Monday, July 21, 2014

Where's my Webmaster?

Greetings from Allan at, I hope this post finds you well.

With technology and all of the do-it-yourself software and resources, many people are designing their own websites, graphics, videos and the like these days. Others rely on professionals to do these tasks because of various reasons. A lack of time is usually the main reason because there is allot to consider, do and maintain, then comes the learning curve and not knowing what or how to accomplish and maintain what is involved with designing a functional website.

There are some things you should watch out for when choosing a webmaster however. I can’t even tell you how many people I have helped with their websites after hiring a webmaster, a site they can’t even access themselves. 

They have no information on the site, they have no login or password information, they can’t update their site or make changes without contacting the webmaster who often times can’t be found or contacted after they received payment. It sounds crazy but it happens quite a bit to people who aren’t in the know.

Some of the things you should look for in a webmaster are trustworthiness validated by positive references, testimonials or comments, patience and good listening skills which are required to receive and conceive your vision and bring it to fruition. A variety of skills including visual design, web design and or programming, use of the latest tools like WordPress and methods used on the Internet and in graphic element design such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash development tools etc.

The title “webmaster” evokes a lot of stereotypes and bad experiences in some people. There are so many crooks and scammer’s out there that it often makes it difficult for people like me to gain the trust of potential clients.

Your webmaster should be social media savvy so they can incorporate the various social channels into your site and allow you to connect them all in a way that maximizes your publishing and creation outreach to your social network. They must have good communication skills and multiple ways to be contacted (they should not be mysterious, hard to find or difficult to contact.)

They should share everything with you as the process unfolds that pertains to your hosting server, your website or blog, your content and the design/development process. They should have allowed you to sign up for and register your own domain name and hosting package offering you help to complete the process. They should be willing to give you copies of anything that pertains to your website and answer questions willingly. Finally they should be capable of implementing some form of SEO for your site to help promote your web presence to Google and other search engines.

Also, there are many places offering free domain names and free web hosting that attract a lot of people but many don’t realize what they are getting in to. As most of us have heard at one time or another, nothing in life is free and this applies to designing websites, domain names and hosting services as well. Predominantly when they say “free”, there are hidden aspects that catch many off guard. Free domain names usually have hidden fees that show up later and are often owned by someone else, you’re basically just renting the domain name.

Free hosting usually comes with the companies obtrusive ads being placed all over your site in exchange for “free” hosting. There are also limitations on storage, bandwidth and customizations. They use your site or web presence to promote products of their choice to generate profits in exchange for your free hosting account.

The problem with this is that you can’t control the ads or choose which ones show up and you get no profit from any sales either.

Even new WordPress users experience some of this when choosing between independent hosting using as opposed to choosing is free and makes it very simple to get started, but it has many limitations. on the other hand has no limitations and allows you full control and unlimited options but you must pay for your hosting service separately. In the long run and if you are serious about your WordPress site or Blog, this is the preferred option.

These are just some of the main characteristics and skills to look for in a webmaster and just some of the options to consider when choosing a web host or domain name to ensure that your website or blog will be built and hosted properly and with minimal issue or conflict down the line.

Allan Whitney