There are many theories on how to best structure a site, but it suffices to say that it is best determined from the intent of the product or service and from the type of content. That is why this article will solely deal with a naming methodology for various sections and single content pages within any given web site. During the last decades, I have seen too many of these theories which end up being incomplete or at their best are too tricky to implement. I have used the following naming methodology on a great deal of small to large projects that contain very little content to projects that contain tremendous amounts. I am sure you will find the following solution simple and comprehensive.
There are only two main parts to this structure to remember. First, the number of two character digits ‘00’ is based on the number of ‘Editorial’ levels of navigation in a site. And by editorial I mean that there are a number of levels or sections in a site that define its basic structure. Second, the number of digits, i.e. ’00’ (a two digit number) is determined by the maximum number of sections or pages (at the content level) that the site has. As a note it is probably best to keep the number of digits as a constant, at least until the content pages level, to maintain simplicity.
The first two digits of the number represent the initial portal or URL index page. (e.g. 01 for Portal/Home) The secondary two digits represent the primary sections or navigation of a site. (e.g. 01 for Entertainment, 02 for Finance, etc). The third two digits represent the secondary navigation. (e.g. under Finance the results might be: 01 for Banking, 02 for Real Estate, etc). The fourth two digits represent tertiary navigation. (e.g. under Banking in Finance the results might be: 01 for Locations, 02 for Bill Payments, etc) So based on a preliminary site map we could then provide the naming of all the pages within a site right down to the individual content pages.
The complete editorial level scheme looks like this:
Now wasn’t that simple? Using this methodology as a springboard, one could alter it for just about any conceivable information structure that needs organizing. The end result will be a neatly ordered editorial sitemap or, if one used only the basics, a complete web site template structure.