websites

Lay out any Complaints and suggestions so we can get to grips with them

Moderators: Peter Dowling, Peter Moir, MrBenn, Peter Taylor, JulesTheBit, middlepillar

How to do rate the overall quality of masonic websites in relation to all other websites.

Very Poor
10
17%
Poor
18
31%
Average
24
41%
Good
4
7%
Very Good
3
5%
 
Total votes : 59

Re: websites

Postby rjgs » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:47 am

It depends on the objectives of the web site - whether it should be a marketing tool or a resource for members. Aspects of the UGLE's web site suggest that the objective is the former. However, UGLE could have both with a members' area similar to that on Porchway for London Freemasons. I find Porchway very useful but, of course, it is only available to members of London Lodges. Why not do the same for UGLE? I suspect that one might argue that would be the purpose of a Provincial web site.

Having designed many Masonic web sites, I appreciate the issues associated with such sites and the associated running costs. A web site should be useful and a clear plan should be formulated rather than the Masonic Lodge or Unit saying "Let's have a web site!"
User avatar
rjgs
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:29 am
Location: Sutton, Surrey

Re: websites

Postby ozmike » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:01 pm

My lodge's website (we are not a UGLE lodge) has been extremely successful in bringing in not only candidates but overseas visitors. As a lodge comprised mainly of expats there is only so much we can do with letting others know of our existance by word of mouth. The website www.sarastro-lodge.com only has a brief description and a contact address which goes to the lodge secretary. We do get spam but then again who doesnt these days with email.

One of the issues I have found is that even though the lodge enters the modern age with a webpage, it adds to the work of the lodge secretary. Such secretary's might be brilliant at paperwork and BoC issues but have little to no idea of running a website. They might also be hesitant to reply to a visitor's enquiry as they may not have gone through the formal procedure of making contact with a foreign jurisdiction. It is all well and good to have a lodge website but you have to maintain it and actually reply to emails that come via it and this I think is one of the bigger issues.
ozmike
LRUK Fellow
LRUK  Fellow
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: websites

Postby gord_vokes » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:51 pm

rjgs wrote:It depends on the objectives of the web site - whether it should be a marketing tool or a resource for members. Aspects of the UGLE's web site suggest that the objective is the former. However, UGLE could have both with a members' area similar to that on Porchway for London Freemasons. I find Porchway very useful but, of course, it is only available to members of London Lodges. Why not do the same for UGLE? I suspect that one might argue that would be the purpose of a Provincial web site.

Having designed many Masonic web sites, I appreciate the issues associated with such sites and the associated running costs. A web site should be useful and a clear plan should be formulated rather than the Masonic Lodge or Unit saying "Let's have a web site!"


A good point. Why not have a different link for us masons and another one for the marketers. This is no sense in binning all the good work that went into the older one. The kindest thing I can say for the new one is lame. Of course UGLE is no longer the same kind of entity as a Province however after almost three hundred years of being the primary voice in FM has it been the wisest thing to do to lay down it's prestiege? I am disappointed.
Gord Vokes PDDGM
Lodge Southern Cross, No. 44
Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon
User avatar
gord_vokes
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:24 am
Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Re: websites

Postby Richard George » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:35 am

rjgs wrote:It depends on the objectives of the web site - whether it should be a marketing tool or a resource for members. Aspects of the UGLE's web site suggest that the objective is the former. However, UGLE could have both with a members' area similar to that on Porchway for London Freemasons. I find Porchway very useful but, of course, it is only available to members of London Lodges. Why not do the same for UGLE? I suspect that one might argue that would be the purpose of a Provincial web site.

Having designed many Masonic web sites, I appreciate the issues associated with such sites and the associated running costs. A web site should be useful and a clear plan should be formulated rather than the Masonic Lodge or Unit saying "Let's have a web site!"


It depends on what you, as a member, want to see on a UGLE site .. but FWIW, sometime ago UGLE did announce that they were planning to resurrect the Freemasonry Today website (http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/) as the members site. If you visit, you'll see that it has the electronic version of the mag on and other items of interest.
Richard George
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: websites

Postby piginthepoke » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:53 pm

Personally speaking I think UGLE is facing both ways and failing to delivery on both counts. I don't really think it is eye candy or full of great informative and enlightening content for the outside observer and I have to agree about the level of content aimed at brethren. If anything UGLE has lost its way from a corporate identity and branding perspective.

