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The "Webmaster" Job Title

 5:34 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is the title "Webmaster" outdated? If so, what would be a more relevant job title for a person that is ultimately responsible for a Web site, including its appearance, functionality and content?



 5:38 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Site Manager?


 6:12 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think Web Developer sounds better I know its not the same as Webmaster however I think it sounds better and most people don't know the difference / don't care. I would think that non tech people would laugh at the term "webmaster" as some geek thing.


 3:18 am on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have always despised the term 'webmaster' and use web developer, or, more often, IT developer or IT manager. This actually fits me best because I am much more management oriented now and hire out a LOT of work, especially 'plug-in' code and software that I can use on multiple websites.

Nothing wrong with webmaster; it's well accepted, but have just never used to describe what I do. Personal thing really.


 3:43 am on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've used web developer for a few years now. To me it's more than the traditional definition of a developer as in software developer. It encompasses all the development we do as part of our jobs. Developing software, web sites, content, SEO, links, communities and what have you.


 6:24 am on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

When anyone asks me what I'm doing:
"I'm an online editor; something like -put here any big and well known portal- but small. I make my money selling ads."
Then I give them a business card with my sites to take a look.


 3:30 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ahh . . . I feel the same way about "webmaster" as I do after describing what I do, then days later, when introduced, someone summarizes it as "computer guy."

Which has nothing to do with what I do. :-)

It's a label thrown about for and by people who have limited understanding of the technology. Like when you don't get a raise, but get promoted to senior [whatever].

I think I've only met (virtual or otherwise) two real "webmasters" in my life, and one of them is right here over in the Apache forum, a true master of all things on the web.

And I ain't on of 'em, I'm still a student after all these years.

To answer the question, I have multiple tasks, so I assign multiple "labels:" overall, web developer kinda' . . . fits.


 6:11 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Web Developer fits best for someone who does A-Z web related tasks. You're required to take ideas about the web and convert them to real property so it fits conceptually with other ideas of what a developer should be.(industrial, real estate, etc)


 6:43 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Web Developer sounds better

And is about 3 pay grades below "webmaster". Developers are gloried gfx designers and make half what Webmasters make.

> Site Manager?

Couldn't program his way out of a paper bag with a flashlight.

> IT developer

Nice ring to it, but it refers to hardware (PC) guys.

I think webmaster is coming back into vogue after being in and then out of favor.


 8:32 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Webmaster does sound like something out of an RPG, now that I think about it.

The 'Webmaster' joins your party!
HP: 100/100
MP: 675/675

But as geeky as the term sounds, that's what you are. Don't dumb down your "rank" for others to comprehend.


 8:39 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

The interesting thing here, is how this question comes up about every 16months without fail.


 9:07 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I prefer to call myself "Web Coordinator"...as I seem to spend my time coordinating everything and mastering nothing. Maybe "Web MasterCoordinator" would sum it up. Or, "Web MasterCoordinatorAdminstrator" (WMCA for short).

====> Brett_Tabke, where does a Web Adminstrator :o) fit into your heirarchical scheme?

BTW StoutFiles...as I am quite the geeky, nerd *ahem* and so aptly named...I think a WebMaster should have significantly higher HP, even when starting the RPG.

Truthfully, as I work in ecommerce, I just tell people, "I sell 'widgets' on the web." They get the gist of it and know better than to ask technical questions as they don't want actual answers. The conversation usually turns to the items I sell as opposed to the work which goes into selling them. :o( Go figure.


 9:56 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I can just see this starting a new Foo thread about the WWW as an RPG: WebMasters, SPAM monsters, Google protection spells, ...

WebMaster: "You successfully helped the NOOB consumer complete an online transaction for 25 experience points and and 15 gold pieces. But he later disputes it for a charge back."
Level 5 Merchant: "I cast a charge back dispute spell."
WebMaster: "It was actually a phishing bot and not a NOOB. You lose 50 experience points and 20 gold pieces."
Level 2 Programmer: "I start casting my level 2 fraud prevention spell."
WebMaster: "The spell will take 3 rounds to complete." (rolls dice) "A rogue spider started pounding your web site and is preventing any additional sales."
Level 3 SysAdmin: "I use my +2 firewall against it!"
WebMaster: "Roll to block it."
Level 3 SysAdmin: (rolls dice) "Dang, a 3!"
WebMaster: "Your firewall's rules have no affect."
Level 3 SysAdmin: "I update the rules." (rolls dice) "A 1! What is going on today?!?"
WebMaster: "I have to look up what a 1 means... Oh, not good! You managed to overload the UPS and your server is completely down. On the bright side, you stopped the rogue bot!"
Level 5 Merchant: "I fire the SysAdmin!"

