Naming folders and files
It is important that the folders and files in your new site are organised in a way that
- correctly uses the format for naming folders and files
- accurately represents your site's IA
- makes sense to all web authors who may be working on the site, now or in the future
Web browsers allow for a prospective view that can influence how users navigate. As the user passes the cursor over a hypertext link, the destination URL appears at the bottom of the browser window, providing clues about the nature of that content. If files and directories have been carefully labelled, this prospective view gives the user context within the content hierarchy.
If you are creating a new site this is a good opportunity to get your folder and file structure correct. If you are converting a current site you can clean up your files and folders so that unlinked files or archival material can be sorted from what is up to date. See Website maintenance for details.
You will notice two folders already on your new site (at www.newdev.unisa.edu.au/*)
- Templates folder. This contains the three template types ready to be saved as files for your webpages
- images folder. Save all your images to the images folder so that you know where they are. If however you have a lot of images, you may want to create specific image folders, relevant to your folder structure eg if you have a folder called 'current' (Current students) containing files with lots of images in them, within this folder you might create another folder called images
When you name a folder or file, the following rules apply
- use only one word for the name, even if it consists of several words together ie don't use letter spaces
- use lower case
- use a dash instead of an underscore if the file name is long (an underscore is hard to detect once the name becomes a URL)
- use short words if possible, as this makes the URL simpler
Call the home page of your website 'default.asp'. The server thinks of a home page as a default document or index page of a website, because it's the file that the web server sends to a browser by default. Thus when a browser requests a URL with no particular file specified, the web server looks for a default document to deliver.
Using default.asp also shortens the url name. You can type in http://www.unisa.edu.au/wag/construct/ for example, and go straight to the site without having to type in default.asp (although it won't open up the left menu). Not using default.asp
Home page name in Menu Editor (the navigation tool)
When you build your menu in Menu Editor, you will give this default home page a title that is appropriate to its position in the menu as the first and main (level 1) heading eg if you are authoring a school site, you will probably call this page School of ... even though its URL is still default.asp.
You will want to create new folders in your new authoring site if you have more than one file under a submenu heading (level 2 heading). Do this as you normally would in FrontPage
- Select the address of your website in the Folder List (eg www.newdev.unisa.edu.au/*)
- Go to File, then New
- Select Folder
- A new folder will appear in your Folder List
- Select the folder and right click the mouse
- Select Rename
- Type in your new folder name and press Enter
Naming the index page
Each new folder's initial or index page should be called 'default.asp', like the home page. If the first file in your folder is called default, there will be fewer problems with conversion. Look at the diagram in Site structure for a clearer picture.
File names in Menu Editor
When you build your menu in Menu Editor, this default page for your folder will become the introduction to that folder (level 2) heading. So if the folder is named 'current', you may give the file the title 'Current students' while still retaining its URL address as current/default.asp. Other files under 'current' such as 'resources.asp' and 'specialisations.asp' will probably end up with titles such as ‘Resources for students’ and 'Program specialisations' to reflect how you want them to be viewed on the web. It is best to keep file names that will appear on the web as short as possible. For more details on this process go to Building your navigation menu.