I’ve always been fairly well organised when it comes to projects but up until recently, I haven’t had a standardised way of structuring my folders which occasionally leads to hunting for that piece of documentation that’s hiding in a folder buried deep in a directory structure. I’m now using a method that is consistent across all my projects and thought I’d share it here in the hope that it helps other web designers to manage their documents and graphics.
First, here’s the structure and then I’ll explain what kind of document or graphics I place where:
- Client Name
- 01 – Consultancy
- 02 – Information Architecture
- 03 – Content
- 04 – Branding
- 05 – Design
- Stock Photography
- 06 – Code
- 07 – Marketing
- Social Media
- 08 – Analytics
- 09 – Hosting
And you can get a copy of this directory structure by downloading my folder structure zip file so feel free to use it if it applies to your projects.
At the root level, I create a folder with the name of the client so that within that folder I can organise their work by project. This might not apply to all freelancers but I do work with some design agencies or companies who have a number of different websites so this helps to keep all their work in one place.
01 – Consultancy
This folder is to keep things organised at the beginning of a project and will contain documents like the Proposal and Contract. This may vary from project to project as simple PSD to HTML/CSS work is unlikely to need a proposal.
02 – Information Architecture
In most cases this simply includes a single document which contains the structure of the website, usually in an unordered list which would represent the site map.
03 – Content
If I’m going to be responsible for adding the content then this is where it all lives until it’s added to the website. Once the Information Architecture has been defined, I’d usually create a separate folder for each section of the site to keep things organised.
04 – Branding
This is where I like to keep all the files received by the client when discussing ideas about the look and feel of the site. So any fonts, branding guidelines or logo’s that the client currently has are dropped in here.
05 – Design
This is usually the folder that contains the initial bulk of the project work by myself. The graphic folder contained within here is where any creative work that I design live (including PSD layouts or wireframes).
06 – Code
07 – Marketing
Not applicable to all projects but occasionally there is a further requirement from a marketing perspective. This could be in the form of HTML email newsletters, SEO work or Social Media Marketing. The SEO folder that lives within here also contains an Analysis, Keyword Research and Link Building folder to keep other documents organised within the SEO process.
08 – Analytics
I’ve not actually used this as of yet but thought it would be handy for any landing page optimisation work and documentation and am sure that it’ll be of use on future projects that I’ve got lined up.
09 – Hosting
The hosting folder is purely for documentation and contains any information regarding the clients hosting details. For example, what domains they have, when they expire, what email addresses they have registered with these accounts, billing information etc.
I’m sure that as other pieces of work arrive, there will be things that I hadn’t thought of and I’ll need to adapt the structure a little but I think this provides a good starting point for a project.
I’d be interested to hear how other people organise their documents, images and code so please feel free to post any comments below.