Naming Conventions | August 5, 2004

* Web Site or Website? * Site Map or Sitemap? * Log-in or Login?

Posted at August 5, 2004 2:39 PM


Eric said on August 5, 2004 2:47 PM


Site Map


:I don’t know why the discrepancy in my thinking with Site Map; I am firmly committed to the one-word website and login.

John said on August 5, 2004 2:54 PM

If you’re going to use the expanded, “Web site” the correct capitalization is capital “W,” lowercase “s.”

Simon Jessey said on August 5, 2004 2:56 PM

I usually use website, site map, and login. The dictionary says that website and Web site (capital W on Web, apparently) are fine. It also has login (or logon), but not sitemap.

Richard Earney said on August 5, 2004 3:15 PM

Site Map


email rather than e-mail

Andrew Dunning said on August 5, 2004 3:18 PM

This is an area I have strong opinions in, having worked in a newspaper. Without question, it should be:

Web site
site map
log-in (note that the verb is log in)

And, while we’re at it, it’s e-mail, not email.

niv said on August 5, 2004 3:22 PM

po-tay-to or po-tah-to

Matthew Pennell said on August 5, 2004 3:25 PM

Web site - primarily because of a vague idea that keeping the word ‘web’ separate will assist search engines looking for “web design”, “web development”, etc.

Login (noun, “Log in” as a verb when writing documentation)

Matt Heerema said on August 5, 2004 3:26 PM

Web site or website

site map


E-mail or email OR e-mail

At least, that’s what thinks.

David House said on August 5, 2004 3:27 PM

Weblog, web log or blog?
E-mail or email?
Post, entry or article?

For me, it’s website (or indeed just site), site map, login, weblog, email and entry.

Kevin Navia said on August 5, 2004 3:50 PM

What we use here are:

Site map

For the others…
e-mail (as in electronic mail)

weblog: I do not know the proper naming convention for weblog but, when I encountered it the first time I used this - the term ‘blog’ to me is cheesy.

rob said on August 5, 2004 3:54 PM


Dave Mead said on August 5, 2004 3:57 PM

Web site (I agree with Matthews post about the SE aspect)

E-mail (just because I’ve always written it like that since my Compuserve days back in ‘97)

Log-in / Login (not fussed either way really)

Rob Mientjes said on August 5, 2004 4:01 PM

It gets even harder when you’re Dutch. We have other naming conventions, such as lay-out opposed to layout, and website, opposed to whatver you’re going to make of it. But most importantly, the one everyone fails to do correctly in Holland: e-mail in Dutch, email in English.

Get my point? :D

Ian McFarlan said on August 5, 2004 4:08 PM


I use ‘Website’ and ‘Login’ religiously, whereas my use of ‘Sitemap’ is bit more slack.

Richard Earney said on August 5, 2004 4:33 PM

Using “e-mail” is just too tedious for words.

I am a pedant about most things (using fewer instead of less and none of us is instead of none of us are) but email has been around long enough 30+ years that it deserves to drop its hypen. It has become a word in itself and nobody ever says “Can I send you an Electronic Mail?”

A Google search offers 285million responses for “email” and only 21million for “e-mail” and indeed asks “Do you mean email?”

Go on folks - live a little :))

Nick said on August 5, 2004 4:34 PM

Nothing destroys a newspaper article’s credibility as quickly as talking about “Web logs.” The capitalization and spacing may be correct for “Web site” (if not a little old school), but definately not for weblog.

For completeness I also prefer website (though my profession requires the use of ‘Web site’), site map, and login.

heath weaver said on August 5, 2004 4:35 PM

(sorry long post - from

“web·site or Web site

A set of interconnected webpages, usually including a homepage, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization.

Usage Note: The transition from World Wide Web site to Web site to website seems to have progressed as rapidly as the technology itself. The development of website as a single uncapitalized word mirrors the development of other technological expressions which have tended to evolve into unhyphenated forms as they become more familiar. Thus email has recently been gaining ground over the forms E-mail and e-mail, especially in texts that are more technologically oriented. Similarly, there has been an increasing preference for closed forms like homepage, online, and printout.

log·in [ lôgn, lg- ] also log·on [ -n, -ôn ]

The process of identifying oneself to a computer, usually by entering one’s username and password.”

