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A Review Of Your Website’s Needs

PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS

The most basic human need is physiological – Can we survive without it?  Humans need basic resources like food, water and shelter to survive. Have you ever thought of what a website needs to survive, and not die?

For a website, the resources largely come from the server.  Does it have enough CPU, memory, disk space to allow the website to function?  What happens when there is a lot of competition for resources? How many users can the website handle before it runs out of resource and just dies? Most of us have never even tested that!

SAFETY NEEDS

For us humans safety means having a home, an income, feeling protected, law and order.

So how does a website feel safe?  In the same way that home is a shelter but shelter is not a home, there’s a big difference between a website hosted on a server that can cope with a normal day’s load and one that can cope with serious threats of attack.

Is your server protected from DoS attacks and viruses? Is your code protected from SQL injection etc?

Maybe your site was built on a common open source platform such as WordPress – that’s ok, but is it the latest version?  Has it been upgraded since?  Did you know the security flaws in old versions are published? If you haven’t kept up to date, that’s a manual for anyone with a motive to compromise your site and its data. 

SOCIAL NEEDS

Like humans, your website wants to be loved.  You could build a beautiful website with the most engaging content but if your marketing strategy is flawed, maybe nobody will even see it.

Equally, you could have an excellent strategy that gets your site lots of attention but you didn’t think about what your users actually wanted so people come, make no connections with your brand and leave having given your website no love at all 🙁 

ESTEEM NEEDS

Humans need self esteem to achieve, to be good at something, be independent and/or have the respect of others.

In real life, we often measure ourselves by how popular we are, who we are friends with, what qualifications or what job we have and how much money we make. Occasionally we also measure ourselves on how ethical, kind, helpful and generous we are to others.

Websites have goals too – it says so in Google Analytics. Most of the time we measure on transactional metrics like number of inquiries, how many orders, total revenue etc.  We measure popularity via social and SEO metrics and how many awards we can pick up.

OK but how ethical, kind, helpful and generous is your website?  In other words, how much value do they offer your customers?  All too often websites are shallow, artificial and short term in their approach and only manage weak bonds with their friends which are your customers, that easily break down.

SELF-ACTUALISATION

We have all heard of someone who has gave up their job of 20 years to completely change career, someone who had 4 out of 5 needs covered but threw away Esteem, took a risk on Social and even threatened Security because they just decided that what they really wanted was to help people. Well maybe websites want the same.

Can you imagine if that happened to the millions of websites out there that have been poorly researched, designed, built, or run, if they had a moment of clarity and realised they were ineffective in their job working for a company that didn’t understand their customer needs?

They might take a course of action for the greater good of everyone else, quitting its job, shutting itself down, leaving one less website grabbing the attention it didn’t deserve and freeing its customers to find a competitor who would take their needs more seriously.

SO WHAT’S NEXT

You probably didn’t set out to achieve all of this imaginary thought, but subconsciously, you may have a sneaky feeling that you could be doing better with your life. Exploring each level in detail genuinely helps figure out where the problem may lie.

You’ve probably been doing this all along with your website too but until now, you believed your site was just a machine – take a little time with this new view point in mind and maybe you’ll spot where things could be improved.

Who knows, if you treat your website like a member of your team and ensure its bringing value to others – it could become your star employee 🙂

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