Lodge Websites

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Lodge Websites

Postby Nik ODwyer » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:05 pm

Good afternoon all, I am sure that this has been asked before, but couldn't find it.

I am keen to help get the message out there about our Lodge, and feel that despite all of my visiting other Lodges and inviting brethren to our Lodge, there is only so much I can do. Most of our members do not visit, or just have the same reciprical visits, and many seem to just turn up to sit there (which is fine if that is what they want to do).

I have been a member since 2008 and our numbers have never really increased, with the odd couple which come in each year, we seem to loose from the other end to the Grand Lodge above.

When I was Master I did try and arrange for all of the officers to visit, but this was not a popular suggestion. So now I am thinking I would try and set up a website for the Lodge (as I am sure others have done so). I am interested on the statistics for visitors, interaction and as a tool for the minutes, summons and charity events.

Any feedback / discussion about your experience would be appreciated.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby admin » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:19 pm

This is the site I made for my Lodge

http://lodgeofoldfriendship3907.com/info/welcome/

But I warn you not many have much to do with it.
They all talk about what to do at GP s but in the end if you want to do something it will be down to you.

Its wordpress. I have forund it to be the best software for beginners to make a decent web site.

This is my hosting company you get an idea of costs there.
http://sell-buy.net/info/
This is also a wordpress site, so you can see what a proffesional can do with the same softwrae.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:30 pm

These days it is quite necessary to have a web site for your Lodge if you want to attract younger members. That is where they look first. Later, you might want to start a FaceBook page and other social media communications but they do take some effort in maintaining.

Over the last - must be ten years now - since I produced our first Lodge web site, it regularly provides joiners who move into the area and some initiates. You do need to think carefully about how to handles applicants from the Internet, as they are completely unknown to any of your members.

It also provides a platform for disseminating Masonic information, though our Lodge members seldom visit it! Private information, such as membership lists, programme of the meetings, summons, minutes, LoI info and so on are provided as pdf documents that are password protected. Naively, I thought that by providing that kind of useful information, they would be encouraged to visit - forgetting that they seldom read their Lodge summons even!

There is a set of site guide lines from GL but it is rather dated. Also you are supposed to obtain approval from your province and from GL, each of which then supply you with a 'Charter Mark' of approval to show on your site. Initially I had the charter marks and I re-applied after I did a complete redesign but, despite several reminders, never got any responses. So I don't bother now. The site is there, and referenced from our province. If you want to see it, 38 is in Sussex. If there's to be any objection, then I'm sure they would tell me!

Get your own domain name (e.g. http://www.lodgenameandnumber.org.uk for the site) and use it to direct e-mails to your secretary's own address (e.g. secretary@lodgenameandnumber.org.uk).

Above all, keep it simple!
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby eckywan2 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:22 am

Bro O Dyer
Come up to Scotland sometime , and just knock on any lodge door and you will be made welcome .
We have a different , nore informal , set of procedures here , Basically None. We just visit each other as and when we feel like
More informal harmonies with a pie and a few pints, facilitate brethren just turning up at last moment and being made welcome .
That makes it simpler to visit other lodges and word of mouth seems to work better than any internet.
I'm not putting down websites which are great for information and history but so is the Grand Lodge yearbook which has contact details of all scots lodges , worldwide.
An example of all above, I often attend Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No 2, and its their Installation on Friday , but I've got family commitments which mean I'm not sure to be able to attend so I will make up my miond at last moment and may just attend installation and leave before meal.
But should I be able I know they will find space for me and any other brother in similar ciurcumstances .

If I'm ever in Sussex I will make the effort to visityou ,or elsewhere

Yours aye
and fraternally
eckywan
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Trouillogan » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:39 pm

I really wish we had the same kind of informality that is the norm in Scotland and Ireland. Because of the formal dinners we have after the Lodge closes, there's not as much opportunity to meet and blether, unless visitors are booked in to dine. Most Lodge caterers need fairly exact numbers at least a couple of days before and it's around £20 a seat - at least twice that in London - so you can see why. I'm also sure this is why our attendances tend to be low in number these days. All the repetitive speechifying doesn't help either! Nonetheless, eckywan, you will always be made most welcome.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Nik ODwyer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:10 pm

admin wrote:This is the site I made for my Lodge

http://lodgeofoldfriendship3907.com/info/welcome/

But I warn you not many have much to do with it.
They all talk about what to do at GP s but in the end if you want to do something it will be down to you.

Its wordpress. I have forund it to be the best software for beginners to make a decent web site.

This is my hosting company you get an idea of costs there.
http://sell-buy.net/info/
This is also a wordpress site, so you can see what a proffesional can do with the same softwrae.


Thank you for the link to your site and for the advice. I have just looked through the site and that is something like what I was looking for (I think), we have a garden party next month where most members will be, I will approach the subject then.
______________________________________________________________________________

Nik O'Dwyer
WM - ABIFF 2810 (Suffolk) 2014
JW - Mark
VD & AOS - OSM
Scarlet Cord
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Nik ODwyer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:19 pm

Trouillogan wrote:These days it is quite necessary to have a web site for your Lodge if you want to attract younger members. That is where they look first. Later, you might want to start a FaceBook page and other social media communications but they do take some effort in maintaining.

Over the last - must be ten years now - since I produced our first Lodge web site, it regularly provides joiners who move into the area and some initiates. You do need to think carefully about how to handles applicants from the Internet, as they are completely unknown to any of your members.

