Should you hire a webmaster?

Publish date: 2018-12-01

If you run a small business, you know by now how important it is to have an updated website and social media presence. When chosen properly, a good webmaster can keep your website a well-tuned profitable tool. Are you spending too much time working on your website and not enough time focusing on the part of your business that you actually enjoy? Do you have problems with trying to get proper assistance from your hosting provider when you encounter technical issues? Do you need to move your site to a new web host? Is your website slow? Hiring someone to do website management may just be the perfect solution for you. If you do not have the time, energy or desire to maintain your web presence yourself, let a competent webmaster do it for you. Besides doing upkeep of the basics, a webmaster can also improve your website load time and graphics and make suggestions on content.

Before you hire the first person or company your find with a Google search, here are some other things to consider:

* Requirements. Can one person handle everything you need done or will you need to spend more and utilize a company or even hire extra staff?
* Location. Do you know if you can meet face-to-face with the person if required? Will you be able to provide them with all the resources needed for them to assist you remotely?
* Security. Make sure the person you get can sign confidentiality agreements and is bondable if required.
* Language. Does the person speak your language? Miscommunication is a huge problem which can easily be avoided by ensuring beforehand that you can communicate easily.
* Availability. Try to think about how many hours of time you need from your webmaster per week. Are they in or near your timezone? Do they work after hours?
* Experience. Do you know if you are going to be working with a teenager in their parents basement? Would you really be OK with that? Look for many years of experience in related IT fields.

And finally, here is how to recognize a bad webmaster:

* Claims to be an expert in Frontpage. MS Frontpage is very outdated technology and anybody still using it should not be in the business.
* Claims that he/she will submit your website to hundreds of search engines. This is a very dated way of thinking. The most important thing to be sure of today is making sure you have active social media with links back to your website.
Any search engine worth it will automatically pick up your site in a matter of days.
* Calls himself/herself an HTML expert. Everybody calls themselves an HTML expert. But do they know CSS, Javascript, PHP, NodeJS, SQL, etc...?
* Places a web counter on your site. Nobody uses web counters anymore. Proper site tracking is done via a system like Google analytics.
* Places a "Best viewed in" notice on your site. Your site should be able to be viewing in any browser on any device. This is called having a "responsive" website.

(this article was originally written in 2016)

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