en Questions to Ask When Hiring a Business Webmaster
Ten Questions to Ask When Hiring a Webmaster

Webmasters for small businesses often do it all; from website design and content development, to search engine optimization (SEO), hosting and support. You need an experienced, creative multitasker whom you can trust with the keys to your website — the online gateway to your brand. But how can you find someone who is up to these business-critical tasks?

The information below, by technology news reporter Kim Lachance Shandrow, provides helpful answers to 10 important questions to ask your potential business webmaster. ~ Kenneth Greenberg :: Website Webmaster & SEO

1. Where can I find current and past examples of your work? Experienced webmasters should readily share links to examples of their work that clearly demonstrate their capabilities, says Jason Hong, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and chief technical officer of Wombat Security Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based cyber security training company. “Carefully examining their portfolio and work samples can help you assess their overall style and skills,” he says. Their work samples also can be a jumping off point to discuss their more technical skills, including HTML5, UNIX, JavaScript and database management.

2. May I have a list of your current and past clients? Candidates should readily provide contact information for existing and past clients, says Chris Turzo, managing director of Goodwyn, Powell & Turzo, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in IT and clean technology. “Directly speaking with people a candidate has worked for is an essential step in the hiring process because it helps you establish how reliable and results-driven” he or she is. Many contract webmasters work independently on their own time schedules, he adds, so ask if they work well without a lot of structure and still deliver desired results on time.

3. What’s your favorite website and why do you like it? The answer can reveal a lot about a webmaster’s sense of branding, design, user interaction and more, Turzo says.

4. Which publishing, design and content technologies would you use to build and maintain my website? Webmasters should be able to describe the major publishing, design and content scheduling tools, give the pros and cons of each, and explain which they would suggest for you based on your budget and scope of work. “For instance, if they incorporate a blog within your website, would they use WordPress or Drupal, or would they code one from scratch?” says Malcolm Ong, co-founder and chief technical officer at Skillshare, an online education community based in New York City. “If you’re not tech-savvy, you may not fully understand all of the technologies he or she proposes, but they should at least be able to present you with clear options that you can generally understand.”

5. How will you optimize my website for search engines? Lisa Lopuck, author of ‘Web Design for Dummies’, suggests asking candidates how knowledgeable they are about SEO tools and techniques. “Ask them to explain which strategies and methods they’ll use to boost your rankings in all of the major search engines,” she says. They should also be experienced with Google Analytics to track website traffic and user behavior statistics and gauge the effectiveness of their SEO campaigns.

6. What kind of special features can you integrate into my site? A static website simply won’t do. Customers have come to expect extras features like video, social media feeds and banner ads. Be sure the candidate has the skills and resources to provide them. Can they easily add a contact form, blog, Flash animation, and Facebook and Twitter feeds to your site? If so, what is the expected delivery time for each special feature?

7. What is your approach to security issues and other potential website problems? It’s essential to know how your webmaster would respond should your site crash or get hacked — and how quickly. Find out how often they would back up the site and all of its content and how they would protect your site against phishing, data theft and malicious file execution.

Other security-related questions: If your website will require users to log in, how will the personal data be verified and protected? If the webmaster creates a shopping cart for you, how will your customers be protected against identity and credit card information theft?

8. How well versed are you in copyright issues? It’s critical for webmasters to be up-to-date on web-related copyright concerns. They will likely be charged with copyrighting all of the text, images and other media on your website. Asking them where they’ll obtain the photos and graphics they’ll use on your site could help you avert potential legal woes. For example, will they use free Creative Commons attribution licensed images or paid commercial stock photo licensed images?

9. Who will own the website? You might think that you would automatically own a site you paid someone to design for you. But if the designer is an independent contractor and not a company employee, you won’t own the site without a “work made for hire” or a “copyright assignment” agreement specifically stating that you own the complete design and all the content.

10. What are your fees and payment terms? It’s crucial to establish from the outset all of the fees for designing, publishing and maintaining your website. You’ll also want to know if the webmaster prefers to be paid by the hour or on a monthly retainer. If the webmaster is designing a new site for you, find out how you’ll pay for hosting and maintenance charges.

*Above post written for Entrepreneur.com by Kim Lachance Shandrow, former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, Kim was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

Let’s Optimize the Performance of Your Website!

Kenneth Greenberg :: Business Website Webmaster

As a professional Website Webmaster for the past 20+ years, I have designed, hosted and optimized hundreds of websites for doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other professional service providers. As a result, my clients’ websites generate greater results for their businesses and practices. I will be happy to help you as well.

~ Kenneth Greenberg ~ Webmaster & SEO ~ HG Media

Contact me to make your business website more engaging, effective, and secure.


  • Kenneth Greenberg :: Video Producer

    As a Video Producer at HG Media I orchestrate the talent and resources of designers, developers, programmers, writers, producers, videographers, audio engineers and editors to produce dynamic marketing communications across the expanding network of media distribution platforms.

    https://hg-media.com kg@hg-media.com Greenberg Kenneth