Case Sensitive URL’s

A question came up not to long ago on the RootsWeb FreePages  Mailing List about links not working. What could be the problem?

The first thing to check when your links do NOT work is whether the url of your hyperlink actually matches the files name. Does your link refer to MYPAGE.html while the name of the actual file is mypage.html?

What do we mean by “case sensitive URLs”. Some Web servers (usually Linux or Unix servers, such as the ones RootsWeb use) consider URLs to be case-sensitive. That is, they would treat each of the following URLs as referring to a different file:

http://www.example.com/mypage.html

http://www.example.com/MyPage.html

http://www.example.com/MYPAGE.html

http://www.example.com/MYPAGE.HTML

If you linked to “http://www.example.com/mypage.html

but the file was actually named “MyPage.html”, the Unix and Linux servers would display a “file not found” error.

Other Web servers (mostly Windows servers) would treat all these URLs as requests for the same file, because they use a file system that doesn’t care about capitalization. Using an incorrectly capitalized link on these kinds of servers doesn’t cause an error.

You can avoid this problem by always using lowercase letters to name your files.  This will ensure that your files work on any kind of server. If you have an existing site, these errors can be difficult to find.

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