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Website basics

  • Website structure - folders and pages

    A website consists of a number of folders and pages inside the parent or root folder of a website. The root folder is usually the domain name of the website, e.g. uoit.ca.

    Folders determine the sitemap or page hierarchy of the website. Folders themselves do not display any content - they are only used for creating hierarchy and organizing content into logical subsections. Much like the file path of a document on your computer, folders are indicated by a forward slash “/” in the path or URL. A folder within a folder (a subfolder) denotes a menu subsection. 

    In order to display content within a folder, a page is required. A page always has the file extension “.php” (this extension is hidden in the CMS sidebar).

    A page with the file name “index.php” indicates that this page is the landing page for a folder or menu subsection. Each folder MUST contain a landing page. This is because a URL ending without an extension, such as “uoit.ca/about”, is equivalent to “uoit.ca/about/index.php”. If a landing page does not exist in a folder and a user navigates to the folder URL, no content will be displayed and there will be a page error. 

    For example:

    Graphic indicating website folder and page structure, explained in the text below

    • "uoit.ca" is the root folder of the website
    • "about" is a subfolder or menu subsection of the root folder
    • "uoit.ca/about" and "uoit.ca/about/index.php" are equivalent – the "about" folder does not display any content, so it requires a landing page named "index"
    • a folder can contain multiple child pages – "siblingpage.php" is a sibling of the "about" landing page
  • CMS folder structure

    In the CMS sidebar, the parent or root folder of your website will either be the Base Folder or the folder that is a direct child of the Base Folder

    If your website publishes out to a domain like "yoursitename.uoit.ca", then the root folder of your website will be the Base Folder.

    If your website is a microsite and publishes out to a domain like "sites.uoit.ca/yoursitename", then the root folder of your website will be the folder "yoursitename" which is a direct child of the Base Folder

    Folders beginning with an underscore, such as "_internal", are system folders that you will not need to edit. If you have publishing access in the CMS, you may need to occasionally publish the "_files" folder – this folder contains the navigation menu, which is published separately from the main content of the page.