In a busy offline and online world, it can be difficult to find a dependable webmaster to make changes to or maintain your website. However, there are good webmasters out there. You just have to do a little research.
Here are a few tips that will help you in choosing a webmaster you can trust, is efficient and is capable of the tasks given him.
First, when looking into a webmaster, ask for referrals. If they have other happy customers that are willing to be references for this webmaster, that's a good thing. However, make sure it's not their mother-in-law or someone close to them. Biased opinions won't benefit you at all. Many webmasters will have testimonials or feedback from their happy customers on their business website. However, do a quick search for their company name to see if you can dig up any negative feedback from others who may have had a horrible experience.
Second, if a webmaster offers to transfer your domain name and website into their control, run! Why? Well, many webmasters have hosting accounts that can host multiple websites on them. So what they do is transfer your domain name and website files over to their hosting plan and then charge you a monthly fee. This fee varies with each webmaster. However, once you allow them to do this, that domain name and website becomes their property. If something were to go wrong, then you'd ultimately loose it all. Although their intentions in the beginning were good, the consequences of a webmaster/website owner relationship could be devastating.
Third, seek out a webmaster that can be reached by telephone. If you have never spoken to them over the phone or can't seem to reach them by phone, move on the the next one. I've heard the horror stories of website owners not being able to reach their trusted webmaster when their site needs to be updated or it's in error. But, when they finally do reach them after leaving several messages, the webmaster says that they no longer do that.
Yes, that really happens...and it happens a lot. Your future webmaster must be accessible.
Fourth, efficiency in work ethic is a must. Find a webmaster that can commit to making the updates you've requested in a timely and efficient manner. Standard updates should be completed within a 48 hour period. If a larger task is at hand, then get a commitment for a time of completion.
Fifth, conduct and interview. Make sure you can trust them. When you speak to them, do you believe them? Do they sound honest and full of integrity?
Sixth, trust your gut! When it all comes down to it, a potential webmaster can answer all of your questions perfectly and even promise you the world, but if your gut tells you no, follow it!
This article may make you a bit skeptical about choosing a webmaster, and that's not my intention. There are more good webmasters than there are bad ones. But if you follow some of these tips, you'll end up having a good experience with whomever you choose.