Good File Naming Conventions

There are a number of good tips to keep in mind when you name your folders, files, and web pages. These tips will help to keep your URLs short and specific to what they involve. Good file naming will also help with search engine optimization.

  • Don’t include spaces or other punctuation in your folder or file name. If necessary, use dashes in this manner: “my-new-file.pdf”.
  • Try to keep your folder or file name short while still making sense.
  • Use key words.
  • Use lowercase.
  • Pick a filename and stick to it. Besides our CMS restrictions, not renaming your file will keep the file indexed by any search engines.
  • Try to avoid using years, version numbers, or other naming patterns that date a file. Maintenance is reduced and user experience is sustained when you can just overwrite the old file with the new one each year and keep the filename the same. However, for archiving purposes, different filenames may be important (e.g., FY09). To ensure that your new filename updates properly, please let the CMS team in University Marketing and Communications know when you change a filename.

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Uploading/Updating Files (PDFs, Docs, etc)

Let’s say that you would like to display a PDF, word document, spreadsheet or other file on your website. How do you do it? We have two options for this tutorial, a video and a text description. The video will appear first, followed by the text.

Video post: Creating a new File (PDF, Word Doc, etc) and linking to it

Naming Your File

The first step is to make sure your file is properly named. If you are uploading a file that is new to the CMS, you can name it whatever you like and create a new content item. If you upload the same document annually, consider giving it an overarching name the first time you upload it (e.g., fall.pdf). We have some guidelines to help you have good file naming conventions. If you are updating an existing content item, make sure the filename of the file you are uploading matches the filename of the old file. For instance, if the file on your website is called “fall-2009.pdf” then you should make sure that the file you are uploading into the CMS is called “fall-2009.pdf”.

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