CMS File Naming Guidelines is a resource to create website system names. Following these guidelines will increase searchability and consistency sites in the CMS. It will also help IT to provide a quicker response when troubleshooting your site. Please follow the guidelines whenever possible.

General File Naming Tips

Choosing a file name can be difficult. To help ensure consistency, please follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid using special characters when naming content types, folders, uploaded images, videos, and files. For example: ' " # % & + / : ; < > ( ) { } [ ] etc
  • Using special characters may result in broken images or links and can cause browser issues.
  • Use descriptive words when naming content types, folder, uploaded images, videos and files. Precise names will create higher searchability and quicker indexing.
  • Use lower case letters in all names.
  • Create strong, descriptive H1 headlines. Rather than a generic "Forms" or "Contact Us" use a more descriptive headline such as "Human Resources Student Employment Forms" or "Contact the Human Resources Staff."


Publish all stories and story-type content into your Stories directory. Please use the following guidelines when creating your system file name for all stories:

  • Avoid using leading articles in file names (e.g.," A Virginia Woman in History" you would not use "A" in the file name.)
  • Keep file names concise; avoid using unnecessary words, articles, etc.
  • For example, you want to add a story titled, “JMU Welcomes the Class of 2015.” Find the location within your Stories directory you want to place your content. Figure 1 provides an example of what your folder structure and system name might look like:

image of sample story directory in the JMU CMS

Figure 1. Story Folder Structure

  • Fill in the system name field with the file name for your story and follow this format: name-your-story.shtml

  • The above story appears as jmu-welcomes-class-2015.shtml. See Figure 2 for how this system name will appear in the CMS.

stories system name example in jmu cms system

Figure 2. Stories system name example


    The Events folder structure will vary slightly from the folder structure for Stories.

    Place all Events in the folder named, "Events." The Events folder will have year and month sub-folder.

    Please follow this format when creating your system name for events: day-event-name.shtml.

    • There's a Madison Brass Concert scheduled for February 28, 2012. First, find the 2012 folder and then the folder named “02”, then name the event 12-madison-brass-concert.shtml.
    • If you have multiple events scheduled for the same day, include the time in your file name. Follow this format when creating your system name for multiple events: day-time-event-name.shtml.
      • For instance if there are two Madison Brass Concerts scheduled for February 28, 2012 with one starting at 11:30am and one starting at 1pm, your system names will be 28-1130am-madison-brass-concert.shtml and, 28-1pm-madison-brass-concert.shtml.

    Screen shot of Events folder structure example in the JMU CMS.

    Figure 3. Events directory example



    Similar to Events, place News items in your "News" parent folder. Within the News folder there will be folders by year and month — just like Events. Please follow this format when creating system name for your news content: day-title-of-news-item.shtml.

    Figure 5 is an example of what it might look like in the CMS directory.

    image of news directory example in JMU CMS

    Figure 5. News Directory Structure

    • The month and day will reflect the date the news items being published. For example, you have a news item titled "JMU CMS Training Scheduled for March 21st" and you published the article on March 8, 2012 your system name will be 08-jmu-cms-training-scheduled-march21st.shtml.


    Regardless of the type of profile you're creating you'll use the same naming conventions and place each profile in their prospective folder within the parent "Profile" folder.

    • Follow this format when naming your profile: last name-first name. For example, James Madison's profile would be titled "madison-james."
    • Use all lowercase letters.

    Image of how to create a system name for profiles in the JMU CMS

      Figure 6. System name for profiles.

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