Webmasters, also known in some cases as website managers, are responsible for managing websites. The main management functions include ensuring that the website is updated regularly so that the information remains relevant accurate and "fresh". They spend a lot of time making changes and adding new things to the site, for instance, fixing mistakes, like links that do not work and pictures that do not show up on the screen.
Webmasters work out ways of making sites work faster. They keep the size of files as small as they can so that it a lot of time is not taken for a computer to download. For example, their website may have text, speech, graphics, animation or video pictures. It is necessary that the website manager gets the balance right. If the user spends too much time waiting for the site to download, they may not want to visit the site again. For this reason they may test web sites by observing people who use the site in order to see if there are any features that are difficult to use and then rectify the problem.
A webmaster’s role may also extend to managing the security of the website. In a commercial company, this means making sure that only authorised people can access customers’ details, for example, addresses or credit card information. In some cases they may also have a role in selecting the most suitable type of host server on which the website will be hosted and how stored information is to be uploaded to the Internet. They may also select the kinds of software to be used, as well as decide on when and where information will be sent to the Internet.
In a large commercial website operation a webmaster works as part of a team with the web manager as the head. The webmaster’s role in this case will be to coordinate the various design and technical aspects according to the requirements of the customer. Webmasters or web managers work with communications, public relations and marketing departments. For example, they try to obtain information on the users of the website. They may put together monthly statistics that indicate how many people visited the website over that period.
Schooling & School Subjects
Each institution has its own entry requirements.
Compulsory subjects will depend on course to be undertaken.
Many entrants have a degree or a diploma in a computer-related subject. Entry is also possible with a non-IT degree, especially in art or design subjects. For some employers, however, experience and proof of your creative abilities (such as a personal website) are more important than academic qualifications.
National Arts Council
P O Box 500
Tel: (011) 838-1383 Fax: (011) 838-6363
P O Box 809
Tel: 082 230 2255 Fax: (011) 388-1045
Artthrob Online magazine