Now more than ever, it’s important that your site have a few fundamental things in place. With the hosting realm expanding and cloud hosting becoming more accessible for everyday users, it can be fairly easy to become complacent with an “out of the box” web setup.
That’s why it’s important to find a good webmaster that you can work with.
One of the greatest things a client recently said to me was “I didn’t realize that offloading all this work would free me up to do so much more elsewhere!”
Well that’s the goal!
There are so many things a web developer does behind the scenes, but most importantly they are the glue that binds just about all of your web related services together. Here at The Webmaster Company we are developers too (which is often synonymous with webmaster), so we understand the complete inner workings of your website(s), and all the things that make it tick.
Finding the right webmaster can be tough though, because there is so much more that goes into the relationship of site owner & webmaster. The skill set of what qualifies one to be a “webmaster” varies, and that can be problematic if you don’t know what you are looking for. Here’s a few tips :
What does your webmaster really know?
As a web developer for over 20 years, I have seen it all when it comes to webmasters. I say that mostly to poke fun at the degree of knowledge (or lack thereof) that allows one to confer the title up themselves. There is not a magic webmaster list of requirements or things one must know to call themselves a webmaster. Just like any job though, there are certain things your webmaster should know to be able to service your site properly. I’ve created a small, non-inclusive list that you can use as a guide :
Things Your Webmaster Should Know
- FTP, SFTP, SSH and the difference between them.
- Web server familiarity (Apache, nginx, openlitespeed, etc…)
- Photoshop (basic use of. Or Gimp if your company prefers open source)
- CMS (whichever you are using)
- Social Media (awareness of how to use)
- SEO (entry level)
If you only want your webmaster working on front facing things such as page content, imagery, and within the confines of your CMS – this list would probably be excessive. However, if you really want someone that understands how all of your systems work together, it’s just a good starting point.
A Team Player Webmaster
Websites can be very complex. Because of this, knowing the scope of your role is vital. Many large companies have whole departments dedicated to online specialties. For example, even the mighty Google has a webmaster (more than one to be sure). Google also has :
- Front End Developers
- DB Engineers
- Quality Engineers
- and many. many more
It’s important to know what role a webmaster plays in your organization because it will dictate what part they play in with respects to the maintenance of your website. Being able to work well with others, and understand their role view of websites will go a long ways to make things smoother.
This is why being a team player is an absolute must for any webmaster.
Webmaster – Client Simpatico
It’s just a given fact that we can not get along with each all the time. The business world is not immune to this.
There have been a few instances where I have worked with clients, just to find that we are not really striking a good balance. In such cases, ask the client to be direct, and try to be as direct as possible. While it helps to make communication clear, it can lead to a stale relationship. (but keep in mind, this is often desired in some relationships – so it’s important to find your level of understanding as to what this means.)
For the most productivity, it’s just better that you part ways as soon as possible with people that you can’t find a good groove with. This doesn’t imply anything bad about your character, in fact it’s quite the opposite if you are able to intelligently pull yourself out of business relationships that are not working for you.
Most importantly you both need to be able feel good about the service relationship.
Avoid the “next door neighbor” webmaster
We’ve all run into the guy next door, or your coworkers cousin that knows how to design websites. Because of the open nature and accessibility of the web, just about anyone can proclaim to be a web developer.
Just like any other professional field though, experience is earned and takes time. Some of the most common pitfalls of hiring a webmaster that is inexperienced or new to the field include :
- Not fully understanding how your website ties in to search engines
- Misunderstanding “speed” when it comes to your website.
- No, or little hosting experience. (They’ll claim sites like HostGator are the way to go for every build. HG may be great for intro sites! In fact, I know many users. It’s just not the answer for everyone)
- No network of peers to reach out to.
- Little understanding of the underlying workings of your website core.
So I hope I’ve given you a little insight as to what your should look for and what to avoid in a webmaster. If you find yourself in need of someone reliable – view our webmaster pricing.