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Patterns for Personal Web Sites

Guessable Urls

Occasionally a visitor will try to find something on your site by guessing its URL. If your URLs are obscure, visitors' attempts to guess them will always fail.

Obscure URLs also make maintenance harder. Does rec/bklst2.html refer to 2 recreational bikes, the second page of a backlist of recordings, or a list of books received in 2002? When your site grows into dozens of pages, it becomes increasingly difficult to associate cryptic names with specific pages.

Therefore, make your URLs simple enough to guess, and to remember.


  1. Use one style of file & directory names (e.g., lowercase.names.with.dots, or BumpyCase).

  2. Keep your directory structure simple, with no more than two levels of subdirectories. This helps you keep to a Three Jump Maximum.

  3. Let your directory structure mirror your site structure. This reinforces visitors' mental map of your site.

Last updated 8 July 2003
All contents ©2002-2003 Mark L. Irons