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Web Site Organization Recommendations

There's more to creating a website than just posting files and creating links. You will also be responsible for designing and organizing your website. Design can vary from the most simple designs to the most complex and every web site designer has their own preferences for organization.

The most important thing you can do is to keep a complete backup of your website on your own computer. If something happens to the server, you won't lose any of your files. It is recommended to use the files on your computer to make your edits, then upload those files to the server as you make changes.

The following recommendations were taken from Elizabeth Castro's book titled "HTML 4 For the World Wide Web."

Site Design

  1. Think about the purpose of your page. What are you wanting to share with your readers?
  2. Think about who your readers will be. What is the best way to communicate with them?
  3. How many pages or sections will your site need to have? What sections do you think your readers will want to see first?
  4. If you're artistic and want to design your own site, you can sketch it out on paper. If you're not a designer, you can do a Google search for "Free HTML Templates" and select a design. If you use a template, remember that most templates require you to keep the design and copyright credits for the original template designer at the bottom of the page.
  5. Figure out a naming system for your files. Remember, these sites are intended to be shared for many years to come so make sure you name your files in such a way that the next CC will be able to tell what is what.

Site Organization

  1. Your webserver will have a central directory, it's recommended to keep your website in a subdirectory (folder) titled with your county name. Ex. (if you use the shared server for Indiana, the subdirectory will be created for you.)
  2. Create your subdirectories. Each section of your website should have it's own subdirectory. For example, if you have a link for Vital Records, you should have a subdirectory (folder) titled "Vital Records." If the Vital Records section has birth, death and marriage records, you will probably want to have a subdirectory (folder) for each of those record types.
  3. Many websites have a separate directory for images, this keeps your image files separated from your HTML files.
  4. Some browsers have a hard time reading spaces, so if you have a multiple word directory you can separate the words with underscores. Example: tech_help.html rather than tech help.html


Castro, Elizabeth (1998). HTML 4 for the world wide web. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.

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