Naming

Thoughtful and consistent product and feature names are vital to our community’s ability to navigate their experience on GitHub. Here’s an overview of how we think about product naming and capitalization.

Naming

Values

We make our product names intuitive—and we don’t sacrifice clarity for style. We use this rubric for evaluating names:

  • Clear: shouldn’t need guesswork or explanation
  • Concise: shouldn’t introduce complication to written or spoken word
  • Accessible: should be translatable and not specific to any cultural or economic group

If a product name is at all abstract, we make sure:

  • The name fits the naming rubric above to the best of our abilities
  • There’s some connection to the experience users will have with it in the name
  • There’s enough contextual information when we introduce it that people will understand what it is.

Capitalization

We reserve capitalization for the products and programs that define the GitHub experience and where it’s needed for clarity. We use consistent capitalization across marketing pages, docs, blog posts, and wherever else the name appears at launch and subsequently.

GitHub should always be lowercase in URLs: github.com, not GitHub.com.

Rule of thumb

When first introduced, primary GitHub owned projects, products, and features are capitalized, like GitHub Codespaces. After that, you can drop the GitHub and simply refer to the feature by its name, Codespaces. When referring to the feature in the product, it’s sentence cased (e.g., New codespace for button text or Codespaces as a navigation link).

Lowercase

Use lowercase names for features and products that aren’t distinct to or ownable by GitHub.

Examples: insights, accounts, payments, integrations, pull requests, security alerts, search

Capitalized

Use capitalized names for features and products that are distinct to or ownable by GitHub.

Examples: Octocat, Pulse, Enterprise Server

Some features and products can introduce confusion into an experience if not capitalized:

Examples: GitHub Pages

GitHub-owned partner programs

Examples: GitHub Marketplace, GitHub Classroom, GitHub Partner Program, GitHub Community Forum

Note: We don’t use “the” before GitHub program names

Note: We only use GitHub before distinctly ownable products and programs. In marketing materials, we use the full name in the first mention and drop “GitHub” in subsequent mentions. We don’t drop “GitHub” in mentions of plans i.e. GitHub Enterprise, GitHub Team, GitHub Pro, and GitHub Developer, and some products like GitHub Packages.

Check out the Terminology Guide for more examples

Pro-Tips

When you’re evaluating a new name, consider the following tips to test your assumptions:

  • Compare it with our competitors and partners
  • Check the acronym
  • Check translations
  • Consider the URL (subdomains and TLD)
  • Don’t purposefully make spelling mistakes
  • Don’t make up words

Who’s involved

Naming should involve a cross-functional group who are familiar with our naming conventions and product landscape. At the very least, make sure someone from each of these teams is involved in final naming decisions:

  • Creative
  • Content Strategy
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Legal (for larger programs, products, and if there’s any connection to company trademarks)