Requirements for being a Webmaster/Webservant

Have you had any experience with the control panel a web hosting company gives you?
it is important for the current setup to know how to:
  • create, update, view trouble tickets.
  • create, modify, and generally maintain MySQL databases (if using PHP+MySQL on your site).
  • edit and maintain and understand PHP code (if using it on your site).
  • create users for, and create, maintain(if host drops) password-protected directories.
  • create email accounts and make them dummy accounts.
  • set up email forwarders.
  • periodically backup the whole site & optionally download it to your machine. it's about 9-23MB. Not totally necessary, but it's a good idea if your site gets hacked. or something else catastrophic happens.
  • install/uninstall fantastico or elephante scripts (rarely!)
  • be familiar with PHPMyAdmin

Aside from the control panel [demo],
  • inform owner of every change you make to the control panel, and of major domain-gone events (check this through's whois lookup).
  • upload images by batch into the photo gallery.
  • make content changes as necessary.
  • upload changes via FTP client such as filezilla, leechftp, cuteftp, etc.
  • do PHP/MySQL programming when rarely necessary. I've already done the PHP/MySQL programming, it's embedded in the pages that end in .php rather than .html in between <?php and ?> tags.
  • optional:maintain WML pages for cell phones in a /wap, /mobi, /m directory, or xhtml files for cell phones in the /xhtml directory.

Have you ever done any database work in SQL or PHP programming? to get started you need at least a text editor that knows about line numbers like Eclipse (hard to install PHP options), Notepad++, or dreamweaver ($$$), or Textpad ($$).

dynamic sites

I automate with PHP+MySQL programming to reduce my work where needed.

Once the site is set up properly you may be doing only 1/3 or half of those tasks. the tasks I mentioned are all needed when you start up a site, and if you are doing MySQL/PHP programming, which most people aren't.

At a bare minimum people might use fantastico or elephante scripts (in the control panel) to install packages of PHP/MySQL programs like Coppermine photo gallery like I did, and Simple Machines Forum (don't bother with PHPbb if you can help it). Most of that is configuration and following the install instructions (even after the installer is done, because the install process is often broken).

upgrading scripts can be a royal pain, since the script installer doesn't always do a proper job of it, especially if you are not johnny-on-the-spot eith upgrades. follow the instructions to the letter.

those who choose to use dreamweaver to do the heavy lifting will find that it satisfies most of their needs, but sometimes you need s custom jobby, like an events calendar.

sometimes you can find those kinds of things as an already-made package you can install on your site.

due to security issues these days and PHP sites getting hacked, keeping your scripts up-to-date is critical now.


  • graphic design skills
  • artistic skills
  • good eye
  • good spelling
  • good grammar

graphic design skills are practically a must. If you can't afford a degree, buy some books & start reading. If you don't have these skills, pick up some skills NOW if you want to be competetive.

I can say this, because currently, I only have a little of artistic skills and graphic design skills, and I know my work needs improvement (but hey - my pages load fast! I made sure of that...).

you need a good eye for what looks great or impressive, because you want to maximize hits.

and if you can't spell or use grammar, a spell checker will not help you out in a jam, because they are typically hard to use and inaccurate.

then why is my site lower case? because this site is where I share knowledge with others. it's not important to me upper case/lower case.

costs to start a web business

this only covers what I can think of.

$2000,$2800 (including taxes) 
	Adobe CS Web Premium,
	Adobe CS Master Collection 
    subscription is too costly.
$15-$?? state business license
$150 QuickBooks accounting software, required by accountants
$100 start business checking
$56-$300 business checks and deskbook
$$ Office Supplies
$800-$10000 desktop computer for long term use and accounting?
laptop, maybe, for working with clients in restaurants.
$$ Business Cards
office rental or home office space?
$36+$8 each 100-pack of cd's, 100-pack of dvd's, with sleeves, 
       for handing clients their sites.  use taiyo yuden/JVC.

courses to take or things to learn

I don't recommend w3schools anymore. It has many errors and it gives bad advice. think of it as a glorified landing page. W3C has tried to deal with them (they are not affiliated).

  • graphic design 1st (this is not my strong point so bear with me)
    • color theory
    • color systems
    • layout
  • any programming courses you take will only help:
  • SQL
  • Adobe flash and Adobe's new HTML5 Canvas-based replacement for flash that starts with an E
  • Java language, for making applets
  • PHP server-side scripting language (helps you get used to Object Oriented Programming)
  • ASP.NET, ASP server-side scripting language
  • Javascript/ecmascript language
  • C and C++ maybe (helps you get used to PHP, Javascript, since both borrow their syntax from C), also, a very few server apps may be written in these 2 languages, but I suspect not. helps you get used to Object Oriented Programming.
  • web formats
    • HTML5
    • HTML4.01
    • XHTML
    • XML
    • XSLT
    • SVG graphics, if there is a class on it, most people use tools like inkscape
    • MathML, if there is a class on it
    • Mobile Web (as it is now called, formerly WAP)
  • JQuery or YUI, your choice, or both, or ExtJS
  • DHTML (big, long, broad subject)
  • AJAX
  • PHP/ASP/Apache/IIS/SQL/AJAX/Javascript Security - people who make popular PHP apps pay to have security audits done on their software like phpBB.