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A website administrator, also known as a webmaster, maintains a company's website and provides technical support to people using the site. His duties typically include work with the programming that operates the website and arrangement of text and multimedia files to maintain an attractive and current presentation of information. To qualify for this position, an applicant must be proficient in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and other popular computer programming languages and know how to deploy web-based applications, databases and content management systems.
The popularity of the Internet with consumers has made it imperative for every business and organization that interfaces with the public to maintain a website. As important as websites have become, they remain part of the periphery of a company's core business. Companies had to create a staff position to develop and manage the site, since it required computer programming and graphics skills that were not part of the ordinary administrative skill set. The website administrator position was designed as the point person to manage this company asset.
Websites are comprised of the programming that makes the pages work, the graphic design that makes the site look attractive and the content that provides the information that drives traffic to the site. Companies typically hire a website design firm to develop the site from scratch as a creative project. Once the site is up and running, a qualified staff person is usually designated as the website administrator to provide continuing technical support to keep the site working properly, and to update content as necessary.
Webmasters are also typically responsible for a certain level of customer support regarding the website. If a visitor experiences a technical problem, his query is often directed to the website administrator to determine the cause of the problem. Some companies also require the webmaster to manage the forums and bulletin boards that are part of the site, increasing his interaction with the public. When tasked with this responsibility, he acts as the forum moderator, making sure activity by the public complies with the company's terms of service.
Another important aspect of a website administrator's duties is site security. The webmaster works with a company's technology department to ensure customer information collected through the website is securely handled and stored. This is a significant component of the position for companies that use their website for e-commerce activities.
A growing aspect of the duties of a website administrator is analytics. Websites have become the hub of a company's interaction with the public. Data concerning the types of visitors that frequent the site, what they are interested in and the frequency of their visits is invaluable information. Webmasters are typically responsible for collecting this information by using applications that capture traffic statistics and presenting the results to management for strategic planning purposes.