So You Want to be a Webmaster - Technical Skills
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No, you don’t have to be able to construct a server blindfolded from scratch out of spare parts found in the trash bins after a computer fair (though that probably helps). But there are certain skills you need to have, and you often can’t just take a course or three on the subject. Most webmasters, including the best ones, are at least partly self-taught. They know how to learn things “on their own” when they need to. They’re prepared to ask questions, and to get their answers from a book, a person, an article (in print or online), an online forum, or wherever they can find them. Most of all, they’re willing to admit that they don’t know everything, and always ready to learn more.
So what should you know just to get started as a webmaster? Well, let’s start with the obvious. You should know how to choose, register, and protect a domain name. You can find some articles on this website that will give you some of the basics for these skills – at least enough to start you on your way.
For your next obvious step, you need to know what to look for when choosing a web host for specific needs. Not everyone is going to be happy with the same web hosting package. If you’re a web host yourself, you also need to have a good idea of what adjustments you might have to make to suit different kinds of customers.
A webmaster should have a good grasp of web design standards and principles. If you’re building a starter website, a website builder or template might be adequate, such as Dreamweaver. But you will want to improve on this; many programmers aren’t happy with the kind of code these programs generate automatically. So you will want to learn HTML, CSS, and perhaps some programming languages. You can check out the articles on Devarticles.com for a start.
You will need to know how to choose and set up a shopping cart, or else you will not be able to receive money. These vary significantly as to ease of setup. Not surprisingly, you will need to do some research. If you’re a web host, this has the added benefit that you might be able to offer this as a service to your customers – and even if you decide not to charge for it, your customers will appreciate anything you can do to make their lives easier.
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