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Getting started as a Webmaster

which skills to aim for?



9:49 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm currently working as an SEO but would like to expand my C.V. to allow me to apply for general webmaster jobs.

What skills do I need to learn? HTML, JAVA?


10:17 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

It depends where youre gonna work (region / country).

Im currently working as a webmaster with only HTML behind me (and use of HTML editors, graphic design software, SEO, etc), but its good to get to grips with good design practices.

Depening where you apply for work you may be asked for more programming skills (it also depends on the site you are applying to work on).

Most importantly, you need past experience of designing, building and marketing a successful website (at the end of the day if you dont have the technical skills asked for, but have a proven track record of getting users onto a well designed site, then employers cant really ask for more).

Plus if you have a proven track record in web design and marketing it shows that you are least capable of learning what it takes to do the job.

The UK IT industry is highly competitive just now, so getting some hard IT skills behind you as well as past experience would stand you in good stead.

Best of luck! :)


10:17 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Personally I'd say HTML and web server software (IIS and Apache).


10:25 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

cheers jackofalltrades

I posted here and on your forum to see if there was differing advice,

but seems It's going tob every simillar :)

apache? IIS? Can anyone point me in the direction of a beginers guide site? or anywhere else course books etc


11:04 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

"but seems It's going to be very simillar "

I considered copying and pasting my reply! ;)


11:10 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

apache? IIS?

If you have wondows 2000 running you can practice using IIS and running a web server locally. It will give you a quick rundown on how to do it. If you are on 98 then install PWS (personal web server)

Be sure to update windows after you have done this or you will find CodeRed all over your boat and possibly the network manger wanting a word with you :).

WRT apache, in the process of learning php and mySQL you can run apache under a windows environment.


have all the downloads to get going.



1:00 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There are 2 distinct roles for web developers. Graphics/Design/Layout and Programming/Coding. A web developer may possess both of these skills to varying degrees. I will speak about the Programmer/Coder role.

If your employment desires involve making youself attractive to the most businesses...

Become fluent in a programming language. For example: Java, Visual Basic, C#, C++, Python.

Become fluent with databases and their operation. For example: DB2, MSSQL, Oracle, mySQL(free), postgresql(free).

Develop an understanding of XML. You will encounter it.

Become aware of the programmatic capabilities of the various HTML editors out there: DreamWeaver, GoLive, FrontPage, Domino, Cold Fusion.

Be aware of the scripting languages. Client-side: JavaScript, VBScript, ECMAScript, etc... Server-side: ASP, PHP, JSP, Perl, etc...

Be aware of new advancements in the web arena.

The old definition of a webmaster as one who writes HTML is no longer valid when speaking of forward-thinking businesses. Any web development can be achieved programmatically, thereby negating the need for a person to manually write HTML/XML/etc. This stratification of developers (Graphics/Programming) can already be seen in web consulting companies. They have programmers on staff to do the coding for database connections, data transport, you name it, and they have graphic designers for the user experience stuff, color scheming, layout, logos, etc. Even colleges have made this distinction. Often there are web graphics/design degrees alongside web programming ones.


5:06 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

mikeputnam had a lot of good points. Becoming a webmaster means all that and much more...

You can have the most cutting edge, graphically compelling site on the net but if it doesn't "work", your visitors will never linger long enough to become customers. You need to understand heirarchy, and how to layout a website's architecture before you write a single line of code.

You need to understand the difference and significance of graphical links versus textual links and provide multiple avenues for visitors to negotiate your website.

You need to understand the recommendations of 3WC and the ADA, why their recommendations are important and necessary, and how to implement their recommendations.

You need to understand issues such as recommended loading limits; page layout and format; whole site design consistently; to use or not to use guestbooks, advertising, gimmicks, etc.; the pros and cons of end-user-side languages like Javascript versus server-side languages like CGI and Perl.

Basically, if you want to become a professional webmaster, you first need to become an amateur webmaster. Set up a website of your own and play with it. Takes a beginners class at your local community college, then an intermediate class. If they have advanced classes, take those too. Get some books. Read them. Apply them. Do some surveys. Familiarize yourself with the design elements of award winning websites as well as the flaws of the worst sites on the web. Find out who and where the best advice sources are and start following them. I'll even start some threads on the subject.

Basically what knowledge do you need to be a webmaster?
: Coding languages, not limited to HTML...
: Web editors: textual, wysiwyg, shareware versus big name software...
: Graphics control, compression, layout, usage, when not to use...
: Page layout and format of fonts, links, headings, content, contact options, disclaimers, privacy policies, navigation, site heirarchy/architecture, color options...
: Copyrights and content issues...
: Form design and implementation with server-side scripting...
: Opt-in email usage options and implementation...
: Industry standards, their applicability, their INcompatibilities, their necessities, options and alternatives, and how to implement them...
: Hosting services, providers, and costs...
: Experience. You won't find that in books and theory. You have to DO it in order to BE it.
I'm sure I've left something out here but that should get you started.

Good luck:)


3:48 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

you cant go wrong with this advice Dino_M - youll be a guru in no time :)


3:59 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

cheers all,

I had a strange feeling that just learning, say java on top of my HTML skills was not going to cut the mustard :)

A lot to think about here.

I have started my own site from scratch and think I will startpicking up skills as I go. seems like a very long road


4:12 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

...various HTML editors out there: DreamWeaver, GoLive, FrontPage, Domino, Cold Fusion.

I have to mention, ColdFusion is not a "HTML editor". Maybe that was supposed to read "ColdFusion Studio"? "ColdFusion Studio" a text editor most often used to develop ColdFusion code.

Conversely, ColdFusion is a server-side scripting language, that was designed to be a simple and powerful alternative to Perl and other CGI technologies. Macromedia's ColdFusion's competition is ASP, ASP.net, CGI Scripting/Perl, Java Server Pages, and PHP among others.

creative craig

5:05 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Also "web sense"

Even if you know all the languages under the sun, it doesnt mean that you are webmaster savy!

Theres no helping people who design a red & black background with yellow and white writing, with a javascript fade in for your text ;)


6:44 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Has anyone mentioned CSS? I think that should be one of the next steps, unless that's alreadt in your bag o' tricks ;)


8:42 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Yeah, and don't forget to validate all that hi-tech stuff so that the end user actually has some chance of viewing your work in all its glory!


9:10 pm on Oct 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know if this occurred to anyone else... but how are you an SEO if you're not proficient with HTML?


9:48 pm on Oct 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Here are a couple of other "getting started as a webmaster threads"

What newbies need to know [webmasterworld.com]

Web Development Learning Path [webmasterworld.com]

Basic Webmaster Skills [webmasterworld.com]

Hope that helps Dino_M


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