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Meet Your Webmaster--Your New Best Friend
By: Mary Blackmon
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the June 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
If you’re like me, you have a fabulous Web designer. This person helped you design your site and execute your team’s creative vision, as well as provided it with a personal or professional style that you enjoy. However, maybe you have not realized how critical and invaluable a Webmaster, or Web site programmer, could and would be to your business. Consider a Web designer a doctor and a Webmaster a surgeon, and believe me—most likely, you will find yourself needing a specialist at a moment’s notice!
My Webmaster has to “operate” on our site all of the time due to maintenance and upgrading. The inner workings and functionality of a site can be quite complicated and heavy on the programming side, which is not a designer’s specialty. As a designer can make your site work in a top-notch manner, a Webmaster is essential in removing the stress from your shoulders, understanding the complicated intrinsic coding of the site and helping you manage one of the most important aspects of your business today.
So what is so important and necessary about having a Webmaster? Let me count just some of the ways.
Collect information online
You must keep track of who is logging on to your site in order to determine the types of people who potentially are interested in your services. This also helps to identify what types of treatments you may need to incorporate in order to better serve your booming clientele. Collecting e-mail addresses is essential for further communication, and offering surveys is a key way to discover the thoughts, desires and even critiques of your clients. Forms often can be designed by a Web designer, but a Webmaster can create a “submit” button, collect the data and enter it into a database so that you can receive the information easily, sort it and actually use it.
Communicate with your audience via e-newsletters
It is true that a designer is responsible for creating the .html coding, implementing the content, devising the look and feel, and customizing the template for the actual e-newsletters. However, a Webmaster is responsible for getting the names of “opt-ins”—people who have checked a box indicating that they agree to receive further communication from your company—into the appropriate electronic format, cleaning them up and uploading them onto the Internet for e-newsletters. Providing this box is required in order to adhere to governmental spam regulation policies.