William & Mary

What’s in a (System) Name?

A lot, actually. Especially when it comes to your image and document file names. This is the point of a recent post about naming your web files by Donna Lehmann(great find, Kathy L.). I’ll hit the highlights here, but we recommend reading her post for more detailed (and fun) explanations and examples.

Why should you care?

  • people see your file names
  • search engines (try to) read your file names
  • down the road you or your web successor will not know what IMAG3569.jpg is

Master your system names:

  • be specific and use keywords (humans and search engines will thank you)
  • don’t use spaces between words (browsers hate them and will insert a %20 in their place)
  • use dashes (-) to separate words
  • use lowercase (yes, it matters)
  • check your spelling

If your interest is piqued about simple ways to improve your web content, check out the Searchability section of our Web Writing & Style Guide for more best practices.