Webmasters deal with the planning, graphic design, development, maintenance, marketing and administration of websites and applications on the Internet or the intranet of an organization. You are the first point of contact for technical problems, questions or suggestions about a website.
Webmasters are project managers with overall responsibility for the planning and implementation of web projects. They are generalists with skills in the areas of web business, web design, web programming and web server administration and can therefore also work on the implementation of static and dynamic content on the Internet using relatively simple markup languages (such as HTML ) or more complex ones Programming languages as well as content management and editing systems are involved. You are then z. B. responsible for programming , development of database systems or user-friendly human-machine interfaces ( interface design ) (see also web engineering ).
There is currently no state-approved training for webmasters in Germany. Other training courses in IT professions have now mostly also included the basics of web development in the curriculum.
The terms webmistress or in German also webmasterin are sometimes used as the emphatically feminine form of the webmaster .
The term webmaster (English from the words web - short for World Wide Web - and master = master) was coined in 1992 by Tim Berners-Lee , the inventor of the World Wide Web , in the document Style Guide for Online Hypertext . Berners-Lee suggested that every administrator of a web server or website should create an e-mail address in the form webmaster @ domain as an alias for their own e-mail address . Compared to a personal e-mail address, this has the advantage that the sender always has the same e-mail address available, even if the person responsible changes. Webmaster is one of the role accounts described in RFC 2142 .
Webmaster as a profession
Since the beginning of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s, the term webmaster has also been used as an occupation or job title for people who run a website or are responsible for an Internet presence in some form . At the time, it was common practice for websites to be developed by only one person. The webmaster's profession is therefore based on a generalist principle: Webmasters were equally responsible for the conception, development, publication and marketing.
With the rapid further development of web technologies and the commercialization of the World Wide Web, the requirements for professional qualifications in all areas grew significantly. Today, complex, commercial websites are mostly developed by a team of different specialists:
- Web business experts ( concept developers , online marketing and e-commerce specialists)
- Graphic, web and user interface designer
- Programmer / software developer
- System and network administrators
Against this background, the job description of the interdisciplinary working webmaster has changed, and a strong trend towards specialization can now also be observed here. In some places it is discussed whether the term webmaster as a job title is still up-to-date. On the other hand, it is argued that with the complexity of today's web projects, more than ever there has to be a generalist who monitors the project and coordinates the project processes.
In Germany, Europe, Russia and many other countries, webmaster is not a legally protected professional title . This means that any person can legally use the term as a job title. However, anyone who uses the term in professional life (e.g. when applying for a job or concluding contracts) without having the appropriate qualifications is violating U. against the law against unfair competition (UWG) in the sense of misleading advertising. Under certain circumstances, the use of the job title webmaster can also constitute a criminal offense of fraud in accordance with Fulfill § 263 StGB, for example in the form of employment fraud .
The job description of the webmaster is not uniformly defined and also varies internationally. Due to the rapid development of internet and web technologies, the job description changes very quickly. The German Webmasters Europe e. V., for example, describes the webmaster in his job description as a "website architect" whose core task is to "plan and coordinate the construction of a website in technical, economic, functional and design terms, similar to the planning of an architect and coordination in the construction of structures ”. To do this, a webmaster needs knowledge from the four core areas of web development and publication: web business management, web design , web programming and system and network administration .
Fields of work and activity
Webmasters as generalists and "website architects" plan, coordinate and monitor the development of websites and web applications. The focus of their work is on ensuring the project and, if necessary, market success of an Internet presence.
- Selection and coordination of the various specialists involved in the project
- Project control, project management
- Cost and schedule control
- Monitoring and coordination of the maintenance and further development of a website after publication ( launch )
For example, they perform the following activities:
As generalists with a possibly existing technical specialization, webmasters can also perform the following tasks and activities within the project team or on their own:
- Web business area
- Online marketing , e.g. B. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing , Affiliate Marketing
- Reach and usage measurement of websites, e-mail newsletters, online shops, etc.
