There are billions of websites on the internet today and counting, and some have been here since the 1990s. Each of these websites requires regular maintenance to perform optimally.
The webmaster ensures that a website is regularly maintained and that it is running smoothly day in and day out. To do so effectively, the webmaster requires specialized knowledge and skill set.
In this article, you’ll learn more about what a webmaster is, what webmasters do, the job description of a webmaster, qualifications for becoming a webmaster, and career options available to webmasters.
A webmaster is a person responsible for managing a website and ensuring that it’s working smoothly. Several factors can affect a website and cause it to malfunction or break. It is also the webmaster’s job to prevent this from happening.
A webmaster’s job will vary depending on the size and nature of the website. Broadly speaking, a webmaster monitors the front-end and the back-end of a website.
In general, here’s an insight into a typical day in the life of the average webmaster. Understanding this can help you decide whether a career as a webmaster is right for you or otherwise.
As a webmaster, your day will typically begin with the basics, checking to see that the front-end is working properly. You may also sort through your emails to see if there are any tickets requiring your attention.
Next up, is the back-end. You will need to log in to the site’s back-end to see what’s happening there. Are there plugins and themes that need to be updated? Do you need to update your CMS to the latest version?
Is there a comment on one of the blog posts that you need to screen and approve or decline? Is your SSL certificate up to date, or does your domain name registration need to be renewed?
Your typical day as a webmaster may also involve writing reports and making presentations at management meetings to discuss the recent downtime, site user complaints, and the ways forward.
Job Description for a Webmaster
As a webmaster, you are generally expected to take care of domain registration and management (.com or other TLD registration, WHOIS information, web hosting and renewals, SSL subscription).
As part of the role, you can also handle CMS installation and management, themes, backups, site maintenance/performance (speed and mobile responsiveness testing, troubleshooting, security, UX/UI/site (re)design, AB/Testing, Technical SEO, Server administration, browser/OS/device testing, site tracking and reporting, etc.).
Compliance is another key part of a webmaster’s job. If you’re managing an e-commerce website, or any site that accepts credit cards, for instance, you may be responsible for initiating, pursuing, or actualizing PCI compliance in line with PCI Security Council Standards for online merchants.
Additionally, you’ll be required to troubleshoot any issues that may arise with the website, both at the front-end and back-end. In essence, you may double as the IT guy.
There’s really no upper limit to what you can be required to do as a webmaster. You have the option of working at a 9 to 5 job doing all of these for a particular company, or starting an agency where you employ other webmasters to make your job easier.
Typical Job Requirements for a Webmaster Position
Although being a webmaster primarily revolves around managing and maintaining websites, this role, like many others, is quickly evolving and involves a lot more work, especially in a 9 to 5 job.
We did some digging and looked at some recent webmaster job descriptions. Here are some of our findings about the requirements for becoming a webmaster:
- You may require a Bachelor’s degree in an ICT-related field with relevant work experience and industry-recognized certifications, e.g. from the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW).
- In your line of work as a webmaster, you may be required to participate in web (re)design or development projects. If so, you should be familiar with tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, JIRA.
- The ability to use Photoshop, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, and other data/database management tools can also come in handy.
- You’ll require certain key soft skills to effectively do your job as a webmaster, such as strong writing and communication skills, project management, technical proficiency, and time management, among others.
Career Options Available to Webmasters and Average Expected Salary
With more businesses going online and experimenting with remote work, we will likely continue to see an increase in the number of jobs available for webmasters. Job titles may change, but at the core, they will still revolve around website maintenance.
There’s also room for upward mobility, as webmasters can often transit into management and other tangential roles, thanks to their wide job description and experience.
So, what can you expect to earn as a salary as a webmaster? This will depend on a number of factors such as your qualifications, certifications, skills, experience, and of course, the company hiring.
According to Indeed, webmasters in the US can expect to earn an average base annual salary of $55,154. Other benefits that webmasters can expect include paid time off, stock options, referral programs, AD&D insurance, remote work, and commuter assistance, among others.
Master What It Takes to Be a Webmaster
If you want to become a webmaster, here’s all you need to know about becoming a webmaster. With more businesses going online and remote, opportunities for webmasters are on the rise.
A quick search on popular job search sites will return page after page of job advertisements for webmasters. Spend some time studying them to get an idea of what it takes to become a webmaster.
However, like every other professional career, you’ll still need to work hard, work smart, upskill, and level up your game to stand out from the crowd and succeed as a webmaster.
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