Webmasters used to be a complete mystery to me. They seemed like the Wizard of Oz sitting behind his curtain pulling levers and creating a huge visage. I had no idea that the web wasn’t run by geniuses.
Sure, there are plenty of geniuses out there running websites. The geniuses get the most money probably. But the fact that people like me could run a website and make a profit was completely foreign to me.
Now I understand what a website administrator does and I’m not so afraid of the hologram anymore. In fact, I now know that I can be the little man behind the curtain.
Want to know how you can be the little man behind the curtain? Let’s talk about what a website administrator does then.
1. What The Hey is a Website Administrator?
A web administrator isn’t just someone who writes personal narratives on their blog no matter how much we want to be. It’s someone who understands and can fix websites from the bottom up.
An administrator is someone who is in charge of making sure back-ups happen. They’re also in charge of web content, software applications that handle emergencies, and they keep all things internal up to date and running smoothly.
They’re your website mechanic that gets to constantly monitor a website to minimize downtime and data corruption or loss.
In essence, you’re IT on that company or person’s website. But it’s highly specialized compared to most IT positions.
It requires a degree in computer science or some related field of study. And if you’re wondering how much a web administrator will make, it’s enough. Ok, $85k isn’t a bad deal really.
2. But What Do They Really Do?
When you ask someone what they do, you usually get a title. The only time someone actually asks, “But what do you really do?” is when they have no clue what your title describes. As a writer, I get this all the time.
Website administrators are probably one of those classes of people that have to explain their profession to the layman. And if you’re here, you’re probably still curious. Let’s check out the nuts and bolts of this job.
This is the most important aspect of a web administrator’s job. They ensure that the website is absolutely secure from both viruses and malware. They also make sure the website isn’t exploitable by hackers.
If the website administrator fails at this part of their job, not only could a hacker steal client information, they can turn the website into a weapon or a tool for their own use. They could end up spamming and infecting hundreds of people through a website or steal even more information.
A web admin must be vigilant. They can be assured that any hacker who wants access will also be vigilant, waiting for an exploit to open up.
If you’re a web administrator for a new website or a website that changed hands, you can be sure that someone will try and probe that site for weaknesses. A website administrator must know about every kind of bot and malware attack possible and have the tools necessary to combat those attacks.
The only contact most users have with an administrator is when they create an account on the website. And the website admin is involved only because creating a secure website account isn’t as easy as pressing a button.
The web admin’s role in this is basically to enter the information you give them and then create the account. Not all websites use a website admin to create user accounts. Large domains like Facebook use automated software to securely create accounts.
Small websites don’t have the money to build this kind of software. They either have to use a website admin or outsource to other companies to create user accounts.
Some hosting services will supply user accounts and automated setups. But they often charge a higher price for their services.
For a seasoned web admin, it’s a fairly simple yet thankless task. And while you may not interact with a website administrator most of the time, you will eventually need them for something bigger. Don’t treat them like the basement IT crowd.
Traffic Monitoring and Other Web Software
You web admin isn’t going to be your marketing guru. He typically deals with the nuts and bolts. But the nuts and bolts include APIs.
Your web admin will be able to monitor things like web traffic for you. And if you buy web visitors and increase your traffic, your admin will have good news for you each time.
Other server-side software analyses are equally important. Active server pages, database software, JSP, and various coding and HTML tools and software.
If you’ve ever had a problem with your computer, your IT specialist will ask you for a computer log. A website runs on a special kind of computer called a server.
Every action on the server, whether done by a human or the server itself, is recorded in a server log. Data such as download and upload times, network bandwidth, and user habits are all in the log files. A web admin must know how to analyze these files.
What’s the reason? The admin can figure out where any slowdown or glitch is appearing and fix the problem. They essentially increase and improve the website’s performance.
Conclusion: Treat Them Well
Your web administrator is important. Treat them that way. And if you don’t have one, you will probably end up doing half of these things yourself.
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