I prefer Sign in.

Jarrod Goddard said on August 5, 2004 4:38 PM

web site, email, sitemap, and login.
I hate the word blog, so I’m gonna say web log, or web journal. Blog just sounds way to “geeky” :)

Seth Thomas Rasmussen said on August 5, 2004 4:47 PM

-Web site
-Site map (or “site map” if not at the beginning of a sentence)
-“Login” for a noun, “Log in” for the action

Tim said on August 5, 2004 4:55 PM

If you check MLA, APA and AP styles I think you will find that they all have slightly different rules.

At work, for example, I have to use AP (newspaper style here in the U.S.) which says Web site, e-mail, login (logon, logoff). Additionally, it has home page, intranet and World Wide Web.

I don’t think any are correct (or incorrect), I usually just strive for being consistent in my own usage (not always easy after using AP all day at work and prefering something along the lines of MLA at home - I confuse easily).

Jonathan Snook said on August 5, 2004 5:17 PM

I prefer “web site” compared to website but I’m okay with either. I don’t like the capitalization (aka Web site).

Definitely, “site map”. It’s a map of the site, y’know? If you’re gonna shorten it, why not go straight to “smap”? :)

And “login”. What’s a log-in? What are you hyphening together? login is a noun. You can “log in” to something although I now prefer “sign in”.

Email is now just as acceptable as e-mail. It’s been in use long enough to drop the hyphen. Granted, I still tend to use the hyphen…it’s a habit, and I think it looks better at the beginning of a sentence (E-mail vs Email).

(darn Web Address entry form is too small…why is it only 1 third the width of the column?)

Michael Wilcox said on August 5, 2004 5:19 PM

website, sitemap, login

Notes: (1) Sitemap may be two words or one. (2) When used as a command, login should be two words, as in, “Please log in.” Otherwise, you use login. Make sense?

Also: email, weblog, internet

Notes: (1) Email does not have a hyphen, since all other words associated with computers lose their hyphens (soft-ware, Micro-soft, etc.). This is a natural progression. (2) internet is not capitalized, just as radio, television, and other common forms of communication are not capitalized.

Jacob Patton said on August 5, 2004 5:29 PM

Log in to our website before viewing the sitemap, but please let me know if you’ve forgotten your login.

jake said on August 5, 2004 5:30 PM

web site - I always look at it like crash site, or burial site. web is describing the site.

site map - same thing with this.

and I agree with Andrew, you can log in(verb), but you’re username is a login (noun). :)

Daniel Oliver said on August 5, 2004 5:38 PM

I often go for -

Site Map.

Aaron said on August 5, 2004 5:52 PM


For the same reasons as Micheal Wilcox has described. I feel that the culture dictates how a word is spelled in the long run, even though these words were compound 20 years ago, now they are single words now due to the rapid change in culture.

brady j. frey said on August 5, 2004 5:56 PM


Always felt website and sitemap were describing a specific object that was not generalized — there are many arguments for both sides on that one.

As far as the log-in, I’m glued to that — and it’s more a visual, I like the look of it better in my typography.

there’s no method to my madness here, just preference.

Tony said on August 5, 2004 6:24 PM

Site Map (although I’m real apathetic about this one. Sitemap doesn’t bother me at all.)
Login. Log-in is just wrong. Very very wrong.

Rob Mientjes said on August 5, 2004 7:11 PM

The hyphenation system in the Netherlands works different, mind you (Richard Earney that is). I hate that system, since the English way is much easier. Just stack all those words :D
In comparison to many Dutch words, email looks bad. E-mail fits.
Anyway, website, site map, login.

Peter said on August 5, 2004 8:25 PM

Many commas, full stops etc have disappeared from documents, envelopes etc because word processed text on screen or on paper looks neat without them. It took time for some people to get used to it. Hyphens are also disappearing so I go for email and login. I also vote for website because it is easier, site map because sitemap is not such a common word yet, and blog because it is a noun and a verb. Weblog could be pronounced we blog and so be confusing.

