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APA 7th Edition: Websites

On The Web But Not a Website?

Be careful! Just because you found something on the web, it doesn’t mean you are citing a website.

Look at the material closely – is it a journal article? A newspaper article? An encyclopedia? An eBook? Use the format that best describes the item. APA treats a source as a website only when it does not fit another category. 

Identifying the Elements of a Website

Citing source from websites can be challenging because they are not standardized in the same way as journal articles or books. This video from Valencia East Library walks you through the process with an example from the Centre for Disease Control website. 

Website References

Corporate or Group Author

Corporation/Group/Organization's Name. (Year webpage was last updated/published, Month Day if given). Title of page: Subtitle (if any). URL

Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2013, April 14). Understanding cancer research. Canadian Cancer Society.

Individual Author

Author's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Year webpage was last updated/published, Month Day if given). Title of page: Subtitle (if any). Website name. URL

Example: Kmec, J. (2012, March 13). Where’s the boss? And what counts as “work”? The Society Pages. 

Unknown Author

Title of page: Subtitle (if any). (Year webpage was last updated/published, Month Day if given). Name of Website. URL

Example: Timeline: Environmental movement (n.d.).  The Canadian Encyclopedia.



It can sometimes be difficult to find out who the author of a website is. Remember that an author can be a corporation or group, not only a specific person. Author information can sometimes be found under an "About" section on a website.

If there is no known author, you can start the citation with the title of the website instead. However, APA tends to reserve this type of citation for a very small set of sources: for example, The Bible and some dictionaries and encyclopedias such as Wikipedia (which should not form a central part of your research). 


The best date to use for a website is the date that the content was last updated. Otherwise look for a copyright or original publication date. Unfortunately this information may not be provided or may be hard to find. Often date information is put on the bottom of the pages of a website.

If you do not know the complete date, put as much information as you can find. For example you may have a year but no month or day.

If there is no date provided, put the letters (n.d.) in round brackets where you'd normally put the date.


Titles of websites should be in plain text but use italics for webpages, articles, etc.

Retrieval Date

Most website citations in APA 7th Edition do not require a retrieval date. Unfortunately, however, determining which situations require this date can be challenging. If you use a stable, archived version of a web page, no retrieval date is needed. But if you use a web page that is continually updated, providing a retrieval date can help clarify inconsistencies between the page when you viewed it and when it was viewed by your reader. 

Long URLs

If a URL is too long to fit onto one line, try to break it at a slash (/).

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