A critical piece of working with a web site is understanding the organization and location of the files involved. Even for a small, personal web site to be effective, the designer should know the purpose and relation of each file to the others.
Types of Files
|HTML, HTM, SHTML, PHTML||Text content files which form the base of what a visitor will see.|
|GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG||Pictures or graphics used to decorate a web site.|
|FLA, SWK||Animation files for movement and display content.|
|RM, MOV, WAV, WMA, WMV||Audio and Video files|
- Directory Index - the file displayed when a visitor goes to a website. For instance, when a visitor goes to http://www.valdosta.edu/, they actually see the content of http://www.valdosta.edu/index.shtml/. Use index.html for the file name of the page you want to display when someone visits your site.
A good web site has an effective navigational structure which allows the visitor to quickly locate the information they seek. Many web site design books cover this topic in depth.
A good organization of the files will do the same for the web site maintainer. If the developing or making updates to the web site cannot easily determine which file is which, making updates to the web site force the designer to sift through potentially hundreds of files to locate which one should be edited.
- Group related files into folders. For example, you might create and images folder and place all of your pictures and graphics there. They might be sub-categorized into friends, family, trip to London, etc.
- Name files for their purpose. Naming a file a1.html does not provide a clear meaning. Naming it resume.html lets one know it probably is a resume.
- Save a copy before you modify. By having a copy of the file before you change it and something bad happen, you can restore your change easily on your own. While IT does have backups, restoring the backup takes significantly longer.
- Archive bad or duplicate versions. Remove from the web server those versions of the web page which contain bad or old information.