It also provides a platform for disseminating Masonic information, though our Lodge members seldom visit it! Private information, such as membership lists, programme of the meetings, summons, minutes, LoI info and so on are provided as pdf documents that are password protected. Naively, I thought that by providing that kind of useful information, they would be encouraged to visit - forgetting that they seldom read their Lodge summons even!

There is a set of site guide lines from GL but it is rather dated. Also you are supposed to obtain approval from your province and from GL, each of which then supply you with a 'Charter Mark' of approval to show on your site. Initially I had the charter marks and I re-applied after I did a complete redesign but, despite several reminders, never got any responses. So I don't bother now. The site is there, and referenced from our province. If you want to see it, 38 is in Sussex. If there's to be any objection, then I'm sure they would tell me!

Get your own domain name (e.g. http://www.lodgenameandnumber.org.uk for the site) and use it to direct e-mails to your secretary's own address (e.g. secretary@lodgenameandnumber.org.uk).

Above all, keep it simple!


Hmmm I wasn't aware of the "Charter Mark" or in fact needing one, however the guidelines might be of interest, if only to identify to the Nah sayers that a website is acceptable to both GL & PL
______________________________________________________________________________

Nik O'Dwyer
WM - ABIFF 2810 (Suffolk) 2014
JW - Mark
VD & AOS - OSM
Scarlet Cord
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Nik ODwyer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:23 pm

eckywan2 wrote:Bro O Dyer
Come up to Scotland sometime , and just knock on any lodge door and you will be made welcome .
We have a different , nore informal , set of procedures here , Basically None. We just visit each other as and when we feel like
More informal harmonies with a pie and a few pints, facilitate brethren just turning up at last moment and being made welcome .
That makes it simpler to visit other lodges and word of mouth seems to work better than any internet.
I'm not putting down websites which are great for information and history but so is the Grand Lodge yearbook which has contact details of all scots lodges , worldwide.
An example of all above, I often attend Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No 2, and its their Installation on Friday , but I've got family commitments which mean I'm not sure to be able to attend so I will make up my miond at last moment and may just attend installation and leave before meal.
But should I be able I know they will find space for me and any other brother in similar ciurcumstances .

If I'm ever in Sussex I will make the effort to visityou ,or elsewhere

Yours aye
and fraternally
eckywan


WOW, eckywan2 that is a great way to carry out meetings, and the flexibility of the meal afterwards would be something to be welcommed, but alas like Trouillogan arrangements all need to be signed and sealed days before and paid for eitherway. I have not visited many Lodges outside of my Suffolk Provence, but will make a point to taking my case with me, if I am ever to holiday in Scotland. (7)
______________________________________________________________________________

Nik O'Dwyer
WM - ABIFF 2810 (Suffolk) 2014
JW - Mark
VD & AOS - OSM
Scarlet Cord
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Trouillogan » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:39 pm

Nik ODwyer wrote:Hmmm I wasn't aware of the "Charter Mark" or in fact needing one, however the guidelines might be of interest, if only to identify to the Nah sayers that a website is acceptable to both GL & PL

I'll PM the copy I have to you.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby admin » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:38 pm

I applied last year still waiting.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Trouillogan » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:50 pm

admin wrote:I applied last year still waiting.

My last application was about five years ago - still waiting!
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby admin » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:55 pm

What I find annoying is so many say, have you asked permission = if I did nothing would ever get done.
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http://masonicbookstore.co.uk/store/
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Trouillogan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:25 am

admin wrote:What I find annoying is so many say, have you asked permission = if I did nothing would ever get done.

I fear that if we left it to 'the system', very few Lodges would have web sites. Personally, I think it's high time that HQ trusted us to do the right thing. Ten years ago, a lot of folk were a bit scared of the Internet but these days we know to be cautious.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby FreemasonSam » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:13 pm

Hi Nik,

I've created mine through wix.com where you can buy the domain and the hosting £5.70 a month (buying 24 months in advance) and about £0.90 a month for the domain. You can also get a mailbox integrated through gmail for £2.74 a month which I wish I knew as I when direct first and came to wix later. So your looking about £115 ish a year for a website. We've only ever had 3-4 candidates (about 1 a year) but it does help for people coming through the province as they tend to research a bit more about where they are going.

I'm trying to look at ticketing solutions and online payments at the moment as well but its difficult to justify with such a low turnover in Lodge. We do have our events on there now which using some free marketing apps in wix I can send out newsletters and manage subscriptions to that in the future which with some social media advertising should bring in more visitors to us (we get about 20 a meeting at the moment so not a massive issue).

Hope that helps a bit.

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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Mike Martin » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:51 pm

I would hope any members of this Forum who wanted to start a Lodge Website would talk to Bill about it (owner/admin of this Forum), he has been hosting my Lodge's website for donkeys' years.
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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby FreemasonSam » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:16 am

Mike Martin wrote:I would hope any members of this Forum who wanted to start a Lodge Website would talk to Bill about it (owner/admin of this Forum), he has been hosting my Lodge's website for donkeys' years.

Hi Mike, can I have a look? Do could you post a URL? S.


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Re: Lodge Websites

Postby Mike Martin » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:43 pm

FreemasonSam wrote:
Mike Martin wrote:I would hope any members of this Forum who wanted to start a Lodge Website would talk to Bill about it (owner/admin of this Forum), he has been hosting my Lodge's website for donkeys' years.

Hi Mike, can I have a look? Do could you post a URL? S.

It's in my sig file :)
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