Website File Management is a group of tasks that are invisible to website visitors but play an important role in website management.
Each department or office website is a subfolder of the larger ATU website and those folders contain three types of files:
- Webpage files (.pcf, .php) - How to create a new webpage
- Document files (.pdf, .docx, .ppt, etc.) - How to add a document to your site
- Image files (.jpg, .png) - How to add a photo to your website
- Some websites contain a fourth file type: media files (.mp4, .mov) - Note: with the university's installation of Kaltura for media hosting, it is recommended that departments and offices host media files there, rather than directly in their website folder. Refer to How to embed a Kaltura video and How to embed a YouTube video for instructions regarding how to add externally-hosted videos to their websites.
Each file type has a specific storage location in your website's folder, where OU Campus allows those file types to be uploaded.
- Webpage files go in the main folder of your site. Your main folder is /sitename, for example, /reslife or /finaid.
- Document files go in the /docs folder of your site. For example, /reslife/docs or /finaid/docs
- Image files go in the /images folder of your site. For example, /reslife/images or /finaid/images
Folder permissions have been set to allow only certain file types to be added to certain folders. This is to help make sites easier to manage by separating files into categories. If you find you receive a "Blocked Extension" error when trying to upload a file, it is due to these restrictions. Refer to Blocked Extension in OU Campus Upload Window to see specific instructions for uploading documents in their correct locations.
Over the course of time, files become outdated and are replaced with new files. It is recommended that when website editors upload a new document to replace an old one that they also move the old file to the Recycle Bin. Refer to How to delete files for instructions.
It is important to delete old files because even though files are not linked anywhere, search engines can still find them. Search engines prioritize length of time indexed, so old files will rank higher than new ones. If a website visitor searches for a form or document for example, and multiple versions are in your site's /docs folder, then the search engine will pull all of them and it will not be immediately obvious to the visitor which file is the correct version.
Images & Media
It is important to delete unused image and media files because these take up storage space. Images and media files are large file types and accumulating large files slows down the response time of the entire website.
- Once per year - go through your /docs and /images folders and Recycle Bin any files that are out of date or not in use
- Once per year - go through each webpage in your site folder and Recycle Bin any files that are not linked to other pages. Refer to How to check your site for orphaned files for more information.
- Every upload - make sure any new documents you upload are accessible. Refer to How to make an Accessible Document for instructions
Proper file management helps your content remain current and rank higher on search engines. It also reduces the number of files website editors have to sift through when looking for specific files. Visitors will have an easier time finding your content and you will have an easier time managing your website.