Webmaster deal with the planning, graphic design, development, maintenance, marketing and administration of web sites and applications on the Internet or an organization's intranet. You are the first point of contact for technical problems, questions or suggestions to a website.

The term was originally used as a designation for the administrator of a web server. Today Webmaster is also used as job title and comes, for example, often in job before.


Webmasters are overall project manager in the planning and implementation of web projects. They are generalists with expertise in the areas of web business, Web Design, Web Programming and Web Server Administration and therefore also to the implementation of static and dynamic content on the Internet by using relatively simple markup languages ​​(such as HTML), or even more complex programming as well as content management and publishing systems cooperate. They are then eg for programming, development of database system ( s) or user-friendly human-machine interfaces ( interface design ) responsible (see also web engineering ).

At present there is no nationally recognized training for the webmaster in Germany. Other courses in the computer science professions today have mostly taken the basics of web development in the curriculum.

As emphasized feminine form of the webmaster sometimes the terms Webmistress or German are also used Webmeisterin.


The term webmaster (English of the words Web - as a short form of the World Wide Web - and master = master ) was coined in 1992 by Tim Berners -Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, in the document style guide for online hypertext. Berners -Lee suggested that any administrator of a web server or a web site is to create an email address in the form webmaster @ domain as an alias for your own e - mail address. Compared to a person-related e- mail address which has the advantage that the sender is always a consistent e- mail address available, even if the person responsible changes. Webmaster is one of the role- accounts which may be described in RFC 2142.

Webmaster as a profession


Since the early days of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s, the term Webmaster is also used as activity or job title for people who run a website or responsible in any way for an Internet presence. At that time it was common practice that websites have been developed by just one person. Thus, the profession of the webmaster is a generalist applied in principle: Webmaster were equally responsible for the conception, development, publication and marketing.

With the rapid development of web technology and the commercialization of the World Wide Web, the demands grew strongly of the skills required in all areas. Today, complex, commercial sites are usually developed by a team of different specialists:

  • Web business experts ( concept developer, online marketing and e- commerce specialists )
  • Graphic, web and user interface designer
  • Programmer / Software Developer
  • System and network administrators

Against this background, the professional image of interdisciplinary webmaster has changed and it is now also a strong trend towards specialization observed. In some places, it is discussed whether the term Webmaster as job title is still up to date. But others argue that it is precisely in the complexity of today's web projects more than ever must be a generalist who supervised the project and the project processes coordinated.

Job Title

Webmaster is not legally protected occupational title in Germany, Europe, Russia and many other countries. Thus, the term can be performed by any person legally as a job title. Who, however, (eg, applications or contracts ) uses the term in professional life, without having the appropriate qualifications, contrary may the Act against Unfair Competition ( UWG ) in the sense of misleading advertising. Under certain circumstances, also in accordance with the criminal offense of fraud, the use of professional titles webmaster. Comply with § 263 of the Penal Code, for example in the form of employment fraud.


The job description of the webmaster is not uniformly defined and internationally different. Due to the rapid development of Internet and Web technologies, the professional image changes very quickly. The European Webmaster Association of Webmasters Europe eV, for example, describes in his profession - definition webmaster as a " site - architect ", whose core mission is to " to plan the construction of a website in a technical, economic, functional and design aspects and to coordinate similar to an architect planning and coordination in the construction of buildings perceives ". This requires a webmaster knowledge of the four core areas of web development and publication: Web Business Management, Web Design, Web Programming and system and network administration.

Work and activities

Webmaster generalists and " site architect " plan, coordinate and monitor the development of websites and web applications. The focus of their work is to ensure the project and, if necessary, to the market success of a website.

  • Selection and coordination of the various specialists involved in the project
  • Project management, project management
  • Cost and schedule control
  • Monitoring and coordination of the maintenance and development of a website after the release (launch )

For this, take for example the following activities true:

  • Advice in the planning phase of a web project
  • Market, website and competitors analysis

As a generalist with a possibly existing specialization Webmasters can within the project team or alone perceive the following tasks and activities:

  • Online marketing, such as search engine optimization ( SEO), e- mail marketing, affiliate marketing
  • Coverage and use measurement of websites, email newsletters, online stores, etc.
  • Monitoring of compliance with legislation
  • Layout and design using HTML and CSS
  • Graphics, screen and interface design using graphics and image editing software
  • Usability Optimization
  • Database design and creation
  • Installation, configuration and maintenance of Internet communication servers based on the popular server operating systems, such as Unix / Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
  • Configuration and maintenance of the popular Internet services such as WWW, FTP, DNS, News, e -mail
  • Ensure the reliability, security, performance, and high availability of these services
  • , Edit, read or possibly forwarding the webmaster mail, that is, the e- mails that are sent to the address webmaster @ domain


Webmasters work as freelancers, independent contractors or as employees in advertising, Internet, Media or full-service agencies, Internet service providers, system integrators or IT department of larger organizations ( companies, associations, public services).

In particular, smaller, less complex sites are even today still often created by a webmaster alone or in cooperation with one or other specialists.

More complex Web page addresses and e -commerce applications, however, usually implemented by a larger team consisting of various experts. A webmaster typically takes over the function of the consultant, coordinator or project manager. However, a webmaster can also function as a specialist in the areas of design, online marketing, web design, software development or administration take over, especially if he / she has specialized and trained in one of these areas.


Webmaster must have technical and methodological competences in all the above -mentioned subject areas, without the need for each in-depth expertise in all areas. However, a specialization in at least one field is meaningful for most webmasters, because employers in the IT sector currently (2007) often look rounder with special knowledge.

Webmaster as project coordinators often work in a field of tension between client and web developers. Beyond the mere knowledge, a high level of communication and coordination skills, social skills, teamwork, assertiveness, creativity and resilience is of a webmaster therefore required.

Since evolving Internet technologies rapidly and the market conditions are changing just as quickly, a webmaster must continue to form permanently to adapt his skills to the requirements of the (labor) market.


Training for the profession of the webmaster is not government regulated in Germany, ie to exercise the profession, no formal training and examination certificates are required. Many webmasters are practicing career changers with an apprenticeship or studying in the technical, scientific, graphic or economic environment that have acquired the necessary skills through work experience or training.

In recent times, content has been inserted in some training and courses, which are the responsibility of a webmaster. These include, inter alia:

  • Education media designers / in
  • Training Specialist / in
  • Training IT-Kaufmann/Kauffrau
  • Courses of study in computer science with special emphasis, for example, applied computer science, computer science media, Multimedia Technology Information technology, Internet Science etc.
  • Studied communication design

There are few, usually private educational institutions that offer training or education to the Webmaster in the entire width of all areas in an appropriate form. A training or retraining takes full time usually between 6 and 12 months. Typical training contents are:

  • Website design
  • Online Marketing, Internet Law, Project Management
  • Graphics, screen and interface design
  • Photo and image editing programs (eg Adobe Photoshop)
  • Authoring tools (such as the HTML editor Dreamweaver by Adobe Systems )
  • Databases (such as the database management system MySQL)
  • Server-side programming using scripting languages ​​(eg PHP)
  • IP networking, server operating systems (Unix / Linux, Microsoft Windows) and Internet services (especially HTTP, FTP, DNS, e-mail)

Qualifications / certification

Since there is no state- recognized vocational qualification for the webmaster in Germany, the Institute's own certificates are issued by the educational institutions often.

However, there are also higher-level statements: An international certification based on standardized tests online offers in the German language, for example, the European Association Webmaster Webmasters Europe Association at.