Website File Name Convention

Are file names important?

Human readable file name

Naming a file that best describes the file and maybe has keywords for SEO is important, that’s all we need to know?

 

File Name for SEO

The most obvious rule is to have a short description so people (and yourself) know what the file is when viewing it in a file list.

 

Avoid special characters

Include keywords that search engines could use to index your file in relation to searches

 

The best file name to use

Although some special characters are allowed on many computers and file systems, these characters can cause problems when managing a website.

Spaces are a problem as some website systems will convert these replacing them with another character such as a hyphen. This can then cause problems as the filename is different in the media library from what is listed in the code and the file is not found or recognised.

Although this can cause issues generally, the problem can become most apparent when importing your old website to a new upgraded version. Filenames with special characters could be renamed during import resulting in many missing images and documents on your new website. Years of badly named files resulting in a headache and hours of work best avoided by keeping to simple rules.

It is easier to describe the best filename convention to use without listing all the special characters to avoid and the technical reasons why.

As mentioned above use words to best describe the file with SEO-friendly keywords.
Although capital letters can be used these have also been found to cause problems, it is safest to keep to lower case characters.
Avoid spaces and special characters, although hyphen and underscore can be used in place of spaces which helps to make the filename human-readable and good for SEO.

When saving a file or when supplied with images or documentation from third parties, ensure the file name is correct.

Examples:

The file has capitals spaces, brackets with abbreviations.
VPF Specs VD700020 VD700035 VD700037 VD700115 VD700120 (SCF).pdf

Rename the file to.
valour-paint-specifications-vd700020-vd700035-vd700037-vd700115vd-700120-scf.pdf