CSS Naming Conventions – Getting your HTML CSS and JavaScript to play nicely with one another.

Posted by Nick on Aug 19, 2010 in Development Tips and Tricks |

As web development becomes more complicated so does the need to organize our code in to something that is manageable. Gone are the days of

<a onclick=”function()”>.

Nowadays we are often binding event with JavaScript libraries like JQuery.




This is great but carries some potential shortcomings.  One problem with this new style of code is that in highly front-end centric environments we have the potential to end up with thousands of lines of codes patched together between multiple JavaScript files ( *avoid http request whenever possible ).  In order to avoid confusion and avoid regression issues, I recommend breaking your CSS classes out in to two different areas:

  1. Those which control CSS layout and style.
  2. Those which are bound to your JavaScript.

Choose a naming convention that makes sense and works for you.  Recently I have been using the following patter within an MVC environment.

JavaScript Classes

  1. jg_myElement  – JavaScript Global Class, used for things like global header functionality.
  2. jv_myElement – JavaScript View Class, used for things like functionality that is relevant only to that view.
  3. jm_myElement – JavaScript Module Class,  used to control functionality on portable modules that can be used on multiple but not all pages.

CSS Classes

  1. cg_myElement  – CSS Global Class, used for things like global header layout and style.
  2. cv_myElement – CSS View Class, used for things like layout and style of page elements relevant only to that view.
  3. cm_myElement – CSS Module Class,  used for layout and styling of portable modules that can be used on multiple but not all pages.

Your new code should look something like this:

Ex: This is an example of a search button that may be used in multiple places on the web page.

<style type=”text/css”>

.cm_Search{margin:10px; padding:10px;border:1px solid #2F2F2F; background-color:#AFAFAF}


<script type=”text/javascript”>

$(document).ready(function() {


alert(“Hello World!”);




<div class=”jm_Search cm_Search”>



As a developer I can now add/change/remove any cg_, cv_ and cm_ classes with no fear of interrupting JavaScript functionality.

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