The Master of Your Domain: How to size up and select a webmaster who can keep your site one step ahead

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur magazine|March 1, 2011

In the web’s early days, knowledge of HTML and an eye for graphics were all a webmaster needed to succeed. Now, a top-notch webmaster must be a jack-of-all-trades, excelling in server and application programming, graphics design, e-mail marketing, media development, site security, social media integration and more.

Here’s what you should be looking for in an outstanding webmaster:

A diverse portfolio demonstrating knowledge and skills in visual design, web graphics and programming.

Knowledge of standards, technologies and tools. The ideal webmaster knows what is possible and required to implement certain features, but also knows that the latest and greatest craze may not be suitable for a specific company or client.

Efficiency. Webmasters who really know their trade build sites more efficiently. They may cost more per hour or charge a higher retainer, but if they accomplish more per hour and deliver on schedule, you save money.

Project management expertise. Rarely does a single individual possess all the knowledge and skills required. On large, complex sites, a webmaster is primarily a project manager who works closely with designers, programmers, writers, editors, artists and others.

Social media savvy. Your website is just a start. Establishing a strong brand presence online requires a blog and a following on social networking venues. Since webmasters today surely will be involved with the technical requirements of these once ancillary areas, they must possess a working knowledge and proficiency in these areas.

Comfort and confidence in serving as a vendor. Assuming you know what you want to do from a marketing perspective, your webmaster’s job is to execute the plan, not spend the bulk of their time trying to…

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