WTF Is Up With These Marketing and Web Development Acronyms!?

In the digital marketing business (and many other businesses), acronyms get thrown around. A lot of acronyms. While I may be a writer, I work in a room with a bunch of web developers. At first, I thought my brain bailed on me and I was getting hit with alphabet soup, hearing terms like SQL, UI/UX, PHP, etc. Either that or these developers were just screwing with me. Programmers have their own language; I know they’re speaking some form of English, but I just can’t keep up. I’m catching every other word. It was the same way listening to rock climbers’ jargon when I worked at REI. I had to start asking questions. Almost a year into the job now, things are making a bit more sense than they did in the beginning.

I decided it might be helpful to make a short list. Consider this… a brain snack. A morsel of information for the precious three pounds of meat between your ears. We could go totally overboard and dump 149 acronyms in your lap, but we’ll keep the list manageable. Bite-sized. We’ll dive into ten common acronyms found in both the digital marketing and web development fields, plus some bonus items!

Marketing Acronyms

marketing web development acronyms - PPC

PPC is a great way to take up some real estate on the front page of your customers’ search results.

Return On Investment (ROI)

  • B2B / B2C – Business to Business/Consumer. These two differ on whether they’re selling products and services to other companies or customers.

Web Development Acronyms

  • HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the standard markup language for creating web pages and apps.
  • CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. It’s a mechanism for adding elements such as font, colors, spacing, etc. to Web documents.
  • URL – Uniform Resource Locator. You’ve heard this one before – it’s a reference (address) to a resource online.
  • UX  User Experience design. From Career Foundry’s article titled “The Difference Between UX and UI Design – A Layman’s Guide“: “If you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which give it structure. The organs represent the UX design: measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions.
  • UI – User Interface design. “…UI design represents the cosmetics of the body–its presentation, its senses and reactions.
  • CAPTCHA  Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. According to the GIF below, it can be fooled…
marketing web development acronyms - CAPTCHA

And so begins the rise of the machines.

  • XML – Extensible Markup Language. XML is a set of rules for encoding documents that both people and machines can read.
  • PHP – PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recursive acronym PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It’s a programming language for generating websites. 80{2869b4d23c008b413905409cba06ef793120d76f1e6c5c92f0f4cb5a7ec0d5a3} of all websites run on PHP – primarily due to WordPress.
  • SQL Structured query language. It’s a standardized query language for requesting information from a database.
  • WYSIWYG – (pronounced “wizzy-wig”) – What You See Is What You Get. Used when editing content for a document, web page, presentation, etc. Wikipedia’s got some literature on this if you’re absolutely enthralled.

Bonus Round

These are just a couple personal favorites that have absolutely nothing to do with marketing or web development, but they’re pretty cool. How many of these did you already know?

  • SCUBA – Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
  • LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
  • TASER – Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. From a young adult novel published in 1911 by Victor Appleton, oddly enough. Has nothing to do with the actual taser, other than inspiring the name.
  • SONAR – SOund Navigation And Ranging.
  • RADAR – RAdio Detection And Ranging.
  • ZIP – Zone Improvement Plan.
  • SIM – (as in SIM chip) – Subscriber Identity Module. Sounds a little creepy when you word it like that.
  • WD-40 – Water Displacement attempt #40. No joke.
  • YAHOO! – “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle” or “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
  • Alcoa – Here’s a local one for you! ALuminum Company of America.
marketing web development acronyms - LASER

“Not another step, or I’ll roast you alive with my Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation gun!”


So, there. Now you’re just a little bit smarter. Apply what you’ve learned in your next trivia game. Or use it to fill the awkward silence in a conversation when you’re not sure what else to say. At Big Slate Media, we handle all of the items mentioned above. We manage PPC campaigns, bolster SEO ratings, and much, much more. If you’re interested in taking your success to the next level, let us know!


Big Slate Media Team