So you want to be a webmaster?

By | March 15, 2008

Being a webmaster isn’t all cake! It does usually allow for some creativity, which can be fun and gratifying but you’ll also be maintaining images and text, updating and other mundane duties. Most developers now use some kind of content management system so the clients have some control of the more ordinary jobs like entering text and images. This frees up the webmaster for more intensive work such as redesign or database and server maintenance.

Many webmasters work on contract, hiring themselves out to clients. This means the clients dictate web page content, no matter what the webmaster wants. They may have no idea what is or isn’t possible and many times don’t understand the labor involved. You have to explain to some clients what’s possible on the Web and also make them aware of the limitations.

Sometimes there’s more work than you can handle and other times you wonder where all the clients are hiding. Competition is fierce so you’ll need good sales skills, giving clients a reason to choose you over the other prospects.

A webmaster can often set their own hours but must learn to stay on task during “business hours”. Midnight calls for maintenance are always urgent to the client, no matter how little sleep you’ve had—it’s their livelihood, too!

A successful webmaster has to stay updated on the latest technologies, such as databases, backend software packages such as ColdFusion and the ins and outs of server maintenance. Webmasters must know much more than HTML!

It isn’t all fun and games and at times it can be deadly boring. You could be stuck with maintenance while outside designers get all the fun of creating new websites for you to put up. But on the whole, webmasters enjoy their jobs and the freedom that only working for themselves can give them.