Documents & Files

Best Practices

Occasionally, you'll need to post a link to a document or file. This should be done sparingly in most circumstances. When posting files for people to download, our main concern should be for the user experience:

  • Will users need special software to download the file?
  • Will users have the correct version of that software?
  • How much of the user's data plan gets eaten up by downloading the file?

Types of Content

The type of content you have will determine how/if you should post it:

  • Office documents the user will need to edit
    Export the document in the OpenDocument format. This will allow users to open the document in whatever word processing or spreadsheet application they have, instead of restricting them to the version of Office that was used to create the documents.
  • Office documents the user will need to print
  • Meeting minutes, agendas, reference materials, etc.

    If you wish to share a set of documents such as meeting minutes, agendas, archived newsletters, etc., you can link to your Binghamton Google drive account. There, you can organize your content into folders and control access and permissions.

    The website is not a file share server

    The University's website is a public-facing site, meant to provide information to a broad audience. The web server is a poor place to act as a file share. Only upload files that are directly related to the context of the content on the page.

  • Newsletters, brochures, fact sheets, posters, etc.

    These were meant to be professionally printed (not displayed on the web or printed by the user) and are time-sensitive (most are outdated within a year). If there is valuable information in these pieces, you should create a webpage to present the data.

Dated files become out-dated files: Don't date your files

Don't name your files with dates like Scholarship_Application_2014.pdf. Simply title the file Scholarship-Application.pdf. If and when you have a new version to post, give it the same title and overwrite the old version. This prevents old copies from being found and prevent links from becoming broken.