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What Does a Web Architect Do?

By Angela Farrer
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A web architect conceptualizes the structure of a website and plans exactly how its different components will be linked together. The average web architect duties are more comprehensive than simply coding hypertext markup language (HTML) or operating a graphical web page creation program. Web architects need to have a good working knowledge of content management, search engine optimization (SEO), user-friendly navigation practices, and how to implement the goals of various websites. A web architect job may also entail creating and managing databases connected to a given website as well as uploading various types of documents for users to download and read.

Complex websites in areas such as e-commerce need the expertise of a good web architect to generate traffic and revenue. These types of sites typically have multiple pages, links, and media such as images and videos. One of the most common pitfalls of these websites is a poorly-planned organizational structure. Users who find a site confusing or time-consuming to navigate are generally not likely to return. Additional issues that a skilled web architect prevents include broken links and media that fails to load correctly.

Some entry-level web architect requirements are usually a four-year college degree along with relevant software certifications. Popular degree programs for web architects are computer science, informatics, or business information technology. Proficiency in at least one web scripting language and one high level programming language is also recommended. Web architects additionally need to have skills in trouble-shooting various aspects of a website during the construction phase.

A web architect's real work begins once the preliminary plans are outlined. The initial purpose of a business website is usually the idea of the owner with input from the architect. Many business owners do not have the specific background knowledge of how site maps are structured, but they normally do have a good idea of what they want their new website to achieve. Working with a website objective and the listed requirements for content, web architects begin planning the specifics with the help of organizational charts.

In addition to web programming, web architects also create detailed visual charts for a website before the first line of code is written. They use these charts to illustrate how each site component will connect to the others in a logical fashion. Depending on the complexity of the content, web architecture charts can follow flat or multidimensional hierarchies. Once these design charts are completed, web architects often need to present them to business owners and teams of web designers.

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