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Role of a Webmaster: High School Webmaster Course Lesson 1

October 16, 2013

Webmaster defined

A webmaster is a “person responsible for the creation or maintenance of a website” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Duties often vary, depending on the size of the organization and the size of the website or websites the webmaster is responsible for. The duties usually overlap with the responsibilities of a web developer or a web designer.

Role of a webmaster

In general, a webmaster is responsible for all aspects of a website, including the following:

  • maintain back-end operations e.g. the website servers, hardware, and software;
  • communicate with the website’s ISP (internet service providers);
  • maintain website architecture;
  • manage website content;
  • manage website advertisements and ad servers;
  • manage website transactions including e-commerce transactions;
  • maintain website security;
  • examine and analyze website performance and traffic using analytical tools;
  • resolve website technical issues;
  • communicate with website users;
  • optimize the website, including search engine optimization;
  • keep updated with latest technology and latest requirements e.g. responsive web design and website accessibility criteria; and
  • propose and/or make website improvements.

The main focus of a person in this profession is to manage and increase website profitability on the world wide web.

Postmaster compliance

A webmaster usually maintains the postmaster address for RFC5321 compliance (Internet Engineering Task Force 2008).  The person should also act as the point of contact with respect to all issues relating to the website he or she is in charge of.

Webmaster required knowledge

Particularly in mid to small-sized organizations, webmasters are required to be generalists and have a broad range of skills including:

  • core web programming and scripting languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, and Perl;
  • skills in Apache HTTP server and IIS (internet information services) configuration;
  • marketing and promotions expertise.

In large organizations, webmasters work closely with web developers and web designers to develop, maintain, and improve websites. Due to the varied nature of the role, a webmaster may be part of the I.T. department or marketing department of the organization.

According to TopTenReviews.com (20130, the forecast for growth in job demand for webmasters is 13% over the next 10 years.

References

  • Merriam-Webster Incorporated 2013, Webmaster Definition, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/webmaster
  • Internet Engineering Task Force 2008, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5321
  • TopTenReviews.com 2013, Webmaster, https://computer-careers-review.toptenreviews.com/webmaster-review.html