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Best Practices for Organizing Website Files
December 1, 2017 •Stephanie Fisher
We've all had those frustrating moments when we're searching for that one elusive file buried within the catacombs of your folders that you just can't seem to locate. Or - heaven forbid - your boss is standing over your shoulder asking you to show him where you put the new image for your blog post, and it takes you at least 10 minutes to scroll through the file manager. (Doh.)
Thankfully, the solution to these predicaments is simple - organize your files. With a dash of commitment, pinch of dedication and a bit of your time, planning and keeping your important files in order becomes an easy job. Here are a few best practices to help you stay organized.
Creating file folders can provide an added level of organization by grouping your files into categories. Naming your file folders year-wise or topic-wise is completely at your discretion. But thinking how you will search for your files (then creating a category list from it) can help you reach the decision faster.
Give the folders clear and concise names. Names such as Miscellaneous and General can create ambiguity and make file searching arduous. On the other hand, specific names such as Images or Documents help you locate your files faster.
To further classify your files, and break them down to locate easily, you can create nested folders. Having multiple levels can help you track down the exact file you are looking for, and avoid the trouble of going through multiple files under one root folder. In the Images folder we referenced above, you might have nested folders named Landing Pages, CTAs, Blogs, and Emails so that you can put pictures in the correct folder for which they were used.
While multi-level folders, or nested folders, you can add a level of sophistication to your organization, having too many levels can also become cumbersome. So, wherever possible, keep the nested folders to a minimum of two or three levels.
Put files where they belong
After you have created your folder structure, your next task is to put files in their respective folders. If you are late to this game and are playing clean up (as opposed to offensively starting from scratch), have no fear. If you happen to use HubSpot, they make it easy to move files around without breaking links.
Go to Content, then click on Content Settings. On the lefthand side of the page, scroll down to and click File Manager. This will open a new window. Locate the file that needs to be moved. Off to the right, click the gear button and scroll down to Move. You can then select the appropriate folder and click the orange Move button to finalize. (See? I told you it was easy!)
"What's in a name?"
Every file you upload into your file manager has a name. But you can also add extra value assigning each file a unique title that will help make searching easier later. For example, if the image you uploaded is a picture of people strolling down the sidewalk, you might name it "walking."
Here are a few tips for naming files:
- Use hyphens between words (instead-of-spaces)
- Avoid special characters (!@#$%*)
- Shorter names are generally better
- Use a name that reflects the file/picture (i.e. "Shutterstock13826048563" won't be easy to find later)
These easy steps can help you stay organized and manage your files better, which in the end will save you time (and probably frustration).
Steph leads our client delivery team and is obsessed with delivering quality work, creating an efficiency machine, and mastering the tools and disciplines to achieve success for our heroes. At home, she loves listening to true crime podcasts, playing with her daughters and two pugs, and singing in a local rock band with her husband.
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