Depending on who you ask you will probably get a different response but a professional webmaster deals with every aspect of a website from the initial web server setup to marketing the website to bring in traffic via social media or other methods. A webmaster needs to know a wide variety of technologies to get the job done, from programming to basic levels of search engine optimization.
Server setup & Maintenance
A webmaster is responsible for initially setting up a linux web server without any GUI so linux language would be necessary but doesn’t always have to be an expert on it, due to any issues or lines of code you might not remember then google is your best friend in this scenario. No one expects a webmaster to be absolutely fluent in every aspect of his/her job role. After initial setup a Webmaster will need to choose how php will be served depending on the website and backend system, most popular would be Apache or Nginx.
Web Design and CMS
It is very important to pick the correct content management system or e commerce system from the beginning otherwise you will run in to major issues in
the future once the website has established. The design of the website is also extremely important, The webmaster needs to have a good idea of what a good site structure is and user accessibility to be able to design a layout which is user friendly and welcoming to reduce instant bounce rates which badly designed sites suffer from. Regardless how good the content is, if the structure and design isn’t up to scratch then users will leave without giving the site a chance so php, html and css skills will be required.
Website speed and Performance optimisation
This ain’t the dial up days and users and search engines will not wait for a website to load, so its extremely important for a webmaster to make sure your site is loading fast. On site and off site optimisation would be necessary to maximise the response times. Off site optimisation would involve setting up server caching technologies like Varnish and Memcached. On site optimisation would involve optimising the code to load only what is necessary, I have personally seen on many websites where unused java and css files are being loaded but not used on that specific page which adds extra load time for no reason, Then we move on to image compression, cache static content, CDN and gzip compression is necessary for maximum performance.
Search Engine Optimisation
This is an extremely important factor for any start up site/business. Webmasters don’t need to be experts on SEO but they need to know the basics such as, page titles, meta descriptions, canonicals, duplicated pages, error pages and google’s latest hummingbird algorithm. It’s important this factors are taken in to account before allowing search engines to index the site, as a new website will struggle to get any organic traffic so why limit it completely? Useful SEO tips can be found at SEO Grounds
Launching the site
Once the webmaster is happy with the website, content and speed its time to verify the website on google Webmaster tools and create and submit an XML sitemap which will tell the crawler where every page on your website is located at, Then we move on to one of the most powerful tools you can use, Social media