System Names

When constructing system names, please adhere to the following best practices:

Where Do System Names Appear?

Pages

The System Name of a page is the name that appears online at the end of the URL (.html will be automatically appended during publishing). It is also the name that is displayed in the navigation panel in Cascade.

For example: The URL for a page with the system name “about” will be www.brandeis.edu/your-site/about.html

Other Assets

The System Name of a non-page asset — such as an image or PDF — will not be as visible to someone visiting your site, but a descriptive System Name still important for search engine optimization (SEO). It is also helpful to you as a web editor. 

Scannable System Names

Consider these two possible System Names. Which makes it easier to guess the content of the photo without clicking on it?

If you have an images folder with 30 images within it, a descriptive System Name like commencement-speaker-richardson.jpg allows you to scan the contents of the folder and find what you’re looking for faster.

Examples of Correct and Incorrect System Names

Correct Incorrect

nomination-form.doc

Nomination Form.doc
commencement.jpg Commencement 05_22_2016.jpg
students-studying.jpg IMG_34926.jpg
march-speaker-event.jpg SPEAKER EVENT.jpg

Numbers in System Names

Let's say you are creating a new page for an event. Should you use the year in the System Name?

In most cases, no. A year is usually not necessary in the System Name and can even cause problems in the future. If you are updating a page annually, you wouldn't want to have to change the System Name every year. Aside from being more work for you, renaming the page will break any links from other websites to your site. So whenever possible, avoid creating links that are too specific.

Examples: