It’s not enough to simply build your website and unleash it on the Internet. Maintaining a decent web presence requires constant vigilance, hard work, and at least a little expertise. After all, there’s a lot going on underneath the surface.
You need to make sure everything on your site works as intended – that your visitors can access the resources they need to access without too much trouble. You need to keep all your backend and frontend software up to date, immediately applying any major security patches. You need to constantly monitor your website’s security, maintaining proper backups and keeping a weather eye out for any intrusion attempts.
And that’s all without even accounting for stuff like search engine optimization, content management, and performance optimization.
It’s a lot of work – many people don’t actually realize just how much. The good news is that in some cases, your web host can do most of the heavy lifting for you, through managed hosting services. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’ve chosen a host that doesn’t offer any sort of website management.
That brings us to the next order of business – should you take care of things yourself, or hire a webmaster to do it for you?
Honestly? The answer is that it depends on your needs, your level of expertise, and how much time you’re able to devote to the task of running your site. To that end, there are a few questions you can ask yourself.
- How well do I know the hosting platform I’m using? Are you an expert for whom everything is as intuitive as drawing breath, or are you treading water, barely able to understand how everything fits together? Do you have a working knowledge of what’s required to secure your site?
- How much time do I have? Running a website can be extremely time-intensive. Do you have the hours and the energy required to keep your website online, or would trying to do so while running your business inevitably result in burnout?
- What does my budget look like? How much can you spare for the services of a webmaster? Would it break the bank to hire one, or would the potential revenue gains outstrip the cost of their salary?
- What do I know about search engine optimization? Most webmasters are fairly well-schooled in the art of SEO – which generally means more quality traffic and prospective leads for your site if you hire one.
Generally, I’m of the mind that almost every business owner should hire a webmaster to handle the ins and outs of their site. After all, you wouldn’t try to run an ad campaign without the help of an agency, nor would you generally navigate the intricacies of tax season without an accountant. From better functionality and security to better optimization, webmasters generally understand what it takes to help your business – and your brand – shine online.