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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Any directory organization and file naming convention tips out there?

    I built a site for a non-profit a couple of years ago, maintain & update it, and as time goes by I realize I did not plan well for growth. I do small monthly updates and a major annual update. Each annual update I am retaining the previous years info for historical reference.

    My directories, files, & file names are not as well organized as I would like. I am wondering if there are conventions, tips, advice on setting up a site available somewhere.

    It's a table based site as that's what I knew how to build at the time. I am considering updating to CSS format as I learn how to position with CSS and figure this would be the time to straighten out the files.

    I am hoping to find some articles on basic directory set up for sites with planned archiving.

    (The site is www.aauw-vancouver.org)

    Thanks,

    Karin

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Based on what others seem to be using these days and what seems to be a common usage now, and also, because I like it too, I'll suggest the following.

    You should try and categorize things together into folders, for example, anything related to about the website I would stick in a folder called "about".

    The about folder could contain the following web pages for example:

    - about.html
    - sitemap.html
    - contact.html

    and then you could store all of yours images in a folder called "images" too.

    If you have a name like aboutaauw.html then you could change this to about-aauw.html perhaps.

    A lot of people used to use underscores like this: about_aauw.html but this seems to be going out of fashion now, and to be honest, from my view, it looks ugly.

    You can do some small changes to the web page layouts, one at a time, at a nice steady pace, gradually changing from a table-based website to a CSS based website, and try getting all the CSS in an external .css file.

    I think the best book for you would be Ian Loyd's book: http://www.sitepoint.com/books/html2/

    If you need some more help, anything at all, or need me to explain it better then message me or just reply here, I'll keep an eye on this topic

    Goodluck otherwise!

    Andrew Cooper

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the prompt response.

    That's the book I've been considering.

    As far as naming files go I have been inconsistent. I have decided to make sure everything is lowercase from now on. I have not used - or _ much. I do recall reading that this can help seo in that the words are clearer, I am not worried much about seo for this site but would like to know best practice. Is there any advantage to using - as opposed to _ other than preferring the look of one over the other? What about name length? I have found at other times that too long a file name can trip you up unexpectedly. Also too long a path name if a file is too deep in subdirectories. Any rules of thumb on file name/path lengths to keep in mind?

    I do have an images folder. As well as a docs and a photos folder. I think I should have had a separate newsletters folder. Or perhaps annual folders. This site is on the limited size free geocities host--as a charitable org they want to put their money towards their causes rather than hosting. I have already made a separate account for archived newsletters because I was reaching the limit on the original account. Event photos are also filling up space. I will need to eventually eliminate or move photos of older events. Are there any guidelines somewhere that help you think ahead when designing a site to plan so that as the site ages the old stuff is still available but not cluttering up the most current info?

    I have seen some schemes that have everything but the home page in a subdirectory. So the about page would be about/index.html rather than about.html. Is this a good idea?

    I do have a lot of categorized folders. I should have thought them through more carefully with an eye towards long term growth and maintenance. The site has evolved to be more complex than originally planned.

    I will get Ian's book. My first task will be to do a from scratch redesign of my family reunion site which I currently makes me cringe. From there I will update my other sites to CSS. I like their fronts, it is just the code I want to update on them.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Hi Karin! Sorry for the late reply!

    Is there any advantage to using - as opposed to _ other than preferring the look of one over the other?
    Well, I guess not really, however, Google prefer it:
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/doc...rter-guide.pdf

    It's best to keep the shortest URL name length, however, It depends whether you prefer to keep the site more organized or not. If you have over 25+ web pages in the website then having a file directory structure would be convenient, however, if it's something under say, 10 web pages then I guess you could all have them in the root directory where the index.html is stored.

    Are there any guidelines somewhere that help you think ahead when designing a site to plan so that as the site ages the old stuff is still available but not cluttering up the most current info?
    For this case, especially in your case, I would have an archive sub-domain such as: http://archives.website.com

    But in your case you could simply have another GeoCities account setup but link to the archives website from your main website.


    So the about page would be about/index.html rather than about.html. Is this a good idea?
    Fantastic idea. Go with the about/index.html or, even better, about/about-aauw.html

    I guess if you get some experience through practice and managing to memorize the syntax then you'll be fine in the long run. Just read through the book and see what happens It is worth it though.

    Hope it goes well!

    Andrew Cooper


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