Computer & Systems Management
Website managers are responsible for internet websites. They make sure the information on the site is accurate, secure and up to date, working closely with designers and programmers, and sales and marketing departments. Some website managers might also design and set up sites. They might be known as webmasters (whether they are male or female).
Website managers plan and organise the technical development of one or more websites. This could include selecting the hardware and software to enable the organisation to trade over the internet (called e-commerce or e-business).
The manager's main responsibilities include making sure that the website is working correctly and is accurate and up to date. This is vital because organisations use websites to provide a service and to convey their attitudes and image. When there has been new development work on the site, the manager might be responsible for testing.
The manager makes sure that any additions to the site follow the existing style, for example, in terms of design, layout and structure. They have to check that any new information on the site matches the existing editorial style and make changes where necessary. They might use a web content management system to update the site.
Website managers might have responsibility for deciding where and how the site will use multimedia features, such as photographs, sound, digital video, graphics and animation.
Managers often work with communications, public relations and marketing departments. They try to make sure that the website carries the right image to the organisation's customers and that people can find the site easily when using a search engine. This is called search engine optimisation. They make sure that the website complies with the law, and is accessible to all users, for example, providing a large-text version or subtitles to videos.
Website managers try to find out about the users of the website. They might collect, analyse and interpret statistics that show how many people are visiting the website and what pages or features they use. This information helps the company to market its services more effectively.
Managers are responsible for the security of the website. In a commercial organisation, this means making sure that only authorised people can access customers' details, for example, addresses or credit card information.
Website managers deal with feedback and complaints from users of the website. They arrange for problems or errors to be corrected as soon as possible, and for suggestions to be considered.
Website managers might supervise or co-ordinate the work of a team, including designers, artists, writers, researchers, programmers, developers and multimedia specialists. In a small organisation, they could take on responsibility for website design, development and management alone.
They also make sure designers and programmers have the specialist tools they need, for example, to manipulate photographs or animate parts of the design.
Managers also assess people's training and development needs, perhaps arranging for an external trainer to visit the company.
Some managers work on intranet services (the use of internet technologies and email facilities on a closed network in a single company). They talk to people throughout the company to find out what they want or expect their intranet to provide.
Personal Qualities and Skills
- Strong planning, prioritising and organisational skills.
- IT skills.
- Strong communication skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
- The ability to work closely with many different people, including designers, programmers and sales and marketing staff.
- Strong leadership skills.
- Project management skills.
- To be able to stay calm and work well under pressure.
- To pay attention to detail.
- Good written skills.
- To be able to analyse and interpret information.
- Number skills to put together statistics.
- To be creative and enthusiastic.
Depending on the employer, you might need to be skilled in internet computer languages and tools, or be willing to learn and develop these skills. You might need knowledge and experience of computer networks, operating systems or databases.
Website managers who work on a freelance basis need the skills to run their own business.
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of website managers
Employers are businesses and organisations in every area of industry and commerce, including retail and broadcasting industries and charity organisations, and in the public sector, for example, in local and central government. Website managers are likely to work for organisations that sell online through e-business.
Other opportunities are with advertising agencies, and specialist website design agencies.
Opportunities occur for website managers to work on a self-employed, freelance basis - usually on a fixed-term contract basis.
Entry requirements for degrees vary so it is important to check with individual universities.