Why Your Website Isn’t Doing So Well: The Myth of the Webmaster

One of the biggest misconceptions about internet marketing (and business websites in general) is that “geeks” can do it all. After running an internet marketing company for 15 years I have learned that the most successful web projects are done by teams of highly specialized people. As a business owner looking to get online, rebuild your website, drive more leads or partake in social media, you need to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one person, who many would call a “webmaster,” can handle every single part of the internet marketing process.

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Let’s take a walk back in time to the early days of the popular internet. In 1995 you generally had either an ad agency OR an independent programmer design and build your website. Since many agencies did not initially have web experts on hand, the “computer savvy” were called on to both design and build web projects of all shapes, styles and sizes. And that’s why the early web looked like crap and was so hard to use! Programmers, who had no design training whatsoever, were designing sites because they were the ones who knew HTML. They struggled with fonts and colors, and often used lots of animated icons, bars and even backgrounds.

The young web was a real hodgepodge of poorly crafted sites. And since the web was fairly new, the standard layouts and navigation schemes we’re used to today were still being developed. All kinds of crazy navigation schemes were tried, and many confounded visitors and had people running from the web, thinking it would never reach the mainstream. Thankfully, over time, the web has caught up with traditional marketing in terms of design.

Generally in a respectable professional website project there is now at least a separate designer and programmer. The best case scenario has a whole host of people getting involved from brand and competition researchers, usability experts to map out the way users will interact, designers, front- and back-end programmers and numerous internet marketing specialists. However, the need for a well rounded approach to marketing-specific website design is brand new to many entrepreneurs and business owners, leaving a virtual train wreck of failed development and website marketing projects.

What this all means: If you hate your webmaster, it may be that he/she is doing too much and not too little.

Image: aaronparecki

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