What is Webmaster

Webmasters first came into play to manage many different aspects of a website at once. Though some employers today do still look for “webmasters,” the job has morphed into lots of different titles that encompass the same basic role: one professional doing many different tasks for website maintenance and optimization.

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We’ve grown accustomed to polished and sophisticated websites found on the internet of today, but it wasn’t long ago websites were just transitioning from novelties to serious engines for businesses and organizations. The webmaster job description of old often encompassed all aspects of development, design and upkeep of a website.

Nowadays, companies want their online presence to be functional, appealing and easily found by searchers on the internet. They need to be fast loading and compatible on mobile devices. Websites are also a gigantic platform for marketing, meaning that serious companies and professionals need to constantly maintain, update and improve their websites. Given the increased complexity of modern websites, this jack-of-all-trades approach and job title has become less common as these duties are spread out among specified roles. That said, versatile webmasters still exist as an option for organizations looking to make the most of their online presence.

“Companies will want to hire a webmaster to either improve on their current website or to build and maintain a new one,” says Ovi Demetrian, founder of Blocks Edit. “If you are solely responsible for building and taking care of the website, you may also take on other digital marketing-related roles, like building email newsletters or landing pages.”

A webmaster can keep tabs on everything related to a website. They monitor its performance with search engines, functionality, speed and design. Webmasters even keep track of content, campaigns and marketing efforts. Additionally, webmasters may dabble in information technology work like server set-up and administration.

Simon Ponder, SEO outreach manager at Image Freedom, says he’s held several roles that could all fall under the webmaster umbrella. “I think I have been called everything from online producer to SEO specialist—from digital editor to interactive ad designer as job titles. They all seemed to have the same duties.”

Additional job titles that may overlap with a webmaster include front-end developers, back-end developers, SEO specialists, web designers and server administrators, to name a few.

Webmaster Skills

Since webmasters handle so many different kinds of web maintenance and optimization, there are quite a few skills that come in handy on the job. We asked our experts to weigh in on which of these are most essential.

WordPress and HTML

Webmasters do their fair share of web development. “I would say learn basic HTML and learn plugins that you love to use if using WordPress,” Cardenas says. Cardenas also adds that finding other tools, platforms or shortcuts that can make your life easier will help you spend your time on the deeper, more interesting work instead of repetitive, mindless tasks.

Graphic design

Webmasters also do a good amount of web design. While you may be able to pick up on the basics just by diving in, learning graphic design will boost the quality and speed of your work, according to Cardenas.

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Search engine optimization (SEO)

The process of optimizing a website – as well as all the content on that website – so it will appear in prominent positions in the organic results of search engines. SEO requires an understanding of how search engines work, what people search for, and why and how people search. Successful SEO makes a site appealing to users and search engines. It is a combination of technical and marketing.

How SEO Works

In simple terms, SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand.

This is because all search engines have the same goal: To show the best, most relevant results to their users.

Precisely how you do this depends on the search engine you’re optimizing for.

If you want more organic traffic to your web pages, then you need to understand and cater to Google’s algorithm. If you want more video views, then it’s all about YouTube’s algorithm.

Since each search engine has a different ranking algorithm, it’d be impossible to cover them all in this guide.

So, going forward, we’ll focus on how to rank in the biggest search engine of them all: Google.

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