A webmaster (portmanteau of web and postmaster), also called a web architect, web developer, site author, website administrator, or (informally) webmeister, is a person responsible for maintaining a website(s). The duties of the webmaster may include ensuring that the web servers, hardware and software are operating accurately, designing the website, generating and revising web pages, replying to user comment, and examining traffic through the site.
An alternative definition of webmaster is a businessperson who uses online media to sell products and/or services. This broader definition of webmaster covers not just the technical aspects of overseeing Web site construction and maintenance but also management of content, advertising, marketing and order fulfilment for the Web site.
Core responsibilities of the webmaster may include the regulation and management of access rights of different users of a website, the appearance and setting up website navigation. Content placement can be part of a webmaster’s responsibilities, while content creation may not be.
Website architecture is an approach to the design and planning of websites which, like architecture itself, involves technical, aesthetic and functional criteria. As in traditional architecture, the focus is properly on the user and on user requirements. This requires particular attention to web content, a business plan, usability, interaction design, information architecture and web design. For effective search engine optimization it is necessary to have an appreciation of how a single website relates to the World Wide Web.
Since web content planning, design and management come within the scope of design methods, the traditional vitruvian aims of commodity, firmness and delight can guide the architecture of websites, as they do physical architecture and other design disciplines. Website architecture is coming within the scope of aesthetics and critical theory and this trend may accelerate with the advent of the semantic web and web 2.0. Both ideas emphasise the structural aspects of information. Structuralism is an approach to knowledge which has influenced a number of academic disciplines including aesthetics, critical theory and postmodernism. Web 2.0, because it involves user-generated content, directs the website architect’s attention to the structural aspects of information.
“Website architecture” has the potential to be a term used for the intellectual discipline of organizing website content. “Web design”, by way of contrast, describes the practical tasks, part-graphic and part-technical, of designing and publishing a website. The distinction compares to that between the task of editing a newspaper or magazine and its graphic design and printing. But the link between editorial and production activities is much closer for web publications than for print publications.
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