Why You Need a Webmaster for Your Art Business

As an artist and business owner, you have a million different things to do. You don’t have time to learn everything you need to know about maintaining and promoting your website. You need to stick to what makes you money, and that’s where a webmaster comes in.

Webmasters specialize in the upkeep, updating, and other elements of keeping your website maintained once it is built and published. Your site isn’t going to take care of itself, so you need someone to take care of it for you; odds are that once your art business takes off, you will want to spend more time creating and marketing your art.

Think of it like this: if you had a traditional business, you’d hire someone to clean the building at the end of the day or on a weekly basis, wouldn’t you? Well then, why wouldn’t you hire someone to clean up your website and keep it in working order so you don’t have to worry about it? It just makes sense.

A webmaster will be able to handle all those pesky little tasks that you don’t have time for, including:

  • Updates
  • Changing information
  • Adding information
  • Controlling users, if you have a registration/login section
  • Fixing problems and glitches
  • Other upkeep related to having a website
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media

If this isn’t enough to sell you on hiring one of the many qualified webmasters to help with your website, you’ll surely change your mind the first time that the site crashes and you’re left high and dry. In order to have a successful business, it needs to be fully operational at all times. That’s why you need a webmaster.



The going rate for a good webmaster is $45-$100+ an hour. Most will prorate in 15-minute increments. Additionally, some actually prefer to be paid on a per-project basis. You can also find more affordable services by getting a full service company to help build, maintain, and market your website. You’ll pay them one flat rate for all services, which should save you some money and allow you to budget. However, even though business start-up is costly, you should always put quality above cost when it comes to your website.

Your webmaster needs to be very familiar with languages like HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and Ajax. Another key part in a webmaster’s job description is to learn and manage a proper database. Optimizing for search engines is also important. With the current boom in information technology, more and more people are relying on search engines and the internet in general. A webmaster’s job requires several skills, and he bears a great responsibility in maintaining the smooth flow of internet operations.

Some webmasters are also social media experts: be careful though because ALL webmasters consider themselves experts in this area.

A true expert can:

  • Manage and market your blog, customize your social networking profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Flickr, etc.), and create unique videos and widgets that demand the consumer’s attention.

For someone new to social media, it can be easy to unknowingly break the rules of a community, causing serious damage to your brand. Social media experts understand the etiquette required of each platform, and they know how to leverage these tools to your maximum advantage. I suggest learning from an expert for a period of time and eventually taking it over yourself.

No one can represent you to your audience like you can and people will begin to get a feel for you and your personality, which is very important, especially for an artist.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Webmaster:

  • If a webmaster wants to register your domains in his or her name, run. Run fast.
  • The cheapest solution is not always the best solution. If I need a heart surgeon, I’m not going with the cheapest doctor; I’m going with the best one.
  • Safe webhosting 
  • Free and/or cheap hosting is usually a red flag.
  • I.T. professionals are not necessarily web designers. They may be able to build a complicated website that does everything you wanted it to do and more, but will you know how to use it, and just as importantly, will it look good?
  • Ask them if they follow Google Webmaster Guidelines. The answer should be “yes”.
  • If they promise you top rankings in search engines, they’re blowing smoke. No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you unsolicited proposals.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they do.
  • Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, and schemes to get your site listed in search engines.

In summary, your webmaster should be your partner and, in many instances become, a friend. They should be brainstorming with you on new ideas and technologies and be truly invested in the success of your website and online marketing. Not all sites are winners, no matter to how much quality work goes into them, but a good webmaster will do his best to help you come out looking good and ahead of the pack.

*****

Guest author: Cory Glauner

Here are a few other posts you might like:  3 Reasons to Start a Creative Blog for Your Business, 8 Tips to Create a Great Blog Post or How to Make Video Marketing Work For You: Lori on Art Heroes Radio

16 Comments

  1. Cory Glauner August 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Thank you for asking me to write a guest post for you Lori. I’m honored.

    • Lori McNee August 5, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Cory – thanks for sharing a great post with my readers. You are a talented webmaster and I am glad to be working with you!
      Best-
      Lori 🙂

  2. Nadine M Robbins August 5, 2010 at 8:12 am

    As always great info 🙂

    • Lori McNee August 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Nadine, great to see you here again. Thanks for the comment.
      My best-
      Lori

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  4. Danni McCarville August 10, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Great article!

    My website was recently just finished. My webmaster was able to create a “backend” for me. This means that I am able to manage all of the pages as well as the pictures from my end. I think that this is crucial for an artist so that the site always looks fresh. My site is new and because of this I am constantly “tweeking” it and my webmaster answers all of my calls and takes care of my requests in a timely fashion. I am in Colorado and he is in Ohio. As you can see I am very fond of him but I am also excited for other artists , especially the ones just starting out, to have a backend function on their website! Email me at [email protected] if anyone wants his site info.

    • Lori McNee August 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Hello Danni, isn’t your new site liberating??? I love being able to do most of my ‘tweaking’ and updating myself. Congrats! I would like to know the name of your webmaster, so I will email you soon. Thanks for sharing.

      Best-
      Lori

  5. Denise Mancour May 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thank You!! For your encouragement and support to us artists!! You are an inspiration!

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