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 9:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 28, 2008]


 10:18 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Level 5 Merchant: "Oh man, we can't take on Level ? Amazon!"
WebMaster: "Get me $550 million in start-up capital and we can dominate them!"
Level 5 Merchant: "Can't. You know my stats; my credit score isn't high enough to face a Level 99 Loan Officer."
WebMaster: "Re-roll?"
Level 5 Merchant: "How many gold to upgrade my check-out process? If I can streamline I'll make more gold and I can throw that at other upgrades."
WebMaster: "Well, normally I would need to consult with the SysAdmin to see if there is enough room in your inventory for the new plug-ins. But seeing as how your Level 3 SysAdmin was killed, I think we'll need to throw more gold at the problem."
Level 5 Merchant: "I don't even understand what you WebMasters do. Why do you get any of my gold in the first place?"
WebMaster: "I cast a silence spell."


Sorry to have hijacked an honest thread...the impulse is just too powerful to overcome.
LifeInAsia, it was a pleasure playing World of WebMaster with you.

[edited by: HugeNerd at 10:21 pm (utc) on Oct. 28, 2008]


 11:28 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>I think webmaster is coming back into vogue after being in and then out of favor.

Good thing. Your domain choice was starting to look so passe. ;)

Anybody know who coined "webmaster"? He/she must have been pretty proud of that old html. I would have never been so bold. The web will never be mastered; that's what I love about the business: "If I can't webmaster in heaven, I'm not going".


 1:57 am on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I call myslef a "Web Developer". A Webmaster does much more than a Web Developer. I prefer to do as little as possible.

Most people still label me as Wembaster anyhow. The pay grade (in my particular situation) wouldn't be different between masters and developers.


 10:03 am on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

My self chosen title is Web Developer (translated directly from my native language). I could've gotten Webmaster or Executive Web Development Manager if I've wanted but as this has zero effect on my salary I decided not to go there.

I can just see the Webmaster RPG making it big. One thing you should take into consideration is that in most RPGs the starting characters are total tools.
My RPG experience says that the 1st level character would manage to create a site with no original content and sloppy HTML, have it hijacked and get it banned from SEs within one week.


 2:54 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

@ webfoo
> Most people still label me as Wembaster anyhow...

I think Wembaster sounds much better, I think I'll adopt that title.


 3:18 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for your responses. I am thinking that Webmaster is still the appropriate title for the sole person that is "in charge" of a Web site (ultimately responsible for functionality, content, appearance, uptime, etc) - especially in smaller organizations.


 4:52 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im currently in the procces of redfining my role and title at my company,

I was thinking : Web Development and I.T project Manager its a bit of a mouthful but fits my job to a tee, hope the MD agree's.

Personally i'm not a bit fan of the term webmaster its far to generic, carries no weight, sounds like you just answer web enquiries all day and maybe do updates.

Fortune Hunter

 9:39 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use Internet Marketing Consultant. I do this for two reasons, first I offer a lot more than just coding and site design and two I think there are too many "web developers" and "webmasters" so I don't want to be turned into a commodity.


 9:58 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think it is rather sad that webmaster is no longer used and it is purely down to bitchiness and the arrogant nature of the industry, I thought it evoked a certain excitment ? but alas


 10:15 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use Internet Marketing Consultant

Marketing seems to me like it would fall outside of, and be a delegated facet of, the job description of WebMaster. By this I mean: If I were hiring for a company I would hire a WebMaster to run the operation and an Internet Marketing Consultant to work under the WebMaster. The Internet Market Consultant would do just that, consult the WebMaster on everything from SEO and content writing to click campaigns and onsite advertisements.

Maybe I just tend to think of a "WebMaster" as a firm or group of individuals as opposed to a single person. Then again, anyone running a site on their own...or the odd RPG character...should be able to call themselves a WebMaster.


 6:30 pm on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think webmaster is most appropriate when someone is a jack-of-all trades who more or less does EVERYTHING for a site (even if that involves some outsourcing to contractors).
It's harder to say someone's the webmaster for a large company, when there are actually lots of people responsible for the different aspects of the site. However, even in that case I think there really should be a webmaster who's responsible for making sure the whole thing comes together properly.

Fortune Hunter

 7:09 pm on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Internet Marketing Consultant to work under the WebMaster.

I do get a little of that in the larger companies that have in house web development teams. The good news I am generally not "under" them but rather work "with" them to accomplish the goal. The better news is I get even higher fees than for any type of web development work I would ever do.

For the smaller and mid-size companies I get the job to do everything from development to marketing and the good news is they see a lot more value in me because I am the complete package and the one stop shop which is something they highly value rather than having to hire a ton of freelance professionals and try and make them all work together. I do all of that for them and they get a finished product that meets their needs and accomplishes their marketing goals.


