Using The Right File Naming Convention In Web Design

Selecting a name for a file would seem like a trivial matter to most novices, but in reality good filenames serve to ease the web design process and overall file maintenance as well.

Web design in particular requires good file naming conventions to be employed if it is to be smooth at all.

This makes understanding the importance of good filenames a must for beginners and professionals alike.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to having good filenames is that it makes website maintenance all the more easier.

Vague filenames pose a difficult and unnecessary task to the hapless webmaster that needs to locate the specific files to be able to do edits and updates.

This problem is magnified if the website happens to be a largish one.

In order to prevent doing frantic searches that waste time, descriptive filenames must always be used.

the importance of file naming conventions in  web design

the importance of file naming conventions in web design

Descriptive File Names

Descriptive files give the user an idea of what the files contain at a glance.

By scrolling down a list, the webmaster will have no trouble finding the right file for his needs without resorting to accessing each file individually.

Making filenames as concise as possible is also recommended for easier file indexing.

The trick is to shorten it enough for easy memorizing, but not enough to destroy the essence of its description.

To accommodate individual files of the same type, a short text differentiating it from its fellows should be appended to the filename.

For instance, a group of files about poetry can be named using the generic word grouping,


To differentiate which is which, another word can be affixed to Poetry.

The filename for a poem about love will then read,


This style of file naming can come in handy in files within a specific page.

However, more varied content will require a more sophisticated way of doing this.

Using Folders

A good way to name files of varying content is to create one folder for each group of related files.

This is like making a subdirectory within the entire file directories.

Using the example above, the files about poetry can be included in a specific poetry folder, to separate it from, say, files that contain essays, which are contained in their own essays folder.

Folders provide a way for the user to shorten filenames considerably, since the subdirectory and directory will have already described a great deal about the individual file.

It should be noted, though, that the shorter the name doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best one for any given file.

Special consideration should be given to making an online file, or more appropriately its link, search engine-optimized.

It is therefore recommended to repeatedly use the target keyword for the file topic.

This means that the keyword should not only appear several times in the text body, but it must also appear once in the filename itself.

Search engine web crawlers will then rank the webpage the link appears in as a more relevant choice whenever a search for the target keyword is made by a user.

The file format is important, too.

HTML files can use the .htm extension, but .html can work also.

Both extensions identify the file as HTML coded, although the shorter one is more commonly used since it is simpler.

There are various types of files occurring online, each with their own descriptive extension names.

Using the incorrect extension names may pose page load problems, so it is important that filenames be named properly with the right extensions.

Page loading errors are usually the result of not using the correct ones, so modify accordingly.

Be careful in everything that has to do with files in a website, because there is always the chance that a file can get deleted inadvertently while working with it.

No file is entirely foolproof enough to avoid such a scenario, so good sense on the part of the file editor is essential.

Losing files, even a single one, can spell the difference between a website’s success and failure.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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