30 Abbreviations Web Developers Commonly Use

Web development terms can get quite daunting, especially with the use of jargon and abbreviations. Beginners can find the use of a lot of abbreviations overwhelming, and even practiced developers sometimes need a refresher. Safe to say that everyone knows what the commonly used terms mean, including HTML and CSS, but there are more web development abbreviations that developers use on a daily basis. And as the industry evolves with technology, these acronyms also get updated.


Below we have consolidated 30 abbreviations that web developers use every day. The list is not only useful for web developers, but also for other persons involved in a typical web development project such as employers, managers, web designers, and clients. Knowing about these terms will hopefully lessen misunderstanding and allows for better communication and collaboration.

  1. ACSS – Atomic Cascading Style Sheets, a CSS writing methodology by Yahoo!
  2. AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages, a mobile web standard by Google. It allows for faster creation of mobile sites by restricting the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  3. API – Application Programming Interface, pre-written code features including properties, methods, classes, to name a few, allowing for consistent code writing.
  4. ARIA – Accessible Rich Internet Applications, defining various front-end methodologies for better web content accessibility for disabled people using assistive technologies.
  5. BEM – Block, Element, Modifier. Blocks are the standalone parts, Elements are the parts of the blocks, Modifiers define the style of blocks. BEM is a naming convention that follows the syntax: block__element–modifier
  6. CDN – Content Delivery Network, a network of the distributed servers were duplicates of web content is stored.
  7. CMS – Content Management System, a platform for publishing and managing digital content. An example is WordPress.
  8. CRUD – Create, Read, Update, Delete, the four basic functions of a persistent database and is used in database management.
  9. CSSOM – Cascading Style Sheets Object Model, representing all CSS styles in form of a map of nodes. Browsers need this set of APIs to render CSS styles on a page.
  10. CTA – Call-To-Action, a marketing term directed to users that encourage them to take action by clicking a link or button. It usually comes with statements such as “Buy now!” or “Contact us today!”
  11. DOM – Document Object Model, an API used by browsers to render HTML and XML documents.
  12. ECMAScript or ES – European Computer Manufacturers Association Script, a scripting language specification. This is where the syntax of JavaScript is based.
  13. FOSS – Free and Open-Source Software, a software that doesn’t have copyright restrictions and has a source code that is accessible and modifiable by anyone.
  14. FTU – First Time Use, or the first time a software will be loaded or used after installation.
  15. GUI – Graphical User Interface, allowing users to interact with software through the use of icons and visual language.
  16. IDE – Integrated Development Environment, a programming environment integrating the tools for development and testing.
  17. IIFE – Immediately Invoked Function Expression, a JavaScript design pattern creating a lexical scope.
  18. ITCSS – Inverted Triangle Cascading Style Sheets, a scalable CSS architecture used for reusable CSS code.
  19. JSON – JavaScript Object Notation, a data format for interchanging data, storing objects and arrays, and has a syntax that is similar to JavaScript.
  20. LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl, Linux as the OS, Apache as the web server, MySQL as the database management software, and PHP, Perl, or Python as the scripting language. LAMP is a web stack for creating dynamic websites.
  21. LTR and RTL – Left To Right and Right To Left, indicating the direction of the text.
  22. MEAN – MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, Node.js, a JavaScript-only web stack typically used when creating dynamic websites or apps.
  23. MVC – Model-View-Controller, used in object-oriented programming. It keeps the data logic separate from the user interface through Model Objects, View Objects, or Controller Objects groupings.
  24. OAuth – Open Authentication, as simple as it sounds, refers to open protocol that lets secure authorization work in a safe and standardized way.
  25. OOP – Object-Oriented Programming, the opposite of procedural programming.
  26. REGEX – Regular Expression, a text pattern for matching character combinations within various strings.
  27. REST – Representational State Transfer, a set of software design architectural guidelines mostly used for the transmission of data from client and server, vice versa.
  28. SCM – Source Control Management, lets you manage multiple versions of documents, codes, applications. It can also be referred to as version or version control management
  29. SMACSS – Scalable and Modular Architecture for Cascading Style Sheets, a CSS writing methodology used to modularize CSS code for legibility and organization.
  30. WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get, a content editor that allows you to edit content without writing any markup. It makes CMS use easier for those without coding knowledge.

Whenever you get stuck because of a web development term you don’t remember the meaning of, just go back to this list to serve as your cheat sheet.