Best Practices in Naming Assets | File Naming Do’s and Don’ts

The following two lists encapsulate many of the best practices of asset naming conventions. As with any such lists, they aren’t so much hard and fast rules but general principles that should guide your practices.


• Create fully descriptive file names that replicate either what the graphic, page or document is saying or create a symbolic name, which describes what the file actually is and/or its purpose.
• If your file is a HTML file, and includes a <title> tag included in the file, and keep both the title and the file name the same, except for removing punctuation and replacing spaces with underscores, and so on.
• Use underscores to separate words and avoid hyphens.
• Keep all file names lowercase.
• Add titles to your HTML documents, using Dreamweaver’s Title field in the Toolbar.
• Most importantly, whatever file naming system you choose, be consistent.


• Use acronyms.
• Shorten filenames.
• Create filenames only you can understand.
• Don’t use spaces or merge words together.

There are a few exceptions where you might not want to keep the file names descriptively long, such as downloadable files, including ZIP, HQX, SIT and PDF file types. These files don’t always need to have the same naming system as your site, but you have to ask yourself if it isn’t such a bad idea to name these files in a similar fashion. Even if somebody with an old PC downloaded long file names, these would be truncated to an 8.3 name anyway.