Why Websites are Like Icebergs
Icebergs are amazing – as large as they appear above the surface, only about 10 percent of the iceberg is visible above the water. Without what is hidden below, the iceberg would never float – your website is no different.
What users experience on your website is just the tip of the iceberg. The user is drawn into the beautiful design and color palette, engages with the intuitive navigation, is impressed by the well-written content and the laser-focused call-to-action drives them to call you or complete your inquiry form – success!
That perfect user experience journey is the result of hours of unnoticed work that happened below the surface.
Before you can launch your new website, a lot of work first goes into making that new website float. What are the website’s goals, what are the points of conversion, how will users interact with the website, what are the key features, what will differentiate you from the competition, what will the user experience look like… and on and on.
Oftentimes we are contacted by prospective clients looking to create a website for their business or organization.
In some cases, these folks have attempted the DIY route with website platforms like GoDaddy, Wix, Shopify, Volusion, WordPress or Square Space, and have failed miserably.
At some point in the initial consultation, some prospects will say something like “it’s only a small website; it should be an easy project for you”.
Statements like this actually translate to “this is a simple project for you therefore the cost should be low” or “anyone can make a website, right, especially with WordPress?”
While this may seem to make sense in the mind of the client, this type of thinking is actually flawed.
Let me explain in some very simple terms why your website is like an iceberg.
The Iceberg Principle
The Iceberg Principle is the concept of understanding the world with the realization that only a small part of the things are visible and there is a lot more going on underneath the surface. The Iceberg floats in the water with only 10% of it being visible above the water and the remaining 90% invisible under the water.
Applying the Iceberg Principle involves trying to look at both the top of the iceberg (representing the problems seen by the decision makers) and the submerged side of the iceberg (representing the problems seen by developers and marketers).
Visual Design is just the tip of the iceberg
While the visual design and aesthetic of a website is often noticed first, there are a lot of equally, if not more, important factors working behind the scenes that ultimately play a role in the “success” of a website.
Make no mistake, design does matter. It’s important that your website visually sets you apart from the competition and helps to form a positive and respectable impression in the minds of your visitors. Users will land on your website and instantly form opinions about your website and your company based primarily on design and aesthetics.
But design alone isn’t enough
Beautiful, differentiating design, while essential, is only one of many essential components of a top-performing website. And while the design of a website can often receive the most energy and emphasis from clients during the development process, it’s important to view the website through a holistic lens. The design of a website is only the tip of the iceberg, and there are many other important factors to give attention to.
To better understand how your website is like an iceberg click below to reveal the results:
Bottom of the Iceberg
- Domain management
- DNS configuration
- Hosting configuration & management
- SSL Certificate
- Email setup & routing
- Email SMTP Configuration
- WordPress maintenance & updates
- Plugin/theme incompatibility resolution
- Content Delivery Network Setup (CDN)
- Website security
- Semantic design
- Custom coding for efficiency
- On-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Image optimization
- Page speed optimization
- Analytics Configuration
- GDPR/Privacy considerations
- Website legal conformance
- Usability and accessibility
- Mobile-friendliness using responsive design
- Cross-browser compatibility
These things make a website work, keep it working and actually win you more business!
Starting to get the picture?
Design does matter – a lot. But design alone is just the tip of the website iceberg. When designing, developing or even maintaining your company’s website, it’s important to have a holistic perspective. Understanding that many of the most crucial components, including the ones we’ve just discussed, are beneath the surface.
So the next time you speak to a developer and try to convince them that your project is “simple”, therefore the cost should be minimal, remember the iceberg principle so you can better understand what is actually involved.