Welcome to the SmallBusiness.com WIKI
The free sourcebook of small business knowledge from SmallBusiness.com
Currently with 29,735 entries and growing.

WIKI Welcome Page
Local | Glossaries | How-to's | Guides | Start-up | Links | Technology | All Hubs
About · Help Hub · Register to Edit · Editing Help
Twitter: @smallbusiness | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+


In addition to the information found on the SmallBusiness.com/WIKI,
you may find more information and help on a topic
by clicking over to SmallBusiness.com and searching there.

Note | Editorial privileges have been turned off temporarily.
You can still use the Wiki but cannot edit existing posts or add new posts.
You can e-mail us at [email protected]

SmallBusiness.com:Entry name policy

SmallBusiness.com: The free small business resource
Jump to: navigation, search
SB help.jpg
SmallBusiness.com entry names should be recognizable to readers, unambiguous, and consistent with English-language usage. This naming conventions page sets out SmallBusiness.com's policy on how to name entries.

General advice on naming an entry

Every SmallBusiness.com entry must have a unique title. Ideally, these titles should be:

  • Recognizable – Use names and terms most commonly used, and so most likely to be recognized, for the topic of the entry.
  • Easy to find – Use terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the entry (and to which editors will most naturally link from other entries).
  • Precise – Be precise but only as precise as is necessary to identify the topic of the entry unambiguously.
  • Concise – A good entry title is brief and to the point.
  • Consistent – Prefer titles that follow the same pattern as those of other similar entries.

Most entries will have a simple and obvious name that satisfies most or all of these criteria. If so, use it, as a straightforward choice. However, it may be necessary to trade off two or more of the criteria against one another; in such situations, entry names are determined by consensus, usually guided by the usage in reliable sources. Consensus on naming entries in specific fields, or with respect to particular problems, is stated and explained on the guideline pages referenced. When no consensus exists, it is established through discussion, always with the above principles in mind. The choice of entry names should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists.

Redirects should be created to entries that may reasonably be searched for or linked to under two or more names (such as different spellings or former names). Conversely, a name that could refer to several different entries may require disambiguation.


General rule

Typically, capitalize the first letter in an entry name. (The MediaWiki software will always do this, even if you don't.) Other words in the entry name should start with a lower-case letter.

  • Use lower case, except for proper names: The initial letter of a title is almost always capitalized; subsequent words in a title are not, unless they are part of a proper name, and so would be capitalized in running text: Liberal arts college but Northwestern University.
  • Use the singular form: Entry titles are generally singular in form, e.g. Horse not Horses. Exceptions include nouns that are always in a plural form in English (e.g. scissors or trousers).
  • Avoid abbreviations: Abbreviations and acronyms are generally avoided unless the subject is almost exclusively known by its abbreviation (e.g. SBA).
  • Avoid abbreviations for state names: Do not use two-letter postal code abbreviations for state names.
  • Avoid definite and indefinite entries: Do not place definite or indefinite entries (the, a and an) at the beginning of titles unless they are part of a proper name.


  • Proper names: The names of people, places and things should be capitalized no matter where they appear in an entry name.
  • SmallBusiness.com naming convention exceptions: There are rare types of entries in which a word in the middle of an entry should be capitalized. An example is a sub-category of how to entries that use an upper-case.

Entry names should be nouns

Titles should be nouns or noun phrases. Adjective and verb forms (e.g. advertise) should redirect to entries titled with the corresponding noun (Advertising, although sometimes they will be disambiguation pages. Sometimes (as in the example) the noun corresponding to a verb will be the gerund (-ing form) of a word.

Special types of entries

  • How to entries: Do not use a hyphen between the words "how" and "to" in an entry.

Special characters and formatting

There are technical restrictions on the use of certain characters in page titles. The characters #, <, >, [, ], |, {, and } cannot be used at all and there are certain restrictions on titles containing colons.

  • Do not apply formatting: Formatting, such as italics or bolding, is technically achievable in page titles, but is used only in special cases.

See also