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Garrett / G66
Garrett / G66

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Is "webmaster" still a thing?

The term "webmaster" popped back into my head a few days ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

It seems like that's not really a thing anymore.

The web has become so complex that skills have been siloed.

Webmasters used to design, build, and manage websites on their own. Sometimes they hosted the site, too.

But websites have mostly become too complex for that.

I don't even see the term "web designer" used much anymore.

A web designer now has 3 parts:

  1. UI designer
  2. UX designer (often the same person as the UI)
  3. Front end developer (rarely designing anymore)

This has just been what I've seen and felt lately.

What are your thoughts?

[Update]: I just found this post, coincidentally posted today

Top comments (12)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I had this title in my linkedin for a while. I still feel like it mostly fits my vibe.

garrett profile image
Garrett / G66

I vaguely remember people deciding “master” was a problematic term in git so maybe it’s inappropriate now, but I also feel like the idea of what it was back then is what I am.

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Good point, I haven't heard that title in a minute. It's kinda cool though and sounds like a beastmaster.

A viking-looking guy swinging a sword around wildly

Also, kinda makes me think of the title scrum master.

As for why the title might have faded out, I think you bring up a good point that typically when we think of someone building a website these days it's not just one person, but a team with specialties.

I think websites used to be more simple in what they offered — and the expectation wasn't to have something visually mind blowing. So, one person could kinda get away with hacking something together because that's just the way the web looked. (Haha, I love looking at the brutalist web design of yesteryear!)

And as for today, when there is just one individual building a website, it seems that they frequently use website building tools and templates, then sorta stitch it all together. But yeah, we don't refer to them as a webmaster... come to think of it, I don't know what we call those folks, haha. 😅

marissab profile image
Marissa B

But yeah, we don't refer to them as a webmaster... come to think of it, I don't know what we call those folks, haha.

"You there! Yes, you!" 😂

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Hahaha! Right?

"Hey you over there doing that web stuff... yeah, I'm talking to you!"

morphzg profile image
MorphZG • Edited

I am close to 40 years old and i remember how hard i was tring to become a webmaster, utilizing html, css, javascript and mighty PHP and SQL. Interesting topic. Would like to read your opinions.
Edit: that was the period without responsive designs.

garrett profile image
Garrett / G66

I remember building websites with frames and tables.

eljayadobe profile image

I don't use the term webmaster.

Instead, I use the term webslinger.

jilljj profile image
Jill Johnson

No. The term "master" is and always was biased. Nobody has ever "mastered" it. No true master would confess to such a preposterous concept.

brianwaustin profile image
Brian Austin

"When you can interpret this cryptic server output log and restore the website, you may leave." (probably not Master Kan)

mileusna profile image
Miloš Mileusnić

I still use that term, old school 🤷‍♂️, but again, I'm a webmaster since I do lots of thinks on my own, including Linux admin. Now it is popular to use "indiehacker" maybe 😁

xwero profile image
david duymelinck

When we talk about webmastering, it is to manipulate the content of a website. So basically an editor.