Organizing Your Website with Folders
Teacher: Candice Pardue
Your Website will get out of hand fast if you don't organize your pages. I know because I've tried to design Websites without organizing. It was all fun until I had to find a page to make changes later. Quickly, I realized that a site without organization can become very cluttered and discouraging.
Your site will be more operable and pleasing to work with in the future if you'll take a couple of extra minutes when saving your pages to organize your files.
File Cabinet Method
Think of your "Open" box or "Save File" box as a file cabinet. It contains all the files that you yourself save to your hard drive. When you first start designing your Website, it will seem easy to keep up with all your files. You may only have 3-5 pages to begin with, but as you add pages, it will become more and more difficult to remember what's what in your files.
It's extremely important to organize your "file cabinet" from the beginning -- so start now.
First and foremost, your Homepage or main page should be called "index". You will find that most Internet sites have an "index" page, which is normally their starting page. The index page outlines your site and gives direction and description to your visitors.
Once you have your index page, you'll start designing other pages for your site. The examples below demonstrate my site's layout of categories. The bigger your site, the more categories will play a role in your "file cabinet".
Files Located in the First Level of My "Open" or "Save" Box:
(Asterisk represents yellow file folder.)
Notice that the "Articles" folder is an opening for many different article files. Instead of saving all articles that I write onto the same file level as my index page or home page, I place them all in the "articles" folder. This helps me to identify my articles right away.
Files Located in the Articles section of My "Open" or "Save" Box:
Okay. Each file in this section contains an article except the index.htm page. You're probably wondering why I have an index page in this section also. The index page in this section is the "main" page for my articles. This page outlines the article section by having each article categorized and a link to each article page.
I build an index page for each section that will have multiple pages. Another way to illustrate this is to think of a store catalog being suddenly transferred to the Internet. You'll have a homepage, categories, and probably sub categories. From the home page, you'll have a link to a catalog page with categories such as "Clothing". Under the "Clothing" section, you'll have a link to a "Men's Clothing", "Women's Clothing", "Children's Clothing", etc. Get the idea?
Here's what the basic "Open" or "Save" box on three different levels may look like for an Internet catalog...
Second Level (Under Catalog Folder):
Third Level (Under Clothing Folder):
You can see how organizing this catalog on the Internet offers simplicity and sensibility. Organizing your folders in this manner will do the same for your Website.
Just remember, each time you make a new Web page and save the page or "file" to your hard drive, stop for a moment and ask yourself, "Where will I remember to search for this page later if changes are necessary." Then you can save each page sensibly and make your Web design life a lot easier later!
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