Webmaster - His duties and ethics


It’s a term that is used frequently, but can mean very different things to different companies and individuals. Of course, at first glance, it would appear that a webmaster is “a master of the web,” and in many cases this is correct. But a webmaster is much more than simply lord of his domain.

Duties of a Webmaster

The most formal definition claims a webmaster is a person employed to design, develop, market, and maintain websites. Remarkably, this overly simplistic definition is completely inclusive of all that a webmaster does in fact do in the course of his daily business – be it self-employed or as an employee of another individual or company.

Design – A website, like any other aspect of business begins as a concept. Some webmasters specialize in taking a concept or brainstorm and literally coding that site into fruition. A web designer can create websites for himself or others, but a webmaster designs his own sites for marketing purposes.

Develop – Drafting a website design may involve coding, but with the huge numbers of freelance artists and writers available through the internet, many webmasters have taken a more managerial role as website developers. These individuals coordinate the efforts of others to build a fully comprehensive website. The idea and coordination is that of the webmaster, but much of the labor is performed by others and made cohesive by the individual in charge.

Market – Any solid webmaster knows that designing and building websites can be fun, but that the work truly begins when the site goes live. Once a website is available for traffic, webmasters begin the endless task of driving traffic to their respective website. Marketing, or gaining a reputation or image within a specific target audience, comprises the bulk of many webmasters’ workload.

Maintain – Finally, once a website is build and operational, it takes work to keep it that way. Webmasters must maintain websites including all links, text, and images to keep the website current and relevant to ongoing and potential traffic.

Webmaster Ethics

The internet is a notorious place for scams, fraud, and overall shady business practices. A webmaster often faces a choice between what is morally correct and what is immoral, but perhaps highly profitable. As a webmaster, an individual must walk a fine line between clever marketing promotions and practices that are unattractive and perhaps even illegal.

A high-quality webmaster should work to avoid any marketing schemes that can cause a website to be blocked or dropped from major search engines. This is especially true if a webmaster is working on behalf of a company or another individual. Black hat SEO practices such as spamming and search engine manipulation can cause otherwise reputable companies to be removed from search listings and perhaps even investigated for criminal activities.

Even as a self-employed webmaster, reputation is critical in the online community. Running scams or behaving in an unprofessional manner can follow you throughout much of your online dealings. Successful webmasters, in the same manner as quality companies, are interested in working with proven, professional individuals. A single unethical decision online can haunt you the rest of your online career. The internet may be vast, but the online community is getting more acquainted every day.

4 Responses to “Webmaster - His duties and ethics”

  1. How much designing do you think the future webmaster should have to undertake (apart from dictating the technical/hardware intrinsic parts of his domain), the main product in e-commerce is that intelligent page architecture. Designing buffs can create the product, at a COST!!! Thanks in Advance.

  2. Well, I can consider myself a webmaster. Actually I am a CIW (certified internet webmaster), so I have received the proper training and have been working/developing my own websites for around 10 years.
    I also have a regular job (not websites related).

    When I speak to the webmaster of the company I work for, after a two minutes chat I realize that the guy doesn’t know any programming language, has only basic knowledge of graphic design and no clue of what server administration is.
    Webmarketing: they don’t do that…actually they don’t need it that much, because we are talking about a very big company whos web-visitors would type the url directly into the browser if they ever want to visit the site.
    Previously I used to work for another big company with the same situation.

    I think that these webmasters should be called team managers or something else, because they don’t really know the web.
    What I think they know is how to manage a team of people, so they make sure the team deliver its best to the company.
    Of course, there are graphic designers, programmers etc in that team who are the ones who really know what is needed.

    I am assuming that these webmasters got their job for their management skills and not because the have good connections with the highest powers of the companies and are right now enjoying the life while the other do their job. You never know ;-)

  3. As a webmaster i have installed and configured a redhat webserver,gateway, dns and mailserver for WAN users. Then i have installed and configured a PHP/MySQL portal on it. Customized the portal to company look and feel.Added modules for support, shop, KB and forums.Syncronized my server with the company server MySQL database.Converted my users to returning visitors.
    Generated Content with the help of my users.Acted as a website moderator and administrator.
    Ran compaigns through CRM with the help of my database admin.Developed few microsites with the help of my Developer.

  4. You are a very smart person! :)