The web definitely isn’t as simple as it used to be. Back in the ‘90s you could get away with one person who kept up with a website and everything that went into it. This one Webmaster could handle everything. I have the job title of Webmaster at Wofford and I have a hard time grasp exactly what that means and what I’m supposed to do and what I’m not. Michael Fienen wrote a recent post, How Safe Is Your Job?, that got me thinking about what exactly does my job title mean.
When you think about a Webmaster is it someone who is master of the web or knows everything that there is to know about managing, hosting, marketing, and updating a website? Well that was all good in the beginning, but the web of the past isn’t the web of the present.
Fast forward to the present day and the web just isn’t that simple anymore. In the last decade a simple website has gone from a nice little thing to have to an essential, marketing, storefront, engaging, and a lot of the time the only extension of your brand that potential clients every see. Websites have become very dynamic, fluid and visual. People shop online, play games, do research, and countless other activities. People build and have complete relationships with friends and family solely through experiences online now.
So if we had to look at the areas of specialization of the web today what would be some of the jobs?
Web Related Jobs
- Project Manager – To manage and support everyone else
- Web Developer – Develop the site including framework and application builder
- Web Programmer – To actually write the code in coordination with the Developer
- Web Designer – Designs the website and layout including style sheets
- Graphic Designer – To design graphics for the web
- Search Engine Optimization Analyst – To make sure your site is optimized for search engines
- PPC Campaign Manager – You manage the advertising though paid links
- Web Server Administrator – The site sits on a server and has to be managed by someone
- Database Administrator – Your whole site is run by a gigantic database that needs to be maintained
- Security Administrator – Someone who test and checks your site for security issues, loopholes, and vulnerabilities
- Web Analyst – Someone who goes through all the analytical data about the site and things related, to work with other team members to decide what needs to be done and where is our site not performing where it should
- Marketing Manager – A true marketing manager who can come up with ways to market your site online
- Social Media Marketer – This person is the one who builds the buzz about your brand in the social spectrum
- Videographer team – The video that is produced for your site doesn’t create itself
- Photographer – Like the videographer someone has to take the photography for your site
- Online Identity Manager – Knowing what your customers are saying about your brand online is important too
I could probably continue this list, but maybe that is enough variety to make a point? Small sites won’t be able to accommodate specialized individuals in each of these and members will be asked to perform multiple roles, but the companies that fully vest in an online presence will find that everything mentioned is a requirement. It should also be noted that many of these roles are outsources and that is ok also. The point is it takes multiple specialized individuals and a lot of the time multiple individuals in each area to run a truly effective website.
Are you fully committed to the success of your website and filling every niche? Does looking at this list make you feel overwhelmed? How does one individual go about taking on these multiple roles while still staying sane and properly accomplishing everything?
Finally how do our roles as Webmasters look in the future? The more technical and important that the web becomes to institutions and pretty much any business how does the role of “jack of all trades master of none” fit into an environment of specialization and potential outsourcing of skill sets?