Lee said on August 5, 2004 8:35 PM

I wrote something on this on my blog a little while back ( and, as far as website is concerned, most people now agree that it’s website (likewise email not e-mail) and this is how it’s stated in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Silus Grok said on August 5, 2004 9:35 PM

web site
site map
home page
log-in (n)
log in (v)
e-mail (it’s still “x-ray” and “t-shirt”)

And “internet” and “web” are not proper nouns, I do not capitalize them…

Rob Cameron said on August 5, 2004 10:53 PM

I’ve always used:

Site Map
Login (verb version is “log in”)
Email (or email)

I haven’t seen anyone suggest eMail … isn’t that the way it was intended back in the day? Kinda like iPod.

Angie said on August 5, 2004 11:47 PM

“website” drives me nuts, but then I’m old school. I don’t call it an ftpsite either. For the same reasons. Looks just silly. It’s a site, web is the word used to describe what kind of site it is.

However, I’m all for login and email. Amusing that the words evolved as:

log in to log-in to login
electronic mail to e-mail to email

and yet…

You never saw web-site. [shudder] At least, I hope you didn’t! :)

Michael Wilcox said on August 6, 2004 12:34 AM

Angie: No, you don’t see web-site very often, but there’s always someone who’ll write the dreaded “web sight”. Ick.

Paul said on August 6, 2004 2:16 AM

Both tshirt and xray are acceptable according to

And, if the ‘web’ is important in ‘website’ why isn’t it ‘websitemap’, or ‘Web site map’?

Mordechai Peller said on August 6, 2004 4:31 AM

Either “Web site” or “website”.

Since the Web, like the Internet are proper nouns, they should be capitalized. There is, after all, only one Web and one Internet, but there are many websites and many intranets.

site map

login(n), log in(v)

layout(n), lay out(v)

email, but e-mail is acceptable.

Stephane said on August 6, 2004 5:03 AM

Actually I say

Site Web
Carte du site
I haven’t use a login in a while

What can I say, I’m french :-)

I mostly say website, site map, login and e-mail but I don’t have any particular reason.

Nick Finck said on August 6, 2004 5:12 AM

I always follow Strunk/White style, but I have defined my own house style to include such things.

Web site

Nick Finck said on August 6, 2004 5:19 AM

Errr.. that link that is now gone should have been:

Web is actually the name of something so it should be initial caps. I agree with site being a seperate word in lower case. Just like Web page or home page.

and site map should be used as a single word as its also a type of thing, but it’s not a map of a site, it’s a site’s map but actually a name as opposed to two seperate words in phrase.

Login is an old computer term, I donno who in the world decided to add a hypen. I mean, how many people go around writing web-log? so it’s login and logout.

don’t get me started on the whole e-mail, E-Mail, email, eMail thing.

Greg said on August 6, 2004 6:37 AM

I use website, sitemap, and login. My boss uses web site, and most of our clients follow her lead, so in conclusion, when dealing with clients, I use web site to keep consistency, but use website when communicating with the boss lady and coworkers.

Robert Lofthouse said on August 6, 2004 11:37 AM

Web site
site map

I try my best to adhere to the rules, because if I didn’t my fiancee who’s an english teacher/literacy co-ordinator would kill me.

Irae said on August 6, 2004 4:37 PM


Here in Brazil the “Web” word is not used to “teia” the natural translation. This is now sinonimous of Internet. The “site” word is the same, not “sítio” and means “an internet page”.

Site map:
In Brazil, if you use “sitemap” it is useless, but site is as above and map is translatet to “mapa”, that is very similar. So, this way this makes sense.

This words together os alone have no translation to portuguease os spanish. So login is just fine.

I can not tell, but if the rest of the lenguages follow the same criteria, may be its general, and not particular for Brazil. But this, i don’t know.

(Nowadays Brazil is the secont country in number of users on the internet and the users who shop international sites is growing faster. So, i think this is worth of consideration, don’t you think?
=D )

Andrew Dunning said on August 6, 2004 7:54 PM

As another note, it’s Web site, log-in and e-mail (no reference to site map) in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. It will be interesting to see what they say in the edition that just came out.

