Organizing Web Folders and Data

This guide provides standards for keeping your web folders and data organized on the webserver.

To begin with, every department has a root folder where all webpages and web documents are stored. The information in the root folder and its sub-folders is accessed via web URLs by  visitors to the site. Content authors can save themselves a lot of trouble by keeping their web folders organized in an orderly fashion.

All folders with html files within them require an index.html file

When creating the first webpage in a folder or a sub-folder please name the webpage index.html. This is the first page the webserver loads when a visitor visits a folder or a sub-folder without using a page reference to .html. For example, consider the following scenarios:

  1. Content author has created a sub-folder inside their admissions folder named forms. For visitors to access the folder forms they would go to: In the absence of an index.html file, the visitor would see a 404 missing page error.
  2. Same scenario as above, but this time the content author has created a webpage inside the forms folder called contactus.html. This would work fine when visitors visit But when they click on the forms breadcrumb, they would get a missing 404 page error since there isn't an index.html file present.

Please note: If a folder is an images holding folder or a documents holding folder then an index.html file would not be required since visitors will not need to browse to those folders for html files. In other words only folders hosting html files are required to have an index.html file within them.

Organizing your Root Folder

How you organize your folder would aid you in the long run in finding things easily. As a general rule of thumb there should be a "documents" and an "images" folder in the root directory where you would save all your documents and images. You could further organize your data within these folders by creating sub-folders that represent the information within. 

As an example consider the admissions office which has admissions as their root folder. Admissions also are in charge of SWARM and host the SWARM pages from within the admissions folder. Their folder structure may look something like this:

Organizing Web Folders

Creating sub-folders for other sub-departments

If your department has other sub-departments please ensure that those sub-departmental Webpages are created within their own sub-folders.

As an example consider the Center for Student Involvement (csi). The root folder for csi on the Webserver is csi. CSI has many sub-departments or student organizations that are further divided into folders for each of the sub-departments. The concept is better explained by the illustration below.

Organizing Sub-folders

Please Note: We haven't created folders for documents and images within the sub-folders. This is because we are assuming all content authors have permissions from root folder to everything within. In cases where content authors only have access to their sub-folders they should create their own documents and images folder within their sub-folders.