While many webmasters have degrees in computer science or design, college credentials are not necessarily required to become a webmaster. Some aspiring webmasters take classes in C programming or obtain a certificate in computer programming in order to become a webmaster. Meanwhile, others combine a natural aptitude for computers with on-the-job training and other types of informal education in order to interpret how a website functions.
One needs to have an understanding of how programming, graphic design, and content development integrate within a website in order to become a webmaster. However, the level of expertise required in each of those areas may vary, depending on whether or not the website also employs specialists such as a programmer, graphic designer, or writer. While a person is typically not required to have an eye for design or a flair for words to become a webmaster, a little knowledge in each of these major website components helps a webmaster to properly conceptualize the website’s structure and make minor modifications in any area.
In addition to a having broad overview of a website’s components, a person needs to know how to perform specific core functions of the webmaster’s role in order to become a webmaster. These functions include publishing and managing web content, maintaining the website’s server, fixing broken links and other errors on the website, responding to functionality-related queries from the website’s users, moderating chat rooms, message boards and other forums that allow users to contribute content to the website, maintaining e-commerce functionality, and structuring the website’s navigation.
Since the webmaster is the “last stop” before content is published, webmasters are required to liaise with a variety of people involved with the website. These include the site’s contributors, such as web designers, programmers, and writers; as well as those in charge of the company for whom the site was designed, such as the CEO and other management; and finally, the site’s audience and end-users.