What Is a Webmaster?
Good question, and there are lots of answers! By definition, a "Webmaster" is the administrator of a website. Let's look at what he or she must do:
1. Register and maintain the site's domain name (in our case: psaphoto.org) and insure that payments to the Service Provider (ISP) and to the domain naming authority, are made in a timely manner so the domain remains ours to use.
2. Select and establish technical liaison with the ISP, and know how to use its capabilities. (The pages you see come from the ISP server, not from a personal computer. To get them online requires knowledge of many protocols.)
3. Manage the assigned system.
4. Supervise size of site to insure the allowed bandwidth (size of all the files which make up the pages) is not exceeded.
5. Supervise page designers and programmers, and assist them in accomplishing their work.
6. Establish standards for appearance and the most efficient use of web pages.
7. Operate and maintain the transmission system for placing content (pages) on the server.
8. Oversee the making of periodic backups to minimize loss of content in case of equipment failure.
9. Monitor all system operations.
10. Respond to emails sent to the Webmaster, email comments sent from the website, and forward incorrectly addressed email messages.
11. Plan future requirements and report to assigned officer.
OK - the above list seems like a pretty fair amount of work, doesn't it? Note that it doesn't include designing, programming, and authoring pages, which your PSA Webmaster does.
So, in addition to the classic administrative duties, a Webmaster of a small site also prepares the pages you see. The problem is, now that the PSA site has grown substantially in size, priorities must be established so the important matters are accomplished first. This is why sometimes your requests are not responded to as quickly as you might like.
By Sil Horwitz - PSA Webmaster