Matthew Farrand said on August 6, 2004 8:22 PM

Language is evolving all the time. As words become more common they tend to get shortened and lose hyphens. Coleslaw used to be spelt cole-slaw for example, and I am old enough to remember when the media was always referred to as the mass media.

For those reasons I think that email will prevail over E-mail, website over web site, and login over log in. The web is a part of most people’s lives and life is too short to capitalise the e and put a hyphen in front of the word mail.

Robert Lofthouse said on August 7, 2004 12:49 AM

I hate the evolution of the English language, half the people in England can’t even speak it properly anymore.

This fast food/takeaway lifestyle is destroying language and culture, nobody has time to do anything anymore. Nobody takes the time to learn how something works, or to appreciate the detail in a painting.

If life is too short to capitalise an ‘E’ and put a hyphen before ‘mail’ then we must only have a few seconds left to live.

Look at the buildings today compared to the buildings of old, look at the lack of detail in the architecture in the skycrapers - in fact, look at the lack of detail in anything.

I know it seems like i’m just ranting (which I am), but the world is in too much of a rush for my liking these days..

pxide said on August 7, 2004 2:52 PM

This post and the comments have been a huge help to me, since my mother tongue isn’t English. Good post Andy.

Richard Earney said on August 7, 2004 4:16 PM

Well this proved contra-versial, judging from all the co-respondance you had.

As my daughter’s copy of a Famous Five book has it: Good-night!!


Mitchell said on August 7, 2004 10:28 PM

Definately the following:

Web Site (or web site)
Site Map (or site map)

I used to use the opposite versions of these, but for some reason, these make more sense. Log-In is so weird looking. Even though it may be correct, I dont see it used that way very often.

This naming scheme concept brings up a much larger concept of file and web page naming schemes, css naming schemes, and for those who are also developers like myself, variable, database, and object naming schemes in scripts. Because of the xhtml restraints for lower case, I moved ALL my naming schemes to lowercase some years ago and its paid off. I also use underscore name separators for all file, variable, function, object, and css naming schemes, and tack on numerical versioning and id numbers on the end of those when needed. Same for xml nodes, etc. Using this system I rarely violate any language rules or constraints out there, and the consistency makes programming much easier to manage. What you end up with is logical semantic names that make sense to other developers and designers, provides a consistent lowercase and numerical naming system that can never break (especially in case-sensitive languages like xml), and where your code works on UNIX-based and PC-based systems alike. All your elements and xml nodes are also compliant if they end up sucked into an xhtml page.

For example, for a CSS class name: I use “my_css_class_name” instead of “myCSSClassName” or “My Css Class Name”. The only exception to this rule at this point is database table names where we use defMyTable or mapMyTable or datMyTable, and the field names use the system above. I hate Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, Pagemill, Homesite, Photoshop, Image Ready, Flash, and numerous other programs as they dump all these upper case tags and mixed, very complex, function names and class names that make no sense and often are not compliant with xhtml. You have to take control and code your stuff by hand. (I wish those guys would wake up and design better code management systems!). Ughh!

Anyone here use very cool naming systems that work well in their development environments?


Sian said on August 9, 2004 1:07 PM

Harking back to my DMOZ editing days:

Web site
site map

and it’s definately e-mail and not email

Aldo Alexandre said on August 9, 2004 3:19 PM

site map

and email (after read this comments)

Phil Thompson said on August 10, 2004 7:40 PM

site map

I think people are sufficiently aware of website and login and I don’t think will get confused by them. However at this stage people still get confused by what a “site map” is anyway and so conjoining it adds more confusion.

Tailoring your words to suit your audience, is the best scenario.

Rich said on August 11, 2004 12:22 AM

/^web( |-)*site$/i
/^site( |-)*map$/i
/^log( |-)*in$/i

would I suppose be sufficient in a validator module to keep this discussion short.

but I prefer website, site map and login, for no particular reason at all.

Andy said on August 12, 2004 3:00 PM

Here’s another question when you provide a link at the end of a sentence do you link the full stop or just the text with an unlinked full stop. This question has bothered me for ages.

What do you do?