Jay is the lead developer at Reaktiv Studios, a WordPress centered development shop focused on custom solutions and complex integrations. He has been a developer for over a decade, and has previously worked at Sesame Workshop and Penguin Random House. His passion for the web stretches back even further to an early age, and his first glimpse had him instantly hooked. In 2017, he created the newsletter and blog The History of the Web, which combines his love of the World Wide Web and history into both short and long-form posts, updated regularly.
The webmaster was once, quite literally, the master of their domain. Whatever request came through for the website, they could handle, be it a HTML tweak or fix to the server. Their skills evolved with the web, and there was very little they couldn’t handle. Self-taught and always learning, the best sites around had a dedicated webmaster or two.
Then, sometime in the last 20 years, the webmaster disappeared. Amidst the new world of Web 2.0, it was suddenly very hard to find a webmaster, replaced instead by large agencies and expanding homegrown teams. But where did they go? To answer that question, we’ll have to do a bit of digging to trace when and where they vanished from sight. Once we know that we can answer an even more fundamental question: how can we capture the spirit of the webmaster once more?