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number of characters in filename

how many?



7:38 pm on Aug 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


when I started on my first web site a couple of years ago, I read that it was safest to keep filenames no longer than 8 characters (not including the .html)

This was because longer filenames were not supported by some platforms.

I have happily been sticking to this rule - just in case - but now that I am getting into search engine optimisation, and the advice here is to put keywords into filenames, I find myself with a problem.

Just what is the rule about filename length? Most sites seem to happily have filenames like 'my_long_filename.html'

It's pretty hard to include keywords when you have to stick to no more than 8 characters!


7:52 pm on Aug 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You can go pretty far. Longest URL in characters I have is 81, including protocol command. I think the 8 character rule was for old systems that truncated file names with a ~ , don't think you have to worry about that in the Internet world.


2:44 pm on Aug 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's a little tidbit...

For Win98, the file's full path name--the drive, folder, and file name--can't exceed 253 characters.



3:13 pm on Aug 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

With macintosh versions below OS 9 the limit is 31 characters...including the extension.

This may be a factor if you will be having others (on macs) working with the site in the future.


5:38 pm on Aug 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks everyone

Thats reassured me a lot

I don't work with a mac, but I will make sure to keep filenames well under 31 just in case I do in the future - if that 31 figure includes the .html then I would have to be 26 characters max for the actual wording of the file - is that correct?

How old is OS 9? Is it safe to assume that in a couple of years time nobody will be using that - if that is the case, I won't worry about it - I can't see me using a mac anytime in the near future

After reading other posts here, related to SEO, I don't think I will be anywhere near the limit for the total URL - the general advice seems to be that shorter URL's are better for search engine placement.

However, there does seem to be a large difference of opinion about how long URL's can be before search engines penalise you

So I know that I could happily have a total URL of 80-90 characters length - technically - but would I want to?



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