The who's who of websites

Understanding who does what with your website is critical to getting the most out of your investment. There is no clearly defined, industry-standard definitions of the following titles and they often overlap. The definitions below will give you a general description of each title's responsibilities and skill levels.

Website owner

This is you. In the long run, the success of a website depends entirely on the owner.

Webmaster

A webmaster handles the day to day maintenance of a website.

  • updates to images, text and videos
  • monitors traffic
  • responds to general website inquires

A webmaster usually has limited knowledge of design principles and/or computer languages. He/she may have extensive knowledge of a particular platform such as Wordpress.

Website designer

The Designer creates the "pretty" aspects of a website. He/she is generally very proficient with graphics software and graphic design principles. On a website development team, the designer and developer work closely together.

Website developer

The developer, often called a "coder", creates the engine that runs the website. Developers are usually talented in a specific scripting language (such as PHP or Ruby) although many develpers know multiple languages.

Developers are usually quite familiar with databases and the integration of them within a website.

Website host

The host, also called an ISP (internet service provider), provides the actual location where your website files live. Some website design companies provide this service, many do not. Those that do not provide hosting will usually offer recommendations about various hosting services.

S.E.O. guru

S.E.O. specialists are often viewed as either magicians or charlatans. Search Engine Optimization is not a science and to make matters worse, the Search Engines themselves are constantly changing how they categorize websites and how they decide who gets the top spot.

A good S.E.O. specialist can be worth thousands of dollars to a website owner. A poor one will drain your financial resources at an alarming speed.

There are many ways to improve the position of a website within the Search Engines. A good S.E.O. specialist will understand them all. Below is a short list of some off-page ways to affect your website's "authority".

  • PPC Campaigns (Pay Per Click)
  • Article writing
  • Blogging
  • Directory submissions
  • Press releases
  • Link trading
  • RSS feeds
  • Forum participation
  • Deep linking

Of equal importance is on-page optimization. A good S.E.O. specialist will work hand-in-hand with the design/development team to ensure the structure of each page on a website conforms to effective Search Engine Optimization.

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