The world of web design has become increasingly competitive, and will most likely continue to do so. Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure that you, as a web master, maintain that competitive edge so your credentials are attractive to clients. Gone are the days of coding in isolation. Today’s web master must be able to communicate, market, and organize as well. The good news is, with five simple steps, you can enhance your own marketability, and become a well-rounded web master.
Step 1: Learn about marketing and branding
Effective web design now includes so much more than the behind-the-scenes work of creating and editing websites. Without successful marketing the site designed gets no hits, and the products and services provided go unnoticed. Marketing includes anything that draws consumers to the website, whether it is bookmarking, blogging, backlinking, promotional materials, or ads.
Branding means having the right words to both describe what is offered at the site and to be memorable and attractive to consumers. This branding goes hand in hand with understanding key word optimization so when consumers search for something related to the website, they will find it.
Step 2: Communication and teamwork skills
No man is an island, and no complete web master works in a vacuum. It is essential to work with your client’s entire team. This means taking suggestions and criticism, and being able to offer them in a tactful way as well. Your client needs to feel that you are an essential part of that team, not that you are a difficult outsider. Plus, the better your interactions with team members, the more information and understanding you can gain into the type of site the client is looking for.
Step 3: Be aware of multiple accessibility
It is a mobile world and a mobile market. Your website will be accessed by far more than just a desktop PC: tablets, PDA’s, smartphones, and laptops are all means of accessibility, and a successful web master will keep these things in mind. While your client may not always be aware of this, you should keep it in mind as you design.
Step 4: Brush up on your project management skills
Organize. Stick to deadlines. Keep a calendar. Whatever you have to do to stay on top of the timelines your client needs, do it. The client needs to know that you are aware of their business needs, and that you are professional enough to stick to things you say you will do. This means being able to show the client (and their team) where you are at in your design process, and communicate clearly with them so they can have input throughout the process.
There are numerous project management tools available now, but a simple desk calendar will get you started. The bottom line is to have ideas about what should be done when, and make sure you know the pieces that go into each element of the web design.
Step 5: Maintain your technical skills
Here are just a few of the technical skills/languages you should be able to work with to be a complete web master:
- Quark Express
The good news is, there are multiple tutorials online from simple to complex that will enable you to brush up on these skills, or that can be used as a reference when you are working on a project. Remember that you are responsible for your education in this area, though, and take it seriously.
Web mastering is a rapidly growing industry, but by following these simple steps you can keep your skills marketable, relevant and competitive.
When he’s not using Intermedia’s Exchange Hosting, MIKE BARBRE can be found following Intermedia on Twitter and as a fan of Intermedia on Facebook.