Should we use sub-pages?

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Sub-pages (also known as SubPages or subpages) are wiki pages that live "under" a "parent" page. The title of the page determines its status as a sup-page; this is accomplished by using a slash character (/) in the following format. First the parent page, then the sub-page:

While sub-pages can be useful in some circumstances, there are some drawbacks to naming files in this way. This essay evaluates the benefits and drawbacks to using the sub-page naming convention.

What exactly does a sub-page do?[edit]

Using the sub-page naming convention has two effects:

(1) It creates a small "bread crumb" link, below the title of the child page, that makes it easy to click back to the parent page
Note the link "Metrics and activities meetings" on the second line
(2) It permits using a shortened form to link from the parent page to the child page. The following two links point to the same sub-page:
Here is wiki code used on a parent page to link to its sub-pages.
With or without the name of the parent page (highlighted), this wiki code will link to the same sub-page.

Specific cases where sub-pages structure is helpful[edit]

There are a few cases in which sub-pages clearly offer a benefit, such as:

  • to create archives of old discussions under a talk page,
  • to create scratchpad editing spaces under a user page,
  • to create other language versions of a document in multilingual wikis.

Subpages are useful for organising information hierarchically. On the other hand, subpages tend to have a long name that is hard to remember, so it may be more user-friendly to use them as little as possible. You can also organize pages with the category feature, which is more suitable for creating a hierarchical network of information.