Creating a separate directory for each types of content makes it easier to interpret website statistics.
For example, on the Motive website, all glossary entries are contained in a single directory, named ‘glossary’. The number of files requested from this directory equates (loosely) to the number of glossary entries viewed.
A website can be thought of a collection of files that are viewed using a web browser. These files can be grouped for structural or administrative purposes into folders; directory = folder.
A ‘directory’ is also a type of index, where a person locates content through a formal classification system. A directory enables a person to move from a general- to specific level of the classification system (and vice-versa).
A directory of websites is typically grouped and navigated by topic (subject matter) or industry sector, similar to the service categories in the Yellow pages telephone directory.
For example, the Motive website is listed in the Google Web Directory under the classification:
Regional > Oceania > New Zealand > Wellington > Wellington City > Business and Economy > Computers and Internet > Web Design and Development
Unlike search engines that use computer programs to create content indexes, directories are usually maintained and edited manually—by humans. For this reason, adding a website listing to a directory often involves linking to an appropriate category or classification, before submitting the website details.