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How to Cite a Website in MLA Format

Learning how to cite a website in MLA is quite simple. The MLA format (9th edition, the most recent) requires listing the source’s author, page or article title, website name, publication date, and URL if available. Although optional, adding the date you accessed the page is highly recommended if the publication date is unavailable. 

To cite a website in MLA, use this formula when listing sources in your bibliography or reference page:

Last name, First name of author. “Page or article title in quotations.” Website

name, Day Month Year of publication, URL. Accessed Day Month

Year. 

Let’s use a real example to help you understand exactly how to cite websites in MLA. Say you want to use our blog article on punctuation as a source. When you plug this article’s information in to the above formula, it looks like this: 

Kramer, Lindsay. “Punctuation: Everything You Need to Know.” Grammarly, 9 Apr.

2021, www.grammarly.com/blog/punctuation. Accessed 4 May 2022. 

In-line citations in MLA use only the author’s last name in parentheses, so an example for the above source would look like this: 

(Kramer)

This covers the basics of how to cite websites in MLA for both primary and secondary sources. However, there’s some variation and nuance to watch out for, such as the particulars of how to write your URL in MLA format and how to cite sources like social media and videos. Below, we explain those details so you can keep your attention focused on how to write a research paper

Rules for how to cite websites in MLA

Compared to other formats like APA and Chicago, the MLA format is more particular about citing URLs and host sites. Here are a few rules to consider when you cite a website in MLA:

  • You don’t need to include “https://” and should start your URL with “www”.
  • It is good to mention host websites, called “containers” (e.g., YouTube, Netflix, JSTOR, etc.) whenever possible.
  • It’s not necessary to include the date you accessed the site, but it’s recommended, especially if no publication date is given. 

How to cite a website in MLA: Pages, articles, and blogs

Web pages, articles, and blogs are cited using the same formula as above. However, if your source also has information about editions (ed.), volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.)—as is the case with scholarly journals—it’s good to include those as well. If the source has a print version, you may also include the page numbers (pp.)

If you pull the source from a container or host site, it’s best to include its name (in italics) after the website name and version information but before the URL.  The complete formula looks like this:

Last name, First name of author. “Page or article title in quotations.” Website or

source name, ed. #, vol. #, no. #, Day Month Year of publication, pp.

#–#. Container, URL. Accessed Day Month Year. 

Keep in mind that some information, such as editions or issue numbers, might not apply to your source. If so, simply skip them when writing your bibliography. You can also do this for month and/or day of publication dates that aren’t listed. 

Also notice that containers are preceded by periods and not commas, unlike some other elements in MLA references.  Here’s a real-life example of how to cite a website in MLA format when it has this additional information:

Aimone, Francesco. “The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in New York City: A Review of

the Public Health Response.” Public Health Reports, vol. 125, April 2010, pp.

71–79. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41435301. Accessed 4 May 2022. 

How to cite a website in MLA: Video

To cite a video in MLA format, you follow the main formula but also add the channel name. If no specific author is listed, you can replace the author name with the channel name. 

Last name, First name of author. “Title of video in quotations.” Website name in

italics, uploaded by Channel Name, Day Month Year of publication, URL.

Accessed Day Month Year. 

For this example, we use one of our YouTube videos that has no specific author:

“Do Your Best Schoolwork Faster | Better Results With Grammarly.” YouTube,

uploaded by Grammarly, 11 Aug. 2021,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=H53JSXPXPxI. Accessed 4 May 2022. 

Because no author is given, the in-line citation uses the first complete phrase of the title in quotes. 

(“Do Your Best Schoolwork Faster”)

How to cite a website in MLA: Social media

Learning how to cite social media in MLA is fairly straightforward. You mostly follow the standard formula but add handles and sometimes descriptions in place of formal titles. Let’s look at individual examples for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

How to cite Twitter in MLA format

To cite Twitter in MLA, start with the standard information and then add the user’s handle in brackets after their name, followed by the complete text of the tweet (including hashtags). 

Last name, First name of author or organization [@username]. “Full text of

tweet.” Twitter, Day Month Year posted, URL. 

Here’s an example from one of our tweets

Grammarly [@Grammarly]. “The more concise your message, the more likely it is

to get a response.” Twitter, 2 May 2022,

twitter.com/Grammarly/status/1521157691200229378.

For in-line citations, organizations take the place of the author’s last name. 

(Grammarly)

How to cite Instagram in MLA format

For Instagram, follow the same formula you used for Twitter, using a description or caption in place of the title. Use quotation marks if you’re quoting the caption but not if you’re writing an original description. Don’t forget to credit other contributors if they’re listed. 

Last name, First name of author or organization [@username]. “Title from

caption” or description. Instagram, other contributors, Day Month Year

posted, URL. 

Art Ashiah [@art.ashiah]. Oil painting of a young girl holding a bird. Instagram, art

by Morgan Weistling, 22 Apr. 2022,

www.instagram.com/p/CcqS5v2ouCI/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=.

How to cite Facebook in MLA format

To cite Facebook in MLA format, follow the same guidelines as you did with Instagram. This includes choosing between quoting a caption or writing an original description. 

Last name, First name of author or organization. “Title from caption” or

description. Facebook, Day Month Year posted, URL. 

Takei, George. “Early grammar police.” Facebook, 16 Jan. 2014,

www.facebook.com/georgehtakei/photos/a.209629375733190/849667811729340/.

How to cite a website with more than one author in MLA

How to cite two authors in MLA format

For the reference page, the first author is written with their last name first, while the second author’s name is written First Name Last Name, like this: 

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. 

Parker, Drake, and Josh Nichols

In-line citations use only the last names, in the same order as they appear on the reference page. 

(Parker and Nichols)

How to cite three or more authors in MLA format

To cite three or more authors in MLA format, you mention only the first author listed in the source and then add “et al.,” as such: 

Last name, First name, et al. 

Clinton, George, et al.

In-line citations use only the first author’s last name and “et al.” 

(Clinton et al.)

How to cite a website with no author in MLA

Citing a website without an author is no problem in MLA format. Simply skip the author’s name and start with the page or article title. 

“Page or article title in quotations.” Website name, Day Month Year of

publication, URL. Accessed Day Month Year. 

“Exclamation Point (or Exclamation Mark).” Grammarly, 14 Jan. 2021,

www.grammarly.com/blog/exclamation-mark. Accessed 4 May 2022.

For in-line citations, use the first complete phrase in the title. Try to find a natural breaking point. 

(“Exclamation Point”)

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