 7:34 pm on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

However, even in that case I think there really should be a webmaster who's responsible for making sure the whole thing comes together properly.

I have no doubt there is such a person. I think the goal of this thread is to thresh out what title that person should/does hold. I think WebMaster fits this (jack-of-all-trades, individual in charge) definiton perfectly.

@Fortune Hunter: I did not mean that in all cases an Internet Marketing Consultant would necessarily work under the WebMaster. Just that if I saw a list of employees and their titles with no other information, my assumption would be that the Internet Marketing Consultant would report to the WebMaster.


 8:10 pm on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would hire a WebMaster to run the operation and an Internet Marketing Consultant to work under the WebMaster

I would hire an Internet Marketing Consultant and a webmaster to work under marketing.

I've seen far more problems arise where IT it dictating to marketing how the website needs to run than the other way around.

This is definitely an opinion, and I'm sure a rather unpopular one here.


 8:57 pm on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you woke up and checked email before heading for the bathroom, and after grabbing a cup of [insert name of favorite beverage here], then sat down in front of your favorite computer, and;

- jump right back into the .PSD file you were working on last night before you went to sleep, (at 2:00am), finish it up and save it as a .JPG optimized for use on the web

- use an FTP client and upload said .JPG to a directory on a server, and while you're there, you clean out some old files that you know are no longer used or needed

- browse the page where the image is being used and decide you need more white space around it so you edit in some CSS to just to give it padding on the two (out of four) sides that need the space.

- read all the latest at WebmasterWorld, and post a few replies, (and only engine has been there before you)

- check the stats on a couple domains to see what type of traffic they are (or aren't) getting and can evaluate the the stats in a rational way, identifying patterns, trends, search terms, good and bad bots, and send reports to concerned parties.

- based on the stats you just looked at, you edit some .htaccess files to handle some problems, block or allow a bot or two, then optimize, create or delete a few pages to better monetize the search traffic patterns you spotted

- upload / download some data as either .CSV, XML or other "raw" format that's integrated into a site

- install an upgrade of a web based app

- tweak a few settings in some ecommerce software, a blog or two, or some other web based apps.

- fix a bug in a perl script that nobody but you noticed yet, and not introduce a new problem -- then find and fix something else in a php page on another site

- pull up an email from a customer and tell them their admin login info, because they just hired a new assistant and the old one was the only one who knew it, (except you).

- check you Adsense or Adwords account(s) and do whatever needs to be done.

- register a new domain, renew a few others.

- read, respond to and file a bunch of email in a way that you can easily pull them back up when / if needed

- look up and reconfigure the network key on a security enabled local machine because the NIC card or Windows XP lost it's mind.

- noticed a good JS one liner in a post and cut and pasted it into a page where it did just what you needed.

- trim down a .WMV file and sync up the audio, add a title and convert it to .FLV -- then FTP it into place, write some HTML to wrap it in a SWF player, center it in a table, wrapped in a CSS styled div, and it all works and passes validation on the first try

- call a couple customers about their sites, and one or two call you, and discuss web issues and concerns.

- email a link to a customer so they can hook up with a good merchant account provider -- and in your email you rattle off an explanation of setup fees, discount rates, per transaction fees, etc.. in a way they can understand without having to sort through 14 pages of reading on the merchant account providers site

- log into Google webmaster tools, generate a verification file, upload it, check the URL, then click verify, then go to Y! and do the same (even though Y! calls is "authentication"), all while you are talking on the phone -- and since you're in your Webmaster Tools or Site Explorer accounts -- you check a few new customer's sites to be sure the sitemaps.org format XML feeds you uploaded are indexed and have no errors.

- go to Google maps and claim a customer's business listing for them, edit in an honest, brief, natural looking keyword rich description, upload a few pictures for their business, then have Google call their number on one line while you're on the other line telling them the pin they need to enter, and it all takes 3-5 minutes and gets done correctly.

- refuse to allow Win XP to reboot your machine after an automatic update because you are too busy and don't have the 5 minutes to spare -- and are scared knowing the update may not have gone well and you'll end up spending a LOT more than 5 minutes to reconfigure networked printers or other plug n' play devices after it reboots.

...and, it's still before lunch;



 2:32 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think webmaster is most appropriate when someone is a jack-of-all trades who more or less does EVERYTHING for a site...

Well. You know what they say. Jack of all trades . . .

Master of none. Which makes my point. :-)


 4:19 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I prefer the term "web developer"... but that always leads to the question, "do I need a web designer too?" After that some marketing type advertising sales person comes in and says, "No, it all needs to be like this"... Yet, they have no idea of the underpinnings of the technology -- they claim to be "SEO experts" but have never created a website -- just juggled the text around.

In the long run, when people ask what I do, I usually just say, "computer stuff"

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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