Title Site Organization Image


As you construct your website, it is very important that you continually keep in mind your site organization.  Believe me, a little planning and foresight will save you a lot of headaches later.  You might think it is easy to organize a website with only a single html page (It is.), but the planning gets more difficult when your site now consists of fifteen pages plus images.


For example, look at the file/directory structure of the simplest possible website, just a single html page.

Folders1 image

The next example also shows a relatively simple website that consists of an html page and an image.

Folders2 image

If you have more than one web page making up your website, then you might have a single index page and then all of your other web pages in a sub-directory.

Folders3 image

As your website gets more complex, you might consider dividing it into sub-sections with each sub-section corresponding to a part of your site.  It is always a good idea to keep all of your images in a single folder (Images, Pictures, Photos) on your site so that you do not have to go searching for an image whenever you want to use it.

Folders4 image

This was an earlier site plan for my Web Design Center website.  Then I decided to move all the Author.html, Credits.html and Test.html pages into a new directory (Details) so that only a single file (Design.html) is left alone as the home page for the site.  Note that all of the site images are in a specific folder (Images) so that I can use the images anywhere within the entire site.  The other folders actually correspond to the sections of my website.  (The names of the folders are the same as the links on my home page.)

Folders5 image

After moving some files around, my site organization now looked like this.  Note that some of the folders have internal folders which allows me to further group relevant pages together.

Folders6 image

This is an expanded view of the Definitions folder with its web pages and the internal sub-folder (Details); yes, you can re-use folder names.

Folders7 image


There are a lot of advantages to this kind of site structure:

  • similar-themed pages are grouped together making it easy to work with them
  • moving folders around, or changing names, is easy
  • If you name the folders right, you always know what page you are working with, and where that page fits into the overall site
  • Links can be easy.  You should use internal, or relative, links to link to any pages within your entire site folder structure; do not use absolute links.  Here are some examples to show the the difference.


    Relative Links image


    Note how much more complicated the absolute link is; that requires you to actually be able to remember URLs.  By using relative links to link internal pages, you can always easily move your entire site (sometimes the internal folders too) without having to redo all of the links; don't be surprised if you have to move your site from one server to another some time; don't be surprised if the url of your server changes.  Use absolute links to link to pages not a part of your entire site folder structure, such as to my professional home page,


    Absolute Link image

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For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu