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Using Titles and Short Names Properly

This How-to applies to: 2.0

This How-to gives you a guideline for naming pages or other content types

All files in a Web site (Documents, Folders, Events, Images, etc.) have 2 kind of names:

  • A Short name, that is actually the last part of the URL (address) of the file or object,
  • A Title, a more "human" and meaningful name, that will be showed in the title bar and as the first heading of the page.

Plone generates automatic short names, based on the title, for newly created content. Spaces are replaced by hyphens and all letters are rendered in lowercase. This short name is then used to create the actual URL for the piece of content.

There could be many ways to write the title of the pages, but it is adviced to adopt one and stick with it. The proposed alternatives are:

  • Short URLs: a condensed name, normally descriptive of the page or section, in just one word. This should be written all in lowercase. The advantages of this are a shorter final url and a concise name. For example, the "About This Site" section (folder) could be named just about. Thus, the final URL will be This way is good for section/folder names.
  • Long URLs: a more descriptive name, still in the form of a URL. This is specially useful for articles and news, as it is difficult sometimes to reduce it to a single word. For example, the "Local Business Networks" page could be named local_business_networks, instead of just local.

Also, there could be several styles to write the names:

  • All lowercase, with underscores: for example local_business_networks. Descriptive, plus the search engines can make distinction between the _, so they can read each word.
  • All lowercase, all together: for example localbusinessnetworks. Easier to write but not to read.
  • First letter of words uppercase: for example LocalBusinessNetworks. Also could be Local_Business_Networks.

Some things to avoid:

  • All in UPPERCASE
  • Spaces between words
  • Symbols like ?, !, #, accents, etc. Use just plain letters and numbers and the underscore or hyphen.

If you need to Rename piece of content, please review the Renaming Guide first
by Roberto Allende last modified 2007-10-10 09:11
Contributors: ifPeople
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