What Is a Webmaster And Do They Still Exist?

When a website needs maintenance, someone has to do the job. Do you call a developer? Surely you don’t, right? They are expensive and their jobs are often to build things and not to maintain them? It really depends on the site and how much maintenance it needs. Some sites could use with more maintenance compared to others. Some sites break entirely and need expert programmer support.

This job often goes to the webmaster, a person who is there to maintain the site, though that profession has more duties than you could actually think of, not to mention that many career choices could end up with the title of webmaster.

Here is what a webmaster is and what their duties are.

Webmasters – People In Charge Website Maintenance

Webmaster sounds like a title from the 1990s, or early 2000s, to be fair. It is almost like a Dungeon master from Dungeons & Dragons, but with a more digital role. Webmasters have a complex job of making sure that everything from the site’s server, hardware and software are working as intended.

Webmasters also need to concern themselves with the site’s design, its content, testing the site, comparing versions of the site, generating pages, editing them, replying to users and their comments and of course, doing analysis of the site’s traffic.

Since today’s sites also sell products, they might have an e-commerce system installed. Webmasters need to know how these systems work and how to maintain them.

Who Does the Job of Webmaster?

This is where things get interesting. You don’t really need special training to be a webmaster, in fact, most of them are people with general HTML and CSS knowledge, with some PHP and JS knowledge that they picked up on the go, enough to work through the immediate issues.

However, web architects, developers, designers, administrators, the owner, coordinators, publishers, or third-party maintenance employees may be webmasters. If the webmaster has a lot of programming knowledge, especially regarding web development, then the site is in much better hands than those of a rookie webmaster.

Sometimes, webmasters also work on the server side of things, though this is where things get really hard for generalists and IT specialists need to be hired, like a sysadmin.

Is This Job Still There?

Well, yes, this is still an active job and there are tons of people who do it, even though it is not their primary description. A friend I know does webmaster duties even though they are a specialist in digital marketing. However, once a site breaks and a client asks you to fix it, you don’t deny them. Nurturing good relationships means that you get to be a webmaster for a day or two, until hopefully, a true web developer is hired to fix the glaring issues on the site. 

You could also specialize for this job and simply maintain multiple sites. Doing so would require learning how to code, which is a good thing, because then you could eventually transition into a web developer role should you wish to do so.

Does It Pay Well?

Compared to web developer jobs and any jobs where you do creative work, webmasters don’t really get that much money. When you have to maintain things, you don’t really get paid that much, unless you are a system administrator, who does more complicated things like making sure that the servers in a company are working properly.

A webmaster is a job that typically refers to a person who has duties around a website, making sure that it is working properly, top to bottom. Anyone could do this job, though some specialization would definitely help.

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