How to Cite a Website With MLA 8 Referencing? Learn Here!

How to Cite a Website With MLA 8 Referencing? Learn Here!
There is no doubt that whether it is a student or researcher, all academic fields require them to document their sources. And, when structuring as well as documenting their website, papers, e-papers, both fields in language & literature and those studying the humanities, will typically follow MLA format.

Well, we all know that citing sources is one essential part of any website, research paper, as well as projects. And, this element serves both to preserve academic integrity as well as to give credit to the researchers and authors whose work informed yours. Any source which provided you with information or ideas that you have added in your work and which are not considered common knowledge must be mentioned, including websites.

Well, you may be confused about where to begin if you are a novice challenged with creating an MLA website citation for the first time. So, here we are with a complete guide to answer all of your questions and take the guesswork out of creating or citing a website in MLA Format.

But before learning about citing a website in MLA, it is very important to understand the term MLA, at least the basics about it. So, let’s begin with the introduction to MLA for better understanding.

What is MLA Format?

MLA: Modern Language Association is an organization that was aimed to develop guidelines on everything related to language and literature. Along with the guidelines on proper grammar usage for proper citations on websites, they have proper research paper layouts as well.

Adding to that, they also have foreign and English language committees, numerous journal and book publications, and an annual conference. Nowadays, MLA is not only used in language and literature subject areas, but many others also have adopted it.

Back in April 2016, the Modern Language Association recently released the 8th and most current edition of their Handbook. For submitting work that adheres to the Modern Language Association’s standards and rules, this Handbook offers thorough instructions on MLA format citing as well as guidelines.

Here is a Simple Definition of MLA Format

For documenting source material for several types of humanities' documents, MLA style is one accepted way. When it comes to its comparison with other style guides, it is simpler than some others, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the APA Style Guide. Besides all, MLA Format has two basic requirements:

1. Brief parenthetical citations in the text
2. An alphabetical list of works cited that corresponds to the in-text citations and appears at the end of the research paper.

Well, all you need to do is put a reference to your source material within parentheses in the text. Apart from that, you need to list all the sources you referred (alphabetically) at the end of the paper.

MLA 8 Citations for Websites

Well, people who have already used previous versions of their handbook to create an MLA citation for a website may remember that each source’s publication format determined which elements were important to be covered in its Works Cited entry.

However, now the eighth edition has moved the focus a little bit and offers universal guidelines for all citations regardless of the source’s publication medium.

And, these guidelines are now referred to as “The Core Elements” by the Modern Language Association. So, these elements will form the foundation for each MLA website citation included in your MLA Works Cited list as well as the entries for sources in any other format, especially if someone has asked you to cite your sources in this format.

a. Author
b. Title of source
c. Title of the container
d. Other contributors (names and roles)
e. Version
f. Number
g. Publisher
h. Publication Date
i. Location of the source (such as URL or page range)

Well, make sure that the person who is making a report may omit any of these if one or more elements do not apply. Moreover, if necessary, it is possible to include optional items as well.

In addition to the optional details discussed below, a list of additional optional components can be found on the MLA website.

Some of the Changes to MLA Citation for Websites; Eighth Edition

Earlier as per the rules, researchers or students, anyone creating an MLA website citation was not required to include the URL. But now, things have changed. Yes, now it is recommended that you include the URL when creating an MLA 8 citation for a website, however, unless your instructor instructs you otherwise.

So, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL, even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed.

Although, make sure that // and // should be omitted from the websites’ address when including URLs in a citation. Moreover, as you are creating a citation that will be further read on a digital device, it is important to make the URL clickable so the viewers or readers can directly access the source themselves.

Apart from that, keep in mind that if the website’s publisher includes a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or permalink, then those are preferable as both are not changeable in the same way as URLs. It implies that whether you include a permalink,  URL, or DOI, such information must be included in the location part of your citation.

The other change in the eighth edition that influences citing a website in MLA is the elimination of the date on which the website was accessed.

Know that this is no longer a mandatory piece of your citation unless you found it helpful or necessary to include this information or your instructor asked for it. So, if you still wish to add this optional information, you must list it after the URL in the manner mentioned below:

Accessed Day Month Year

Citing Websites With an Author

One will need the following pieces of information to make an MLA 8 citation for a website:

a. Name of the Author
b. The title of the website
c. The title of the page or article
d. The name of the publisher (Note: the name of the publisher should only be included if it does not match with the name of the website)
e. The date on which the site or page or article was published (if possible)
f. The URL

How to Cite a Website in MLA 8?

Make sure to place the author’s name in reverse order, first the last name, then place a comma, and then place the first name which should be followed by a period. Then with a period before the end quotation, place the title of the web page or article under quotation marks. Further, followed by a comma, the title of the website is written in italics.

As mentioned, add the name of the publisher after the title if it differs from that of the website. Now just after the publisher, the date on which the page or article was published or posted should be placed.

Lastly, end with the permalink, URL, or DOI.


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.

For example:

McNary, Dave. “Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter Returning for ‘Bill and Ted Face the Music.’” Variety, Penske Media Corporation, 8 May 2018,”

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


Apart from that, if your website has two authors, then your citation must place the authors’ names in the same order as they are in the source.

