Are you the master of your domain? Here’s how to know when to hire a webmaster for your website or blog. I’ve been supporting myself with my Quips and Tips blogs for six years – and twice I hired a webmaster to poke around my domain.
I’m a DIY girl, which means I read books like SEO 2014 & Beyond: Search Engine Optimization Will Never Be the Same by Dr. Andy Williams. I know when to hire a webmaster, but I enjoy playing behind the scenes with my blogs.
If you don’t have the time or energy to maintain your website, that’s when you hire a webmaster. A webmaster can make your blog run faster, improve the graphics, and make sure you’re running the most recent plugins. Basically, a webmaster takes care of the “behind the scenes” work, so you can write or work with clients or do whatever it is you love to do.
You want to hire a webmaster for your blog when you can’t solve your website problems and snafus. No matter how awesome your webhost provider is – I use HostGator, and am very happy with them – there are occasional glitches. If you’re looking for a webhost provider, look at HostGator’s webhost packages.
My blogs are almost never down, and I’ve been with HostGator since 2008. Recently, I’ve been having WordPress database problems, and it’s taking HostGator time to sort it all out. This was partly because the HostGator techs are very very busy and partly because I changed all my WordPress themes on my five Quips and Tips blogs, and my database didn’t seem to like the changes. If I had hired my own webmaster, my sites would have been running smoothly despite the database problems. But, it would’ve costed me alot more money.
When to Hire a Webmaster for a Blog or Website
You create more website problems than you solve. When you’re tinkering around behind the scenes, you can do some serious damage to your database. I’ve never lost everything, but I don’t mess around with the guts of my blogs. I leave that to HostGator – and because I have my own VPS container, they help when things get rough.
Your webhost provider doesn’t help when you have problems. The database problems I mentioned earlier are happening again – I’m experiencing a glitch right now. This article is an update of my original Signs It’s Time to Hire a Webmaster for Your Blog. That post won’t update and I neglected to copy and save my work before I tried to save it, so I lost five whole minutes of work. I know this means that my database is corrupt. Does this mean I need to hire a webmaster? No. It means I need to use my brains, and copy and save my work before I hit “update.” I’ll hire a webmaster when HostGator stops helping me. If your webhost provider doesn’t help you, think about switching hosts.
You want to move your blog to a new web host. I’ve been with HostGator since I first started blogging six years ago, and I am happy with them. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the techs are willing to walk you through all manner of problems. But, if you’re with a slow, expensive, or un-customer-oriented host, you may want to hire a webmaster to move your blog over. If I left HostGator, I’m not sure I’d want to do it alone.
You want to make your website faster, but you don’t have time to find the right plugins. Slow blogs and websites might rank lower on Google’s search page results than zippy ones. I did a Speed Analysis Test on my four Quips and Tips blogs on Firefox, and found that – yikes – most of my blogs are in the Yellow/Yield zone. One or two is in the Red zone! Google offers lots of suggestions on getting into the Green zone…and when you don’t have time to slog through the gobbly-gook, you know it’s time to hire a webmaster for your blog or website.
You’re spending more time on blog maintenance than blogging. I enjoy tinkering with the HTML and other aspects of my blogs – the behind the scenes work – but it can be very time-consuming. And if time is money, then I need to spend my time dancing “on stage”: writing posts, responding to reader comments, digging up new and better affiliate programs, playing with ad placement and colors, etc. If you’re not spending your time doing what you love (or what makes you the most money), then hire a webmaster to take care of the details. Same thing if you want to make money blogging. I’m lucky, because I love blogging and I make money doing it!
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If your blog traffic is low, you don’t need to hire a webmaster. You need to read Grow, Little Blog! Blogging Tips From the Most Popular Blogs.
How Do You Find a Good Webmaster?
I think the best way to hire a webmaster for a blog or website is to talk to other bloggers. There are so many so-called search engine optimization experts and social media strategists on the internet – it’s overwhelming! But if you can find a webmaster by asking bloggers that you trust, then you’re less likely to waste money on a poor or inept webmaster.
Signs of a reliable webmaster:
- Responds within a day to emails
- Is upfront about how much she charges – and whether she charges per hour or per project
- Stays focused on the job you’re asking her to complete
- Puts a maximum on the amount of money you’ll spend per project or per year
- Sends a “work order” or formal estimate prior to starting the work
- Listens to what you need her to do
- Clearly states her goals for the job or his role as webmaster in the work order
- Doesn’t pressure you to hire her
- Accepts PayPal
Entrepreneur.com published an article called 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Webmaster – it’s good. Here’s one of the most important questions from article:
Ask about the webmaster’s 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?
If you’re trying to support yourself financially with your blog, read What Types of Blogs Make the Most Money?
What have I missed? I welcome your thoughts on when to hire a webmaster for your website or blog.