Hiring a Technical Administrator

Discussion in 'Member and Staff Management' started by Nick, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    7,444
    Likes Received:
    219
    Have you ever had the need or desire to hire a co-administrator for the sole purpose of maintaining the technical aspect and back-end of things?

    If so, how did it work out? Were you given decent rates for decent-quality work, or did it not work out so well?
     
  2. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    102
    Yes. It worked out superbly.

    Fixed amount / month, which includes a set number of hours/month. A certain $/hour over that.

    We both agreed to keep the list of things to do, to a minimum. Neither of us wants too many modifications. But as everyone knows there is always something that needs improving. But the goal is for them to get paid a certain amount per month to do nothing.

    Having exactly one other person has worked out well, instead of a company. That way a relationship can be built on trust.


    Now I can focus on other things such as the direction of the forum. Instead of keeping up with backups, and database errors which were consuming all of my time.
     
  3. Outdoor-Fishing

    Outdoor-Fishing Adept

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    21
    MordyT is my backend guy and he does all of the technical stuff (God knows what the forum would have looked like if it wasn't for him). He also gets things done 5x faster than me. ;)

    It has worked out very well and the process of starting a forum is not so frustrating as I thought it would be.:)

    Some of the big forums that I know of, all have a tech admin...

    And did I mention that it's not costing me anything? Go Mordy!!:D
     
  4. Webmist

    Webmist Champion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    US
    First Name:
    Jen
    Depending on the size and amount of work it can work out extremely well. Outline aspects of responsibility along with proposed direction and such. Speaking from the flip side of that coin. I have several clients I keep the technical aspect of the site going. It works out great once you find that 'right' person. You can smooze the room and they can guard your back.

    Also make sure to check if they are admins on any conflicting sites (i.e. competitors) and no other jobs that will make you low priority.

    If you do add one there is no problem saying it's on a trial basis.
     
  5. BananaQueen

    BananaQueen Grand Master

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    24
    First Name:
    not telling anyone ;)
    thats how i started out on one of the forums :)

    despite knowing nothing about gaming, someone on another forum similar to this one sent me a pm asking for someone with experience using phpbb to be an admin on a forum he had just started.

    i think its turned out really well
     
  6. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I am my own technical admin.

    ... but I'd kill to be the tech admin in Abomination's example.

    Can you enlighten us a bit more? Aside from full companies, I've never seen such a set up, so I'm naturally intrigued.
     
  7. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    102
    Someone on a forum was *extremely* helpful to me, and I watched and waited. Finally I asked if there was any interest in doing direct work for $. They were quite reluctant, and it took a long long time to convince them, but it worked out quite well. I've got unusual requirements, much different that a normal forum in terms of membership. We know each other in real life and need to make sure certain information is not disclosed to the world. So that means the primary requirement was trust and integrity.


    The flat rate with overage charges was my idea. The offer needed to lucrative enough to entice, but not seem onerous with too many hours included for that amount. And a window for me in case there was more work than normal. Basically fair for everyone.

    I have always given more than what the rate was, as a thank you.

    If the server goes down for any reason the moderators can call/email him and he has full server access. In addition to it being a fully managed account. I don't want the moderators to have access to the hosting account.

    So he can work 2 hours one week, 10 minutes the next, and there is always a short list of things to do with priorities attached. He is awesome, as I am sure you would be. : )


    I don't think you people have *any* idea how many people like myself there are. People that *want* trustworthy person to work with directly for a long long time. The key word is 'person', not company. If people are convinced a single trustworthy person is the only one that will have the login details, that is far far different that a company that may send the login details to any one in the world that wants to make a few $.

    Put up an ad in the services offered area!
     
  8. Vekseid

    Vekseid Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    13
    I've done some support for others, but I'm kindof leery of just offering. I have a few people who just harass me non-stop, as if I have absolutely nothing else to do and can survive off of seeing the words "Thank you!" sent to me.
     
  9. Outdoor-Fishing

    Outdoor-Fishing Adept

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    21
    Very true.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    7,444
    Likes Received:
    219
    Really?

    I've worked on several forums as a technical administrator, performing various tasks: back-ups, software upgrades, modification installations, customizations, etc. I don't necessarily promulgate my services because I can only take on a limited amount of customers at a time, since I only have so much free time to work on other sites. I try to keep a balance of 2-3 clients at a time. Some hire me for a few jobs, while others hire me long-term. Some need some low prices, which I gladly accommodate, while others throw outrageous offers at me.
    Last year, one client of mine had a lot that had to be done; it was a list of about 15 things. He offered me $100 to complete the list, and then $100/month for odd jobs here-and-there thereafter. I was surprised by his offer, but he was serious about it. He ran a successful, large, and highly active forum, so needed somebody to maintain the upgrades and tweaks while he could focus on the forum and sales.

    The clientele is few-and-far between, and consists of a variety of clients with different needs and different situations.
    I try my best to offer my services to those who aren't well-versed in technical administration, and I do my best to help them make the best of maintaining a forum.
     
  11. C Flower

    C Flower Newcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi - I'm new. This thread caught my eye, so I registered with the site to join in.

    I'm someone who is getting ready to start a forum site but with no technical knowledge and without time to develop it. I'm experienced on the people side of site development and management, link building and so on and as someone said to me "have a passion for discussion". I'm really need a tech Admin, who'll deal with the tech side of the site while I moderate, develop content and promote it, but can't afford to pay more than a small amount for one. If an ad income built up, I'd want to pay a percentage to the Admin.

    That is exactly right. Trust is needed on both sides. For the site owner, the outcome is very, very important. The tech Admin's time needs to be respected too. But unless you know people personally and have their full contact details, have checked references or maybe have known them as site members for a long time, how do you know who to trust ?

