So, you’ve finally managed to get your first website online. Congratulations! Now the easy bit is over, it’s time for the real work to begin. Once you have a website, you will naturally want to draw in as much traffic and interest as possible. Building and maintaining a website is one thing but growing it into a successful enterprise is quite another.

As with any creative pursuit, your first effort is unlikely to be your best or your most inspired. That is why it’s so important to view your website as something impermanent upon which you can build. It won’t always be obvious what the best decision or direction to take is when you are working on your website, but with a little guidance, any website owner can revamp and rework their website into anything they desire.

The following are some of the most effective and reliable methods for breathing new life into your website and improving both the user experience and the profit potential of your website.

Community Features

One of the most valuable assets for any website is the community of users that frequent it. Whether your website caters to a specific niche or interest, or it is broader in reach and appeal, adding community features is a great way of bringing in new traffic, and solidifying your existing user base. Community features can be something as simple as a chat box, or as feature-rich as a message board.

Optimize Your Code

Whenever we are faced with a problem in coding, there are nearly always going to be multiple valid solutions. Some of these solutions are just as good as one another, but often there is one that is noticeably more efficient. Having a website built on top of inefficient code is like building a house on top of half-complete foundations. It is the kind of oversight that can ultimately bring down an entire website.

You should only undertake coding work on your website that you are confident completing; leave everything else to those with qualifications. If you need to brush up on your coding skills, there are lots of great resources online. For example, if your website uses Java, you can find lots of useful information over at Java Beat.

Search Engine Optimization

If there is one term that every aspiring web developer should familiarize themselves with, it is search engine optimization (SEO). A website’s SEO score will determine its position in search results rankings for relevant terms. Obviously, you want your website to be as near to the top of the list as possible. The vast majority of traffic generated by any web search goes to the top result, with the portion of users clicking through to websites decreasing exponentially thereafter.

Without making an investment in SEO, your website will find it difficult to bring in a serious amount of traffic. Most of the traffic across the internet is now generated by search engines, meaning that you simply can’t afford to overlook the importance of appearing near the top of the results list.

Taking your website to the next level doesn’t have to be an expensive or difficult process. It is a good idea to undertake the occasional makeover of your website design, but don’t forget to focus on what’s under the hood as well.

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