What is a Webmaster?

Definition of a Web Administration Professional – A Web Pro

The webmaster performs a wide variety of roles ranging from a web designer to a system administrator assuming responsibility for web architecture.

It is difficult to unambiguously define who a webmaster is and what the specific roles of a webmaster are. The nature of work of a webmaster varies from employer to employer although there are quite a few areas of job function that are either identical or at least similar.

A Webmaster is a curious and wide-ranging designation indicating anything from a programmer to a creative web designer to a senior web administration professional.

Basic tasks of a webmaster

There are certain basic job functions that are common to most webmasters like:

  • Designing and maintaining of websites
  • Mediates between web authors and system administrators
  • Ensures HTML validity and link facility
  • Assumes editorial responsibility for nature and quality of content
  • Optimizes web navigability and web architecture
  • Devise and install tools to create web content and check the consistency
  • Liaise with graphic artists and oversee the web design team
  • Control the information base of a site and to organize large amounts of hypertext
  • Create and maintain a house style

As is known to many, in the beginning, the designing website was too complex and it had to be done from scratch using HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Since then there has been rapid advancement in web technology and now convenient HTML editors and Web-creation interfaces are available for anyone to become a webmaster.

Further, Point-and-click ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) programs are so user-friendly that they do all the coding and all the user has to do is to indicate the design.

As regards personal website, the individual owning the domain also becomes the webmaster. Small businesses often employ someone in-house to be the webmaster or engage a freelancer. Large corporations permanently outsource web management for design and functionality.

Pre-requisites for the Webmaster Position

A successful webmaster must possess a fair degree of natural and creative intelligence, aptitude for web technology, familiarity with W3C work, adequate web design and development experience and basic knowledge of Perl, UNIX, HTML, CGI, JavaScript.

The ability to work both independently and as a team member is a basic requirement. The webmaster should be familiar with the server to set up required configurations. The ultimate responsibility of a webmaster is to ensure that the site is user-friendly and visitors can access the available resources with ease.

The true success of a webmaster lies in constructing, running, updating and maintaining a website in a manner that will appeal to visitors and provide them easy access to what they want. Apart from regular webmasters, entrepreneurial webmasters are very much sought-after by companies that require totally unique websites with design styles reflective of the company’s products and services.

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