Your Webmaster Shouldn’t Also be Your Marketer

I often get calls from folks who are looking for someone take care of their website. Great! Webmaster services are exactly what I provide. However it seems sometimes that folks are looking for someone to not only work on their websites but also implement SEO, conduct SEM campaigns, manage e-newsletter campaigns and more. I have even lost sales opportunities because the lead advised me that they were very much looking for someone (an individual) who could handle the design, development and marketing of their web presence. I don’t blame them for thinking that they should be able to find all this at a single source. So many people in the industry market themselves as being able to do all this. However I am gong to argue that this is not the “right” way to approach your web presence.

I spent the early part of my career amongst large and mid-size public relations and marketing agencies where I got to work on some fairly large clients and campaigns. When a company hires an agency they don’t just get a single consultant but they get an entire team, each person with their own area expertise in some part of the relative campaign. This model taught me that there are people who have created entire careers around just one of these disciplines; SEO, SEM, web development, web design, UX design, UI design, content creation, content marketing, etc. It is when all these experts come together that a true campaign is formed.

Now you can argue that this model is how a Fortune 500 company does business and a smaller business might be able to afford such a team. It’s fair argument, but I want you to ask yourself: If there are people who make entire careers around being an expert in one of these disciplines, then how can I expect to hire someone that does it all… and does it all well?

You don’t have to spend like a Fortune 500 company; you don’t have to hire a single large (big money) agency to put together your own team of experts. However the more hats your webmaster tries to wear, the more scattered results are for you. This is why I advise clients that I can work closely with marketers but I focus on web development and that is what I do.

Not An Expert In Everything

It seems more and more web designers and developers claim to be digital marketers as well. They likely know the basics, but they’re either experts at the development part or the marketing part. Expecting them to understand the fine details about both is asking too much. Even if they claim to be experts in all areas, they’re always better at one thing over another.

Even if your webmaster offers marketing services, you can’t be sure they’re going to be offering the best marketing services for your needs. You want a team whose main area of expertise is marketing.

Quantity vs. Quality of Work

The problem with a webmaster wearing too many hats is they’re not able to offer high quality results in any one area. This doesn’t mean they can’t deliver the products you asked for. You’ll get a functioning website and some marketing, but they’ll be moderate quality at best. If you end up not satisfied, neither will your audience. It’s a risky proposition.

Do you really want to pay top dollar for an all-in-one development/marketing package only to receive mediocre quality results? Your site deserves better. Let your webmaster focus on the site and let someone else handle the marketing. A good webmaster will be more than happy to work with others on your team. In fact I often joke that I am very good at following other’s directions or simply doing what I am told.

For a True Campaign You Need Experts In Every Area

Many agencies now have multiple teams, each focused on a specific area of expertise. These usually cost more because all the talent is under one roof. It saves you time, but it might not fit your budget. This doesn’t mean you have to still rely upon a webmasters who promise it all, but can’t deliver high quality results.

It’s your project and you can put together your own marketing team outside of the development process. Hiring a small marketing team or even a single expert gives your project the talent it needs to succeed. Start early so your marketing expert(s) can start planning a marketing strategy while the site is under development.

If you leave it all up to your webmaster, you may have to wait until after the site is finished before marketing is even considered. Having separate experts in each area ensures no part of your project falls to the wayside.

Let’s Not Waste Time

You might think you’re saving and money and time by working with an individual. The problem is it’s up to you to fix the mess left behind when it proves to be too much work for an individual. You’ll may find yourself having to hire another webmaster services company to help you. This is actually a call I get quite frequently. By allowing individual experts work simultaneously, focusing on what they are good at, you will find that you website and campaigns come together quicker and with higher quality.

Get A True Team Perspective

It really does take a team of experts to analyze your needs, create strategies and put them into play for a successful campaign. A team bounces ideas off each other and offers expertise in different areas such as email, social media and content marketing. You will get far more (and better) results by hiring a team of experts instead of asking your webmaster to act as an expert in all things.


If a webmaster that offers it all sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. No matter what your webmaster offers, let them do what they do best – work on your website. Your webmaster is not your marketing team. Save yourself the time and money by hiring experts in their individual fields. It may sound expensive, but take from a guy who cleans a lot of this up for a living; it will save you money and time in the long run.

Post by Shane Larrabee

Shane Larrabee is founder of FatLab, LLC and has over 20 years experience as a business leader, web developer and online communication consultant.