answer all of your questions and take the guesswork out of creating an MLA citation for websites.

All academic fields require students and researchers to document their sources. Those studying the humanities, including fields in language literature, will typically follow MLA format when structuring their papers as well as when documenting sources.

Citing your sources is a necessary part of any research paper or project. This element serves both to give credit to the researchers and authors whose work informed yours, as well as to preserve academic integrity. Any source that provided you with ideas or information that you have included in your work and which are not considered common knowledge must be included, including websites.

The Modern Language Association is not associated with this guide. All of the information, however, is based on the MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition as well as the MLA website, and is presented as guidance for students writing in this style.

If you are looking for help with APA format, our reference library can provide you with guidance for this and more styles.

Changes to MLA Citation for Websites in Ninth Edition

In previous editions, students and researchers creating an MLA website citation were not required to include the URL. However, beginning with MLA 8, it is recommended that you include the URL when creating a citation for a website unless your teacher instructs you otherwise. Even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL.

When including URLs in a citation, http:// and https:// should be omitted from the website’s address (Handbook 195). Additionally, If you are creating a citation that will be read on a digital device, it is helpful to make the URL clickable so that readers can directly access the source themselves.

If the website’s publisher includes a permalink or DOI (Digital Object Identifier), these are preferable as they are not changeable in the same manner as URLs. Whether you include a URL, permalink, or DOI, this information should be included in the location portion of your citation.

Another change that occurred with the eighth edition that impacts how to cite a website in MLA is the removal of the date the website was accessed. While you may still find it useful to include this information or your teacher may request it, it is no longer a mandatory piece of your citation. Should you choose to add this optional information, you may list it after the URL in the following manner:

  • Accessed Day Month Year.
  • Accessed 2 May 1998.
  • Accessed 31 Apr. 2001.
  • Accessed 17 Sept. 2010.

For an overview of additional formatting changes in the ninth edition, including resources to help with writing an annotated bibliography, check out the rest of EasyBib.com’s writing and citation guides, and try out our plagiarism checker for help with grammar and to avoid unintentional plagiarism.


MLA 9: Citing Websites With an Author

To make an MLA 9 citation for a website, you will need the following pieces of information:

  • author’s name
  • title of the article or page
  • title of the website
  • name of the publisher (Note: Only include the name of the publisher when it differs from the name of the website.)
  • date the page or site was published (if available)
  • URL

Citing a Website in MLA

Place the author’s name in reverse order, the last name first, followed by a comma, and then the first name followed by a period. The title of the web page or article is placed in quotation marks, with a period before the end quotation. The title of the website is written in italics followed by a comma. If the name of the publisher differs from the name of the website, include it after the title. Immediately following the publisher is the date that the page or article was published or posted. Finally, end with the URL, permalink, or DOI, followed by a period.

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the Website, Name of the Publisher, date of publication in day month year format, URL.

Example

McNary, Dave. “Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter Returning for ‘Bill and Ted Face the Music.’” Variety, Penske Media Corporation, 8 May 2018, variety.com/2018/film/news/bill-and-ted-3-keanu-reeves-alex-winter-1202802946/.

View Screenshot | Cite your source

In-text website citation with one author

The in-text citation for a website with an author is reflected as the author’s last name in parentheses, followed by a period. Unless the website includes numbered paragraphs or sections, you should not include any additional information. For the website used in the example above, the in-text citation would be written as follows

In-text Citation
Structure

(Author’s Last Name).

Example

(McNary).

An APA parenthetical citation is similar, except it also includes the year the source was published.

To learn more about formatting MLA in-text & parenthetical citations, be sure to check out the rest of EasyBib.com’s resources and citation guides.


How to cite a website with two authors in MLA 9

According to Section 5.7 of the Handbook, for a website with two authors, place the authors’ names in the same order as the source (similar to an APA citation). The first name should be formatted in reverse order as was done for a single author. The second name, however, is written as First Name Last Name and is followed by a period, as demonstrated in the template that follows:

Works Cited
Structure

Last name, First name of Author 1, and First Name Last Name of Author 2. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, date published in day month year format, URL.

Example

Wadhwa, Vivek, and Alex Salkever. “How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?” Wired, Condé Nast, 26 June 2018, www.wired.com/story/healther-technology-for-humans/.

View Screenshot | Cite your source

In-text website citation with two authors

The in-text citation for a website with two authors should include both authors’ last names, in the order in which they are listed in the source and your works cited:

In-text Citation
Structure

(Author #1 and Author #2).

Example

(Wadhwa and Salkever).

Cite your source


How to cite a website with three or more authors in MLA 9

For a source with three or more authors, you should place the authors’ names in the same order as the source. The first name is listed in reverse order and is followed by a comma and et al. Et al is the abbreviation for et alia, a gender-neutral Latin phrase meaning “and others.”

Works Cited
Structure

First listed author’s Last name, First name, et al. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, date published in day month year format, DOI or URL.

Example

Marsh, Joanne, et al. “Generating Research Income: Library Involvement in Academic Research.” Library and Information Research, vol. 36, no. 113, 18 Dec. 2012, pp. 48-61, https:doi.org/10.29173/lirg539

Cite your source

In-text website citation with 3+ authors

The in-text citation for a website with three or more authors should contain only the first author’s last name, followed by et al. (Handbook 232):

In-text Citation
Structure

(Last Name 1 et al.).

Example

(Marsh et al.).

Cite your source

Click on this page if you’re looking for information on how to create an APA in-text citation.


MLA 9 Citation for Websites with No Author

Sometimes, websites do not state who wrote the information on the page. When no author is listed, you may omit the author information from the MLA citation for the website and begin, instead, with the title (Handbook 108).

Works Cited
Structure

“Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, date published in day month year format, URL.

Example

“One Health and Disease: Tick-Borne.” National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/one-health-disease-ticks-borne.htm.

View Screenshot | Cite your source

Note about web pages by organizations/corporations: Often, web pages are published by organizations or corporations with no author indicated. In these cases, you can assume that the publisher also authored the web page (like the example above). Since the author and publisher are the same in these cases, you can skip showing an author and just indicate the organization/corporation as the publisher (Handbook 119).

In-text website citation with no author

The in-text citation for a website without an author is noted with the first noun phrase or words in the title in quotations and parenthesis, followed by a period. Unless the website includes numbered paragraphs or sections, you should not include any additional information. For the website used in the example above, the in-text citation would be written as follows:

In-text citation
Structure

(Title of Web Page).

Example

(“One Health and Disease”).

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