Naming sections in Site Manager

Structure and navigation

Sections in Site Manager are built as components of a tree structure, similar to the folder structure you use to navigate around in My Documents on a PC, which reflects the final structure of the website. Instead of folders, Site Manager has sections which broadly correspond to web pages, and these may either stand alone or contain sub-sections.

Uses of section names

  1. Navigation labels: The section structure generates the navigation structure of the website, so in choosing section names you are determining the navigation labels used.
    Comparison of site structure in Site Manager and the navigation it generates on the published web page
  2. Page titles: The section name is also used for the page title that appears in the title bar at the top of the browser window when people view your pages. These then appear in search results lists as the title of each item.

Naming sections

The name you give your section will appear as a navigation menu item (both in the main left hand navigation and in the breadcrumb trail at the top of your pages), as the page title that appears in the blue bar at the top of a browser, and in the page’s web address. It therefore needs to function as a clear and concise signpost to your page content.

  • Choose a label that clearly and accurately reflects the content of the page.
  • Be as conciseas possible whilst still making sense.
    • Navigation labels need to be clear and concise to provide effective signposting, so the user of the site can easily identify the information they are looking for at a glance while scanning the menu.
    • As a page title too, it helps if the label can be short but meaningful, and stand on its own as an indicator of the page content. It will appear in the reader’s navigation history (accessed through the back and forward buttons), taskbar and favourites, so it needs to make sense without the rest of the web page.
  • Use your readers’ language.
    • Include a key word or phrase your users will be looking for, but ensure the name remains concise and easy to understand at a glance as a navigation label.
    • Avoid abbreviations in section names unless you can be certain your readers will understand them.
    • Don’t use internal jargon or technical terminology if many of your users won’t know what it refers to. Use terms your users will understand.
  • Be direct in your labelling to signpost your content clearly. Don’t try to be clever, cool or witty with your section names; it doesn’t impress website users, and they won’t be keen to check your page just to see what it’s all about and if it’s relevant to them.
  • Style:
    • You should use sentence case for your section names, i.e. only capitalise the first word, unless the name is also a proper name, such as the title of an academic unit or service, or a programme title.
      eg ‘Services and support’ is sentence case for a page on support services generally, but ‘Students’ Guild’ is written in title case for a page about the formally titled ‘Students’ Guild’, since it’s a proper name.
    • Ensure you use any standard naming conventions listed in the University house style for consistency.
  • Ideally your main page heading should be the same as your section name in order to match the navigation link people will click to arrive there. Do not use a completely different heading from the section name you choose, although you may expand on the section name in your heading if this helps you to keep your section name short.

    Example:

    For example, the navigation label ‘Business’ as a sub-section of ‘Alumni networks’ in the Alumni and supporters website has a page heading of ‘Business School Alumni Association’.
    The section name is 'Business' which generates the navigation label. The main page heading uses a longer description of the page content, but is still related to the navigation label.

Web page address

  • Your section name will also be used as the default folder name in your page’s web address, often referred to as its ‘URL’ (Uniform Resource Locator) or ‘URI’ (Uniform Resource Indicator). T4 will automatically generate thi from the section name, putting more than oe word into one ling folder name without spaces. But if you need to use several words in your label, it makes sense to shorten your folder name to avoid ending up with a lengthy URL, especially if you will want to publish the URL in printed material. You can shorten these using the ‘Output URI’ field in your General section tab. So the section name ‘Research excellence: Arts, humanities and social sciences’ in the Postgraduate Study site has been shortened in the final URL by making the Output URI ‘arts’:

    The section name field on the General tab of your section in Site Manager with a corresponding Output URI field that shortens the section name to make a cleaner folder name to be used in the URL for the page.
    The page that appears in the Postgraduate Study site at Home > Studying > Postgraduate study > Interdisciplinary research > Research excellence: Arts, humanities and social sciences would generate the URL

    www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/postgraduatestudy/interdisciplinaryresearch/researchexcellenceartshumanitiesandsocialsciences

    But by using the Output URI field in all the sections concerned to shorten each folder name, the shortened URL www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/arts/ has been generated instead.