A domain name (or just ‘domain’) is the address of your website, for example “youtube.com”. It is what someone would type into their search bar to get to your website. Your domain and your URL are essentially the same thing, with a URL being “https://www.youtube.com/”.

During the website process, Kudzu may request access to the site you purchased your domain from. This is so we can make sure your domain/URL is correctly pointing users to the new website we’ve created. Common domain providers are GoDaddy, Google Domains, Domain.com, etc.

Website hosting is a service provided by a company where you purchase server space to house your actual website files. Website hosting takes the files that comprise a website (code, images, etc.) and makes them available for viewing online. Every website you’ve ever visited is hosted on a server somewhere. 

During the website process, Kudzu will discuss your hosting needs. If you have a current website and elect to stay with your current website host, we may request access to the site where your current website is hosted. This is so we can upload new website files and actually launch your new website. Common hosting providers are HostGator, WP Engine, Bluehost, etc. If this is a new website, we will discuss the best hosting options with you.

The navigation on a website refers to the part of the site that helps you navigate around and find the information you’re looking for. Most websites have two forms of navigation, either a bar at the top of the site with options like “About, Servies, Contact,” etc. or in the form of three short, horizontal lines (often referred to as a hamburger menu) that open up a dropdown menu with options like “About, Servies, Contact,” etc.

A website’s navigation is very important and at Kudzu we take time and effort to make sure the navigation on your website is easy to understand and helps your site visitors find the information they need quickly and easily.

At Kudzu, we refer to a website slice as a horizontal section on the site that is visually contained by color, borders or movement and can include a number of elements including icons, photography, and copy. We use this term to discuss smaller sections of a website page. 

Below are some section examples from our website:

A website mock-up is a PDF design of what we envision your website will look like. At Kudzu we typically mock-up your home page, about page, and any additional page types your strategist would like to see. This representation of your website allows us to align on aesthetic, vision, and eventual website functionality. Please note, website mock-ups are done in PDF form so there are no clickable links, hover-over, or dynamic features (those will come later during programming). It is also important to note that while mockups are designed to capture the overall visual design of your website, when programming starts, some elements may shift slightly. If there are ever major deviations from the mockup, you will be notified and options provided. 

A content map is an all encompassing document that contains the website copy, SEO, and certain programming directions for your new website. The content map is broken down by individual website pages and will be filled out by both you and Kudzu. This living document will be edited and added to until final approval is given and it is sent to the programmer. Content maps can be daunting, we don’t deny that, but we’re here to guide you through every step of our website process! We can even schedule time for you to meet with our Content Genies to help you with pulling together your copy.

Website copy refers to the written content on your website. This can be paragraph text, headline text, button text, etc. Website copy makes up the vast majority of your content map and is written by both the client and Kudzu’s Content Strategist.

A dev site, short for “development site”, is a programming tool that allows developers to build and stage a new website on a private server prior to launch. These are especially helpful if the content being programmed is time sensitive or has not yet been released to the public. A dev site will also be used for non-sensitive content as they allow for a seamless launch once approved. Dev sites also help clients understand the usability and user experience their website offers and allows them to make any adjustments to a responsive site before launching.

A responsive website is a website that has been designed and programmed to respond to (almost) any screen size it is being shown on. For example, a responsive website will have an adjusted layout for mobile users that will look moderately different from the experience a tablet or desktop user may have. A responsive website will even make slight adjustments within a respective device category. For example, a responsive website will adjust its layout from an 11” laptop screen to a 15” laptop screen. Responsive websites are the industry standard and all Kudzu websites are programmed to be responsive.

A website theme is a software that helps establish the overall appearance and functionality of your website. It acts as the “bones” of a design and allows our designers to “add muscle” aka customized design features to match your brand and vision for the website. As with all softwares, themes need to be updated on a regular basis. This is something you can do on your own, or if you have hosting with Kudzu, theme updates are included in the package.

A plug-in is an add-on piece of software that adds new features or extends functionality on your existing website theme. Kudzu has several plugins that are automatically added to every website we do that help to optimize your website for the user. Additional plugins are offered when special functionality such as ecommerce capabilities or online scheduling is required on your website. Some plugins do come at a cost and others are free. During our website process, we will discuss what plugins are needed to achieve your goals. If there is a cost, we will communicate that with you up front.

A website integration is when your website sends or receives information from another website or application. For example, if a visitor to your website fills out a contact form and that information is then sent to an email marketing software like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Additionally, this same information could be pushed into a Contact Relationship Management (CRM) system.  Some integrations are fairly simple and only require the use of a plugin to achieve the desired result. Others may require more intensive programming. Kudzu will always discuss what is needed when it comes to any integrations you require. 

A CTA or “Call To Action” is a term used to describe content that asks a reader to take a particular action. For example, common website CTA’s are “Learn More” hyperlinks, “Sign Up Now!” prompts for newsletters, or “Submit” buttons on a form. These clear, concise directions help website visitors find the information they need or confirm an action they are taking.