If you’re building a website for the first time, or if you’re taking over for a website that’s already been established, you should know you’ll have your work cut out for you. While you don’t need any formal training to become a webmaster, you will be required to handle a wide variety of different responsibilities – many of which will be outside the realm of your expertise.
Fortunately, there are a handful of habits that can help you become more effective in your role – whether you’ve been practicing for years or are getting started for the first time.
The Habits of Effective Webmasters
Try adopting these routine behaviors and habits if you want to improve your capabilities (and your efficiency at the same time):
- Get enough sleep. First, make sure you get enough sleep every night. Being a webmaster is a stressful role, and one that requires you to solve complex problems and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Getting enough sleep makes it 4.9 times easier to get motivated at work, and 1.5 times more likely to feel satisfied with your job performance. You may find it hard to squeeze in the 7 to 9 recommended hours of sleep every night, but it’s important if you want to be effective.
- Always check your assumptions. After a few months (or years) on the job, it’s natural to develop a certain confidence; you believe you can diagnose any problem, and that you know how to handle just about any situation. However, it’s important to retain your humility; there’s no way you can learn everything, and even one wrong assumption can interfere with your plans. Always take the time to double check your assumptions.
- Automate whatever you can. If you want to improve your efficiency, try to automate any tasks you can. Relying on apps or platforms to take care of simple manual tasks for you can save you hours every week – and make sure you don’t forget anything. For example, within Google Analytics, you can automate certain reports to be generated at regular intervals, and have them emailed directly to you. Even if there’s no way to automate the task, you can always use calendar reminders to automate prompts to remind you when to accomplish things.
- Learn something new every day. The world of creating and managing websites is always changing; there’s always some new strategy or approach to learn from. Accordingly, you should make it a point to learn something new every day. This will force you to read up on the latest news and challenge your existing beliefs.
- Get involved in a webmaster community. Try to subscribe to at least one active forum, and participate there actively. Post questions, answer questions, and engage with other webmasters to build your professional network. Google, for example, has a thriving and active community for its webmasters – and anyone can join and contribute to discussions. This will expose you to other webmasters with differing approaches, and give you a network of people to contact when you (inevitably) run into an issue you can’t solve on your own.
- Look at other websites. Take the time to look at other websites, and note what you like and don’t like about how they’re designed or managed. Sites like awwwards frequently list the best-designed and best-managed websites in each of several different categories, so spend some time perusing those lists and finding the styles that best suit your brand and personal taste. The more diverse your exposure, the better you’ll be able to tweak your site.
- Shake up your routines and approaches. It’s easy to fall into a basic routine after a few weeks to a few months of work, and that routine may make you more efficient in the short-term, but you’ll come up with more creative ideas and more novel approaches if you shake things up from time to time. Break from the norm, and experiment with new styles and strategies.
Finding Your Own Approach
There’s no single approach that can make you a great webmaster. Instead, you’ll have to experiment and find your own style. It takes years to gain the expertise necessary to diagnose problems quickly or be a decisive leader, and even then, there will be new developments you won’t know. Remaining humble and committing to constant improvement is the best way to keep moving forward.