    Any suggestions as to how I can find the tech support that I need to start and run my site successfully ?
     
  12. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    102
    I was in your exact situation 2 years ago. The staff at vb.com assured me simply buying, downloading, installing, and configuring vb software would be easy. It was not easy *for me*.

    New people to all of this actually have the advantage because you have no data or peoples information. If a tech person does not work out before the forum is open, no big deal.

    I stumbled along with phone support from vb.com which was expensive. At this time with all the v4 problems they have, I'm not sure they would be as helpful as they once were.

    When I searched for a tech person I required a few things, including an actual phone conversation. If people will not talk to me on the phone then I do not (generally) use their services. I've only talked to my person a few times on the phone but that helped me to get to know them far better than trading hundreds of PMs, posts, or emails.


    Looking back, if I had to do it over, I would approach urljet and have them set up a vb forum or approach invisonpowerboard.com and create an account there. Both will set up hosting accounts and walk people through the process.

    Yes trust is the most important aspect on both sides. My impression is many people in the forum business have been 'burned' badly in several situations. People refusing to pay $, taking copyrighted images, things like that.

    If you are looking for recommendations Nick and Ryan would be some of the people that I would be in contact with if I had no support person.
     
  13. Vekseid

    Vekseid Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hanging out on forums like these helps. You will find people who obviously know what they are talking about, at various levels. If they seem personable that's a good step. Don't try to force a situation with someone you cannot in any way cooperate with.

    Be sure to join the community of whatever software you go with, as well, and as a personal plea, if you want free support, please respect the time of others. : /

    Administrators will also have different skill sets, and some will be more common than others. I do server work. I check people's IPTables configurations, php compilations, my.cnf files, nginx versus Apache, backup scripts - security and performance on the server side. I'm less interested in helping people with the installation and configuration of your software itself, because there are many more people who can do that just fine, and I'm not interested in competing with them price wise. I have my servers to pay for : )
     
  14. Outdoor-Fishing

    Outdoor-Fishing Adept

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    21
    I don't know about that. You have to know someone really well to be able to recommend that person. Sure, I can recommend people for their quality work, but what if this tech just doesn't like you and turns over on you? These days you can never know for sure. :shrug:

    Should have made more friends in college.;)
     
  15. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    102
    I did not mean those people had my personal seal of approval, I meant those would be 2 people that I would try to approach and investigate more.
     
  16. p4guru

    p4guru Addict

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yeah same here my own admin although i was a newb around 8+ yrs back. But I've learnt from my own and other folks experience, the best way in the end is to learn to do most tasks yourself or at least have the know-how to do them if you don't have time. My google-fu skills are top notch now :lol: Webmaster/hosting/technical forums such as these also help as you can ask, learn and share your experiences :)

    Not sure about your guys, but i can be impatient, so learning how to do something and being able to do it there and then, is much more rewarding then having to wait for someone to help you out. Timezones are a bitch too. I'm referring to the basic stuff though i.e. backing up/restoring and repairing your database, upgrading apache, php, mysql, nginx and xcache/memcached etc. Kernel recompiles and extensive time consuming stuff, I'd leave to pros and/or web host heh

    I now do some admin/server tasks (pretty much the skill set Vekseid mentioned) on once-off contract basis (never monthly deals) for others as well with my spare time with what I've learnt and I've heard some horror stories of such clients being taken for a ride and being ripped off by previous hired help for 3-4 figure $$$ sums as they didn't know better! And to make it worse they mainly dealt with the previous helpers over the phone ! :eek:

    As to topic of phone call requirement, over years had many clients ask but i never do phone calls and still get the jobs and repeat jobs. Mainly due to differences in timezones and as well as for technical info and stuff it's way easier to have it written down and have a written record of everything. But to each his own :)
     
  17. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This is true (even though my name was mentioned that brought this up xD).

    Regardless, thanks for the name drop. :)
     
  18. ArnyVee

    ArnyVee Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    39
    I started my first forum back in May of 2008 and knew absolutely nothing about html, coding or forum management at all! I met a few folks at a couple of support forums and learned A TON! The important thing was that I paid for 'technical advisors' at times, I asked them how they did it or experimented myself on doing some modifications and such.

    Now, I pass my knowledge onto other new forum administrators and webmasters. I try and help as often as my 'free time' allows. But, on occasion I've been hired as a short-term technical advisor. I haven't made a lot of money at it, but it does help justify the time spent away from my sites to help others a bit more consistently.

    Good luck to the newer administrators and webmasters looking at this thread. Also, be sure to always ask questions in support forums like AA! You'll learn so much from great folks that love to share their knowledge and know-how! :D
     
  19. Webmist

    Webmist Champion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    US
    First Name:
    Jen
    Ain't that the truth. It seams once you offer every one pops up out of the woodwork. Going from having nothing to do to overworked is common I think. Especially like my way of doing it. I prefer the Mr. Barter system.

    I do to. Once you have a system in place it doesn't take a lot to maintain it. Unless the owner/admin actually does have to much on their plate. That's where the tech admin comes into play. My personality is a private one so that is just fine with me. I'd rather be the person behind your success than in the spot light.
     
  20. Desu

    Desu Addict

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    4
    I do all the security administration for my sites, but I let one of my friends handle settings for PHP, Apache/LiteSpeed/Nginx and MySQL, just because he's more familiar with it.

    The most I'll let datacenter administrators do is hardware replacement (If its to far for me to do it myself) and a few other miscellaneous things.

    As far as administrative services go, I don't have much faith in them, so I've only ever used one and that was to test them for my friends hosting business.
     

Share This Page