Picto thématique

Rule n° 5 - The first occurrence of an abbreviation or an acronym in the body of any page gives access to an explanation of its meaning.

GIS, VAT, AVT, TT, DTP, XML ... abbreviations, acronyms are abound on the Web, especially in technical and administrative areas. By explaining them does a great service to your users and at the same time you improve your SEO

#Accessibility #Content #Conception #Development #Editorial


  • Allow users to quickly understand the meaning of an acronym.
  • Enable bots to exploit the content (in order to establish an index of abbreviations).
  • Foster referencing of the content.
  • Improve the accessibility of content for people with disabilities.


At least when an initialism, acronym or abbreviation appears on the page for the first time, make sure to use at least one of the methods below:

  • Explain its meaning within the text, for example: “A DTD (document type declaration)”.
  • Provide a link giving access to its meaning in a glossary page or via a dynamic display (JavaScript tooltip).
  • Tag with the HTML element abbr and fill in the title attribute to indicate its meaning.

The best practice only requires this for the first occurrence in the page: it is optional for subsequent ones.


On each page inspected, visually identify each initialism, abbreviation or acronym present on the page, then for its first occurrence on the page, check that there is at least:

  • its meaning immediately given in context, for example in parentheses. '
  • a link on the acronym giving access to its meaning, for example in a glossary.
  • or the abbr element with a title attribute explaining its meaning.

By Opquast - Read the license

Overview and background

The 240 Opquast rules are defined and agreed upon by an extensive community of web professionals and academics. These web quality assurance guidance rules started as a list of best practices 20 years ago. They have since been revised every five years and have been tried and tested via millions of web interactions by Opquast community’s customers, including the leading CMS communities which have developed plugins for WordPress, Drupal and Prestashop. The most recent version, v4, was established in 2020.

Each rule has individual technical sheets and the rules can be searched by project phase or various topics: e-commerce, data-privacy, internationalization, security, code, etc, or by themes: accessibility, SEO, mobile, privacy, and ecodesign. The complete checklist is available on a creative commons license BY-SA.

To learn more about the Opquast approach, read this article published at Smashing Magazine

Broad application and benefits

The rules should be applied to your projects from the design phase through to post-implementation , and they should be understood by all professionals with web and customer experience (CX) responsibilities: from strategy to operations, marketers to project managers, and editorial to technical staff. The benefits of using this ruleset are numerous, including improving customer satisfaction, web performance, and e-commerce, and expanding your client base, while also decreasing your errors and costs.

Multidisciplinary verticles - accessiiblity, SEO, e-commerce, ecodesign etc..- starting from the foundational Opquast base.

Discover Opquast training and certification

The objective of these rules and the Opquast community mission is ‘making the web better’ for your customers and for everyone! Opquast rules cover the key major areas of risk that can negatively affect website users such as privacy, ecodesign, accessibility and security.

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