- Legal compliance monitoring
- Web design area
- Layout and design using HTML and CSS
- Graphic, screen and interface design with the help of graphics and image processing software
- Usability optimization
- Web programming area
- Database conception and creation
- Administration area
- Installation, configuration and maintenance of Internet communication servers based on common server operating systems, e.g. B. Unix / Linux , Windows , macOS
- Configuration and maintenance of common internet services, e.g. B. WWW , FTP , DNS , news , e-mail
- Ensuring the reliability, security, performance and high availability of these services
- Read, edit or, if necessary, forward the webmaster mail , d. H. of emails sent to webmaster @ domain
Webmasters work as freelancers , self-employed entrepreneurs or as employees in advertising, internet, media or full-service agencies, at internet service providers, system houses or in the IT department of larger organizations (companies, associations, public services).
Smaller, less complex websites in particular are often created by a webmaster alone or in collaboration with one or the other specialist.
However, more complex web and e-commerce applications are usually implemented by a larger team consisting of various technical experts. A webmaster typically takes on the role of consultant, coordinator or project manager. A webmaster can also take on the role of a specialist in the areas of conception, online marketing , web design , software development or administration , especially if he / she has specialized or trained in one of these areas.
Webmasters must have technical and methodological skills in all of the above-mentioned specialist areas without needing in-depth specialist knowledge in all areas. A specialization in at least one area makes sense for most webmasters, as employers in the IT area are currently (2007) often looking for all-rounders with special knowledge.
Webmasters as project coordinators often work in an area of tension between customer and web developer. In addition to pure specialist knowledge, a webmaster is therefore required to have a high level of communication and coordination skills, social skills, teamwork, assertiveness, creativity and resilience.
Since Internet technologies are developing rapidly and market conditions are changing just as quickly, a webmaster has to continuously train himself in order to adapt his skills to the requirements of the (labor) market.
The training for the profession of webmaster is not regulated by the state in Germany, i. In other words, no formal training or examination certificates are required to practice the profession. Many practicing webmasters are lateral entrants with an apprenticeship or degree in a technical, scientific, graphic or business environment who have acquired the necessary skills through professional experience or further training.
Recently, some training and study programs have included content that belongs to the area of competence of a webmaster. These include u. a .:
- Training as a media designer
- Training as IT specialist
- Training as an IT businessman
- Degree programs in computer science with special focuses, e.g. B. Applied Computer Science, Media Computer Science, MultiMediaTechnology Information Technology, Internet Science etc.
- Study of communication design
There are only a few, usually private educational institutes that offer training or further education to become a webmaster across the board with all sub-areas in a suitable form. Full-time training or further education usually lasts between 6 and 12 months. Typical training contents are:
- Website conception
- Online marketing , internet law , project management
- Graphic , screen and interface design
- Photo and image editing programs (e.g. Adobe Photoshop )
- Authoring tools (eg. As the HTML editor Dreamweaver by Adobe Inc. )
- Databases (e.g. the MySQL database management system )
- server-side programming using scripting languages (e.g. PHP or Node.js )
- IP networking, server operating systems (Unix / Linux, Microsoft Windows) and internet services (especially HTTP , FTP , DNS , e-mail )
Degrees / Certification
Since there is no state-recognized professional qualification for webmasters in Germany, the educational institutions often issue their own certificates.
However, there are also higher-level qualifications: An international certification based on standardized online exams offers e.g. B. the European Webmasters Association Webmasters Europe e. V. at.
- other role accounts: Postmaster , Hostmaster , Newsmaster
- RFC 2142 ( MAILBOX NAMES FOR COMMON SERVICES, ROLES AND FUNCTIONS )
- Professional association Webmasters Europe e. V. . Here you can find u. a. a job description definition, current labor market analyzes as well as information about the possibilities of certification and a list of educational institutes that offer training and further training to become a webmaster.
- US interest group WOW (English)
- American interest group IWA (English)
- The well-known German webmaster forum Webroyals.net Webmaster Forum (German)
- The well-known English webmaster blog Webmaster Press
- http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/ . May 12, 2007.
- http://blog.rightbrainnetworks.com/2007/01/28/who-killed-the-webmaster/ ( Memento from May 23, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) . May 12, 2007.
- Becoming a Webmaster ( Memento from July 28, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
- http://de.webmasters-europe.org/berufsprofile/webmaster . December 9, 2011.
- http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/jobundberuf/0,1518,455261,00.html May 12, 2007