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As you create files for the Web, understanding the rules governing their naming is vitally important. If your files are not named correctly, certain pages might become inaccessible or just not work properly. Remember that Web pages contain links to other Web pages and assets. If file naming isn't handled correctly, your site's functionality can really suffer. Fortunately, the rules for Web file naming conventions are pretty easy to follow. First, don't use any spaces in your file names. If you have a file that is longer than one word, use an underscore or hyphen to separate those words.
Most Web servers will allow file names with spaces, but when the link is resolved, the special character %20 is used in place of the space. This is really messy, and can lead to a lot of confusion when sending links or displaying URLs. Second, shorten the file names when you can. Rather than aboutus.htm, how about just about? Shorter names are easier to remember and make URLs easier for clients to type. Next, avoid using special characters, no dollar signs, no exclamations points, forward or backslashes, question marks, periods or any other special character or punctuation.
Many of these symbols are used to denote things like directory structure, URL parameters, or other meanings that you could just unwittingly trigger. Numbers are okay to use in file names, just avoid using them as the first character. Also, avoid uppercase letters, if possible. Most Web servers won't care, but some UNIX servers are case sensitive, and links could not be resolved correctly even ifspelled correctly. When using extensions, just be consistent. For non-dynamic Web sites, it's okay to use either .htm or .html.
To avoid having to worry about it, you can set up a default extension in Dreamweaver's preferences and Dreamweaver will resolve the extension for you.
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