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What Is A Webmaster? Definition, Roles & Requirements (2024)

What is a webmaster featured image

Website maintenance and development requires not only time but also knowledge and specific skills. Any website owner outsourcing this kind of work will often go to a webmaster. Having done that myself I am here to explain how it all works.

I’ve spent many years working with webmasters and even acting as one myself, and that hands-on experience has given me a deep understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and intricacies involved in being a webmaster.

In this article, I’ll explain just that, as well as what you can expect to pay for a webmaster’s time.

Quick Summary

  • A webmaster maintains, develops, and ensures the functionality of a website.
  • Webmasters are needed for consistent maintenance of large or multiple websites.
  • Becoming a webmaster involves relevant education, credentials, and practical IT experience.

Webmaster Definition: What Exactly is a Webmaster?

A webmaster is a person responsible for the upkeep, development, and functionality of a website.

A Webmaster Definition: What Exactly is a Webmaster?

For a small site, the owner will often take on the job duties of a webmaster to oversee its upkeep. In the case of larger organizations, this role is often outsourced to a professional webmaster.

When this is the case, webmasters will often have a background in computer science or as a web developer. They are usually familiar with both the technical and creative aspects of regular maintenance of a site.

However, the skills of a professional webmaster can often extend far beyond web development and design, security or even marketing.

The job of a webmaster often requires a range of additional skills and expertise, which we’ll come on to shortly.

What Are The Educational Requirements To Be A Webmaster?

There is no fixed path to becoming a webmaster and no fixed webmaster job description.

Whilst a formal qualification is not always necessary, a bachelor’s degree in computer science provides webmasters with an efficient foundation for coding and other technical demands.

The Roles Of A Webmaster: What Does A Webmaster Do?

The Roles Of A Webmaster: What Does A Webmaster Do?

You may just require the skills of a webmaster for the simple task of registering your website’s domain. Or, something more complex, like updating your site’s security.

Below, I’ve listed some of the most critical requirements of a webmaster’s job.

1. Server & Website Maintenance

Server & Website Maintenance

Webmasters should understand how to maintain your website and its server (the computer that stores and delivers your website to visitors).

server maintenance is a critical part of a webmaster’s job. Doing so requires a range of skills and responsibilities, such as installing updates to your operating systems or site content management system (CMS).

A webmaster may also be responsible for configuring and managing your website’s server.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing

In addition, webmasters should understand the basics of SEO techniques.

A webmaster will need to know how to optimize your site for Google and other browsers.

The technical skills that a webmaster should understand, include (but are not limited to):

  • Ensuring crawlability and indexability (search engine’s ability to access and crawl site content)
  • Site speed optimization (ensuring search engines loads quickly to create the best experience for users and allow more people to access your site simultaneously).

Find out more best practices relating to technical SEO

3. Technical Programming

Webmasters should also have a deep understanding of website code and how it works. They should read, write, and analyze code to troubleshoot and fix errors.

Technical Programming

Many webmasters may also customize and update websites to add new features or change the look and feel through web design. That said, these are often job titles designated to web designers and developers.

In some cases, a webmaster’s job involves developing custom scripts or applications to support site functionality and enhance site performance  (such as load time) for your users.

A script in this context is a set of written instructions that tells a web server what to do. It might be as simple as adding an extra field to a contact form.

However, it could be more complicated, like developing an e-commerce site from scratch.

4. Tracking website analytics

Tracking website analytics

Finally, webmasters should understand how to use analytics tools associated with your site.

This can include Google Analytics (which shows you where visitors came from and what they did on your site), as well as other tools, like Facebook’s Pixel, to track the success of your website advertising.

Some webmasters will also determine which external sources generate more traffic to your site’s landing pages.

How Much Does A Webmaster Earn?

A webmaster’s time is valuable. They are often professional seo specialists in demand.

Their job titles and responsibilities mean that in the U.S, webmasters can expect to earn a monthly salary of approx. $4,500, depending on work experience and higher education, such as a bachelor’s degree.

As always, this salary is location and industry-dependent.

When Is A Webmaster Needed?

A webmaster is needed when you require a person responsible for consistently maintaining a large site or multiple websites.

When Is A Webmaster Needed?

You may require a webmaster’s time for the following tasks:

  • Website hosting and Domain name registration
  • Fixing broken links on your websites
  • Formating new content production and uploading new articles
  • General Onsite Maintenance
  • Technical SEO
  • Optimizing Site Security
  • Basic site design
  • Technical Programming and editing a website’s code

Even if you are running more than one site, it’s unlikely that you’ll require the services of a webmaster daily.

However, if you are finding it challenging to keep up with the day-to-day tasks of website management, then it might be time to bring specialists on board to maintain and manage your websites part-time.

Requirements for Becoming a Webmaster

The majority of webmasters have a degree in computer science, but this is not mandatory. Among other things, the following experience and education are useful for a webmaster’s job:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A lot of webmasters have four-year degrees in computer science, web design, web development, or information assurance.

In order to be a good webmaster, you need to know a lot about computer networks, and be able to determine if they are working properly. You can learn this by getting a bachelor’s degree. 


They also get familiar with numerous fundamentals of cyberspace administration, website design, and management. Because this information adds to webmasters work, coding and computer science skills, it may make them more marketable.

2. Get Webmaster Credentials

The World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) offers qualifications that are respected by many in the field. WOW offers numerous certificates for aspiring webmasters, broken down into beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional levels. A certification test is needed to achieve the associated title. 

Taking WOW’s learning courses and following their recommendations to the letter will prepare you to take the CWDSA test and acquire the Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA) credential.

3. Gain It or Computer Science Experience

A webmaster’s  job often involve working in the IT field or as computer scientists first. Students benefit greatly from this opportunity since it allows them to gain practical experience in areas such as computer architecture,  network security, web development, and digital resource management. 

Webmasters often get this kind of hands-on experience through internships while they are in school or by working full-time at a tech company after they graduate.

Employers often prefer a webmaster with some familiarity with applied computer science or other technical topics, although experience is not necessary.


What is the job outlook for Webmasters?

The job outlook for Webmasters is promising, with a projected growth rate of 23% from 2021 to 2031. This growth rate is much faster than the average for all occupations.

What is the average salary for a Webmaster?

As of May 2021, the median annual wage for web and digital interface designers was $79,890, while for web developers, it was $77,030. These figures represent the middle salary range for these professions.

What To Do Now:

A webmaster is an individual responsible for maintaining one or more websites. This role can be carried out by site owners or by full-time professionals.

They encompass multiple roles, including regular maintenance of web page, content creation, and site optimization (SEO).

Website owners may struggle to maintain their sites. This is why hiring a full-time webmaster is essential. Failure to do so can lead to a negative experience for your users and poor rankings on Google.



Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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