Web Standards Directory Structure Guidelines

These guidelines are provided for naming and organizing files and folders on the development and production web servers.

Naming Conventions:

Names should be as meaningful as possible, without making them too long. For example, a page titled “job description” would be named “job-description.cfm.”

Directory names should consist of lowercase letters only, with no spaces. If words must be separated, use hyphens (ie. alumni-profiles).

Filenames should consist of lowercase letters only, with no spaces. If words must be separated, use hyphens (ie. payroll-schedule.cfm). File extensions should be html and cfm for ColdFusion pages.

Image names, especially those that reside within the root images directory, should be meaningful and follow the filenames convention listed above (ie. /_images/king-alfred-quad.jpg or /_images/au-catering-services.png).


All images used on a site should reside within the site’s directory's designated images folder (ie. academics/_images). The exception is except for original images (those not web-optimized) and graphic files.

  1. Originals, graphic files for designs, pngs and/or psds should be provided to the webmaster.
  2. Image navs, headers, back grounds, etc. should reside within the site’s images directory (ie. academics/_images/nav).

Rules for using images on more than one site:

If an image is going to be used throughout the whole website, on more than one site, it should reside within the root images directory (ie. htdocs/_images). For example, do not build a virtual tour page that contains image source to an image that resides in the academic directory.


 Video files should be given to the Web or Marketing Team to be upload to YouTube. Then it will be embedded on the webpage.


Pdf, xls and doc files go into a docs directory within a site directory and need to follow the filenames convention listed above (ie. admissions/_docs/gradapp.pdf). Documents about a site should not reside on the production server.


SQL databases will be generated on the development server for testing purposes.

File Archiving:

It is important to keep your sites and directories clean of unused files. The web team will be happy to archive any unused files for you. Files, images, etc. that are no longer needed should be archived. A CD of this directory will be burned every six months and filed by the Webmaster for one year. Files can be retrieved by the Webmaster as needed for up to one year. It is very important to keep our servers free of unused files, databases, images, etc.


Style sheets that are specific to a site may reside in the site’s includes directory (ie. community/includes). If style sheets are used for various sites, they should reside in the includes root directory (htdocs/includes). Those that reside in the includes root directory should have meaningful names in order to identify what they are being used for.


The includes directory contains the “google analytics include file” and css files.


This directory contains custom tags and other ColdFusion resources that programmers can use for their apps: cf_display, the cf_security library, etc. Files in this directory should not be modified. Programmers who make custom tags or other resources that go into this directory should follow the patterns of existing files: develop and test (including writing a readme.html if necessary) on the development server, and have them tested and approved by the Web Application Developer. They will publish as needed.

Cfdocs and Cfide:

These are directories created by the ColdFusion server; they should not be used.


If an application requires SSL, please notify the Webmaster to have this setup.

General Rules:

All directories must be kept “clean.”

Short URLS:

When a new site is created and people are going to be directed to it via a link on printed media and we want it to be short, the page that they will be directed to should be the index page within the directory. The server will automatically pick up the index page, whether it is named cfm or html. This will eliminate having to add a filename to the url. For example www.alfred.edu/student-life/index.cfm would become www.alfred.edu/student-life.

For printed media, it is suggested you do not include https://. It is not required and will shorten your URL by eight characters. You may also reach out to the Web or Marketing Teams for a branded mini URL to point to excessively long URLs on our servers.

Contact Information:


This document was created 5/30/03 by the Webmaster at Alfred University. Changes to this document should be requested of the Webmaster.

This document was updated 7/15/2019 by the Webmaster at Alfred University.