Name your files properly

For referencing and for a good organization of our files, it is always better to have a good method of nomenclature. I therefore propose here some rules and tips for naming your files, whether your images or your .pdf, for better referencing.

  • Never use special characters! &, %, $, etc.
  • Never use accented characters! à, é, etc.
  • Never use spaces in your file name. Rather prefer a dash “-” or an underscore “_”.
  • If you plan several versions of your file, name it with the date according to the following pattern: YYYY-MM-DD. So if you sort alphabetically, you will have your files in chronological order.
  • Do not name a file for example: myfile-final.jpg. For the simple reason that if you’re making a new version of the file, you won’t want to name it myfile-truly-final-version.jpg 😉 Instead, prefer numbering eg: v01, v02, etc.
  • Try to name your files and images as accurately as possible, trying to insert keywords. Ex.: montreal-florist-specials-autumn2012-v01.pdf. This way you have more chances that your file will appear in search engines. The same applies for images.

Naming files in WordPress

In WordPress, you absolutely must name your files before uploading them into your site. Note that the name of your file corresponds to its URL: https://www.valprovost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/this-is-a-pdf.pdf.

Improve the SEO performance of your site

It is also important to give a title and an alternative text to your file when you insert it into WordPress. For an image, the title corresponds to the text that appears when you hold the mouse for a long time on the image. For a .pdf, it is the text on which you click to access the link. Alternate text is used by search engines and defines your file. The more information search engines have, the more relevant they consider your site…that’s important! It is also what is used to describe the image to a visually impaired user, so in the spirit of inclusiveness, it is also essential!

Only advantages 🙂

In short, not only for the organization of your files on your computer, but also to please search engines, it is important to keep a nomenclature structure for your files. The best thing is to set one and stick to it. It can also make life easier for someone who has to work on your site or if you have to share files with other users, everyone will find it much easier!

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