I found this SEOmoz post on setting up a search engine-friendly website maintenance page to be very useful, especially as I have a significant website redesign launch coming up.
In the past I’ve left this aspect of website management in the hands of my network administrator, but who knows if they are aware of the pitfalls of sending the wrong signals to the search engines when your site is down for maintenance.
At least now I’ll be able to ask the right questions as we approach launch time.
This leads me to a broader question. As the infrastructure behind a website grows increasingly complex, how much technical knowledge is it reasonable to expect a website manager to possess? Is being able to edit an .htaccess file a still a prerequisite for the job?
As web team roles become more specialized, the role of the web manager remains the one where a wider range of skills — design and usability, web development, content strategy and development, SEO, SEM, information architecture, site performance, analytics, etc. — is needed in order to interact effectively with those specialists.
However, I am finding it harder to keep up with advances in all these various web disciplines (as can be seen be the number of unread entries in my RSS reader). How do others manage it?