A Webmaster is responsible for the design, development, maintenance and promotion of a website. In most organisations there will be only one Webmaster for a site, but for larger sites the Webmaster will be the person in charge of the team of web designers and graphic designers who, as a team, are responsible for the site.
As a Webmaster, you may take over an existing website from your predecessor, or you may be charged with designing a completely new site.
The benefits of being a Webmaster are that you can work anywhere in the world (the market that you are competing in is exactly the same anywhere) and you can work for yourself (take this site for example).
A fairly in-depth knowledge of web design is required, but not really to the extent that most people think (see Key Skills, below).
For most positions, a potential employer will expect education to a degree level at least in an IT related discipline. Exceptions to this may be where the individual has sufficient experience and completed websites behind them to show that they are capable of doing the job.
In this game, qualifications don’t really mean much. The industry changes on a daily basis and the only reason that an employer will ask for a qualification is to ensure that your industry knowledge is at a certain level and that you are capable of doing the job.
There are no two ways about it. If you want to be a Webmaster you need previous websites behind you. But! One of the advantages of this career is that you can create your own experience by setting up your own websites.
The websites that you have worked on previously will dictate the job offers that you get (if you’ve only done a small 4 page HTML site, don’t expect to get a job as Webmaster of Microsoft.com!).
At least a basic grounding in the following will start you off:
- HTML and HTML text editors (FrontPage / Dreamweaver)
- Graphic design
- Search Engines
- Web Design
- Reasonable level of numeracy and literacy
- IT literacy
- History of the Internet and Internet theory
As you progress as a Webmaster (or in any IT profession), your skills will increase and improve through the course of your work. The hard part is breaking through the initial learning barrier and figuring out the basics.
- Fused Nation Blog – SEO and marketing blog.
- HTML Goodies – HTML tutorial site
- Open Directory Project – Largest directory of resources on the Web
- Macromedia Dreamweaver – Homepage for Macromedia’s HTML text editor
- Microsoft FrontPage – Homepage for MS’s HTML text editor
- w3schools – Tutorial site for web design technologies.
- WC3 – World Wide Web resources and Standards
- Zero Strategy – Marketing news and discussions for marketing professionals.
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