Creating SharePoint Sites, Lists and Libraries with Short, Technical Names

Introduction:

You may not think that it’s important to create your SharePoint parent or sub-site or list or library with a short, technical name followed by updating it after inception, with the proper title. However, once you begin using URLs to hyperlink text or images from communications, presentations or anything else, you’ll soon learn that the longer the URL, the more difficult (or impossible) it is to work with it.

Example of Long URLs within SharePoint:

This is just an example of what you want to avoid when creating your sites, lists and libraries (in this case, a SharePoint list from a sub-site of a parent site):

  • Rapid eLearning Content Specifications
    LinDion%20Services.sharepoint.com/Rapid%20eLearning%20Sub%20Site/Lists/Rapid%20eLearning%20Content%20Specifications/

Notice above, the long URL of the aforementioned list from a sub-site of a parent site and the ‘%20’ characters (which represent spaces) within the URL; below depicts where this list sits:

  • LinDion Services (LinDion%20Services.sharepoint.com) – Level 0
    • Rapid eLearning (Rapid%20eLearning%20Sub%20Site) – Level 1
      • Rapid eLearning Content Specifications (Rapid%20eLearning%20Content%20Specifications) – Level 2

What’s not technically wrong with this practice, within SharePoint?

There’s nothing wrong with the fact that the Rapid eLearning Content Specifications list is within the Rapid eLearning sub-site, from the LinDion Services parent site.  Using SharePoint, there’s nothing wrong with the URLs – the list, list items, attachments from list items, sub-site, and parent site will function just fine.

What could go wrong with this “long URL” practice?

The issue you’ll encounter with this practice of creating parent, sub-sites, lists and libraries without short, technical names (rather creating them, at inception, with the long titles) is that the deeper the sub-sites and lists, libraries and content within become, you’ll still be able to share full links (long, “ugly” URLs) to these items but, when you try to hyperlink text or images pointing to deep locations within your SharePoint site, you’ll run into the 255 character issue.

  • You cannot hyperlink text or images with a URL that is longer than 255 characters.

The example above doesn’t reach the 255 character limit but it will, the deeper you go, if you continue this practice; creating without short, technical URLs and updating them after inception, with the proper title.

How could these have been created “better”?

As an example, this is how the list and sites could have been created with shorter, technical names – of course sometimes the title of your site, list or library will change, resulting in your short, technical name not reflecting the original title (which really doesn’t “matter”).

Key is to create your sites, lists and libraries with short, technical names and update them after inception with the current title (which doesn’t ever affect the URLs).

Putting this into practice, you shouldn’t ever run into the 255 character limit when hyperlinking text or images to the locations within your SharePoint parent and sub-site construct (besides that, “less is more” / shorter URLs are always more welcome, anywhere):

  • LinDion Services (lindionservices.sharepoint.com) – Level 0
    • Rapid eLearning (ReL) – Level 1
      • Rapid eLearning Content Specifications (CntntSpcfctns) – Level 2

MS-SharePoint: Creating SharePoint Sites, Lists and Libraries with Short, Technical Names

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