As was done for a single author, the first name should be formatted in reverse order. However, the second name should be written as First Name Last Name and is followed by a period. For better understanding, check the template and example demonstrated below:


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.”

For example,

Wadhwa, Vivek, and Alex Salkever. “How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?” Wired, Condé Nast, 26 June 2018,”

For a website with two authors, the in-text citation must include both authors’ last names in the order in which they are listed in the source, and your works are cited.

For example:

(Wadhwa and Salkever)

And, if there is a source with three or more authors, then you need to place the authors’ names in the same order as the source. Followed by a comma and et al., the first name is listed in reverse; et alia, a gender-neutral Latin phrase meaning “and others,” is the full form for Et al.


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, URL.

For a website with three or more authors, the in-text citation must contain only the first author’s last name, followed by et al.

For example:

(Last Name 1 et al.)

MLA 8 Citation for Websites with No Author

There are times when websites do not state who wrote the information on the page. That means sometimes the author is not listed, so in those cases, you can omit the author information from the MLA citation for the website and begin with the title.

Now to cite a website with no author in MLA 8, follow the Template:

“Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date published in Day Month Year format, URL.

For example:

“One Health and Disease: Tick-Borne.” National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, //

For a website with no author, the in-text citation is noted with the first word or words in the title in parentheses followed by a period. Know you are not allowed to include any additional information unless the website includes numbered paragraphs or sections. For the same website we used in the above example, the in-text citation can be written as:

(One Health and Disease)

How to Cite a Website in MLA 8 Without Any Formal Title?

For the web page that does not include a formal title, it is acceptable to include a description of the page, when performing citation. Keep in mind that in this case, you can not place the description in italics or quotation marks. And, then place the name of the website following its description.

For example:

General Information on the New York Mets. NYCData, The Weissman Center for International Business Baruch College/CUNY,

MLA 8 Website Citation for Social Media

In this digital era, social media platforms have become the most popular. So, you can follow the same format as an MLA citation for a website when citing social media in your work. Well, here are some of the examples of ways you can cite various social media platforms:

1. Twitter

You will begin with the account holder’s Twitter handle to cite a tweet, followed by a period. After this, you should enter the full text of the tweet, in quotations, including any hashtags. Then followed by the date in Day, Month, Year format and the time the tweet was posted, the publisher, Twitter, is then listed in italics. Lastly, followed by a period, include a URL to the tweet.


@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Day Month Year, Time stamp, URL.

For example:

@Lin_Manuel. “Gmorning from a sky still blue above the smoke from a world still full of love and hope beyond the headlines from your own best self, whispering, ‘I’m still here, and it’s never too late to put me to work.’” Twitter, 22 June 2018, 7:21 a.m.,

2. Instagram

You can begin with the account holder’s name or username to cite an Instagram post. Then list the title of the photo in quotations, if it is given. Then, write a brief description of the picture if there is no title, but do not place it in quotation marks or italics. Then put the publisher, Instagram, in italics. Then list the other contributors if any (like the photographer, if it is different from the account holder), and then add the date and the URL.


Account holder’s username. “Photo Title” or Description*. Instagram, Other contributors, Date photo was published in Day Month Year format, URL.

Note: Make sure that if no title is available, you need to create a simple description and do not place it in quotation marks or italics.

For example:

@natgeo. “Path of the Panther.” Instagram, photographed by Carlton Ward, 16 June 2018,

3. Facebook

You can start with the account holder’s name or username to cite a Facebook post. Then list the title of the post, in quotations, if it is given. Then write a brief description of the post if there is no title, but do not place it in quotation or italics. Then list the publisher, Facebook, in italics, and then you need to add the date, time posted, and the URL.


Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time Stamp, URL. (Optional) Accessed Day Month Year.

For example:

GoatsofAnarchy. Loner Goats Become Stallmates and Fall in Love. Facebook, 25 June 2018, 9:55 p.m., Accessed 26 June 2018.

Social Media and Website Comments

Start with the commenter’s name or username while citing the comments left on social media or a website. Then follow the name with a period and then the words Comment on to indicate that you are citing a comment, which must be followed by the title of the source (for instance, the name of the article) within quotation marks. After that, you can write the title of the website in italics, and the publisher, if applicable. Then followed by the URL, permalink, or DOI, the date and time stamp are listed.


Use the Username or Commentor’s Name as the author’s name. Comment on “Title.” Publisher, Day Month Year, Time, URL.

For example:

Wester, Gary. Comment on “Climate Reality and I are headed to Berlin this June to train leaders who want to help solve the climate crisis.” Facebook, 2 May 2018,

How to Cite an Online Video MLA?

For example, YouTube/Online Video:

Using this example, the reference would be:

“Getting Started With Mendeley”. Youtube, uploaded by Mendeley, 3 Apr. 2014,

Concluding Thoughts

So we have seen the complete guide to MLA 8 (Modern Language Association, 8th edition) in-text and reference list citations. We hope that this easy-to-use, comprehensive guide will make citing any website simpler for you.
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