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System Names: Avoid Poor Naming Constructs

Dates and Timestamps

Do not use a date or timestamp in your System Name, unless you will need multiple versions of your content at any given time (e.g. two different application periods must be available to fill out, news articles). 

If you do need to include a date or timestamp, consider how that will be used on your website:

  • If you need to your time-based content in numerical order, use the format YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD and then append any additional name or subject matter as necessary (e.g. 2016-02-29-open-records-requests-increase).
  • If you need multiple versions of your content, make it easy to find your content by using the name or subject matter first and then the timestamp or period (e.g. marine-biology-app-fall-2016.pdf, marine-biology-app-2017.pdf). These typically do not include specific dates, just months, semesters, and/or years.

Make sure you always remove your old files, or they will keep the higher ranking in the search results and confuse your constituents.

Edits and Revisions

Do not use edit, revision, or update verbiage in your System Name. Internal business processes should not be made available to the public. This makes replacing files and keeping them up in SEO rankings very difficult, essentially starting the process all the way over. You should use generic names, so it is easy to replace your content when it needs updating. The following are examples of what to avoid using:

  • marine-biology-app-rev-2016-02-29.pdf
  • scuba-diver-CROPPED.jpg
  • corralreefinstructions (Updated 2016.02.29).doc
  • dolphins-are-smartEDIT.pdf

Make sure you always remove your old files, or they will keep the higher ranking in the search results and confuse your constituents.

Using Content for Web

While you may need to separate your content on your computer to assist you in determining what will be used on your website, the name of your file should not reflect internal business processes (e.g. marine-biology-app-for-web.pdf). Instead, just make a web folder on your computer using the proper naming conventions for files. Make sure the file on your computer uses the appropriate naming conventions for files, otherwise you will not be able to replace the file inside Cascade - rename the version on your computer first.