About System Names and Index Pages-Templates and CMS - Carnegie Mellon University

About System Names and Index Pages

System Names

Every page and folder requires a system name when it is created. A system name is what gets displays in the URL for a particular page or folder, and every page and folder must have its own unique system name within its parent folder. The CMS will automatically generate a system name when a new page or folder is created, however it is highly advisable that you override the default system name and assign one based on the guidelines listed below. System names are also an important factor in search engine optimization.

System Name Guidelines

  • System names should be all lowercase letters with no spaces or special characters (e.g., $,%,&). Please use only letters, numbers, and hyphens when creating system names.
  • If two or more words are used in the system name, use a hyphen (NOT an underscore) between words, such as "about-us" or "corporate-relations."
  • Select your words wisely. A system name should be short and concise and use only relevant keywords. If your page is entitled "How to Request an Appointment" in the main content area, a good system name would be "request-appointment" or simply "appointment." Omit words that are not relevant keywords.

Examples of Good System Names

Examples of Bad System Names

  • contact-us
  • staff-bios
  • programs
  • services
  • upcoming-events
  • index
  • services-and-programs-that-we-offer-at-cmu
  • Learn-About-Our-Staff
  • student_resources
  • hours_of_operation&location
  • Upcoming Events
  • Index

System names are accessed by selecting the item in the folder structure on the left, then clicking the Edit tab and then the System sub-tab.

System Names

About Index Pages

Give the First Page in Every Folder a System Name of index

You must give the first page in every folder a system name of index (all lowercase). Consider the index page to be the home page of the folder it resides in. Without an index page, folders will not be able to display its contents properly, nor will a folder show up as an item in the left navigation. Shown in the example below is the index page of the main website folder.  This index page will serve as the main home page of the website.

index page