Tone and which way a site faces is critical to success more so that the look, but looks do count. Clearly identifying your target audience(s) and clearly targeting them with relevant fresh content should be every sites objective.
User avatar
piginthepoke
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:29 am
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Re: websites

Postby piginthepoke » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:03 pm

mrfrankowski wrote:To me, the biggest problem is with the design of many Masonic websites. They're extremely informative and very useful, but they often don't read well, especially on mobile devices. As someone said before, many Masonic websites are run by regular guys that won't know much about webdesign, but I'm extremely disappointed that professional designers don't want to get involved. I am a designer by trade and I know I'd be more than happy to help.

The best route is for a Designer to setup a design / template for a content Management System like Joomla or WordPress. That way less technically savy Brethren can concentrate on the content rather than get bogged down in building a site.
User avatar
piginthepoke
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:29 am
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Re: websites

Postby schapple » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:37 am

Maybe I can add some comments to this thread as someone who does not know a mason (some may know me!) but arrived here following impressions that were formed about freemasonry through what I had read or 'googled' - which in the main portrayed a positive image.

Having settled with my family in Somerset after a lengthy service career I am keen to get involved in my community and looked at several options (rotary, RMA etc). I was of course aware of freemasonry, but my assumption was of an incredibly secretive organisation that you didn't 'join'. It was 'invite' only.

I was therefore very surprised at the amount of information now available online and the numbers of URLs for lodges. Armed with my Galaxy tablet and Windows smartphone, and in the margins of an overseas business trip, I surfed lodge newsletters, risings, blogs, forums etc all of which slowly helped inform my decision to enquire further. What I found most engaging looking at sites like the UGLE (incidentally very user friendly on my smartphone and tablet!) was that the traditions and values that I know are pivotal to the fraternity clearly shine through.

Of course the internet is essentially a shop window that encouraged me to step inside, my next impression will be formed during a home visit next week by the local LS - which will be about 3 weeks after I sent an 'expression of interest' email into PGL Somerset.
Last edited by schapple on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:19 am, edited 7 times in total.
Sean
EA
Loyal Vacation Lodge 6209

"secrecy - fidelity - obedience"
schapple
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:06 am
Location: Wiveliscombe, Somerset

Re: websites

Postby piginthepoke » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:20 am

Sean,
I don't think for one minute you will be disappointed with what you find going forwards. Sure there might be the odd thing as you would find in any organisation but those aren't the sort of things that will put you off.

The UGLE Site has just had a major reboot. It is now much crisper and user friendly and superbly displays on smartphones etc. Some speed issues still due to scaled images and not Gzip compression but great all the same.

You timed your visit impeccably :)

Enjoy your journey.

I will look forward to reading some more in due course.

Dave
User avatar
piginthepoke
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:29 am
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Re: websites

Postby schapple » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:59 am

Dave,

I'm very much looking forward to next week and discovering a little more. And yes I agree, all organisations have the 'odd thing', but becoming enlightened about the 'why' is one aspect of freemasonry that is appealing - its heritage. I'm waiting to join a masons FB page and now following some Twitter accounts - @UGLE_GrandLodge was a great resource to find all the PGLs!
Sean
EA
Loyal Vacation Lodge 6209

"secrecy - fidelity - obedience"
schapple
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:06 am
Location: Wiveliscombe, Somerset

Re: websites

Postby mrfrankowski » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:00 pm

piginthepoke wrote:
mrfrankowski wrote:To me, the biggest problem is with the design of many Masonic websites. They're extremely informative and very useful, but they often don't read well, especially on mobile devices. As someone said before, many Masonic websites are run by regular guys that won't know much about webdesign, but I'm extremely disappointed that professional designers don't want to get involved. I am a designer by trade and I know I'd be more than happy to help.

The best route is for a Designer to setup a design / template for a content Management System like Joomla or WordPress. That way less technically savy Brethren can concentrate on the content rather than get bogged down in building a site.


I'm a professional designer too, and not only have already suggested Wordpress/Joomla/Drupal even to few Brethren, but even offered I'll do it absolutely free of charge. Many feel a) intimidated by using any other CMS apart from the one offered by Freemasons Web (it's their comfort zone I guess) b) are extremely cautious when it comes to accepting younger Brethren's help. Have no idea why.
S&F,
Konrad Frankowski
MM, Lodge Information Officer - The Lodge of Hope and Charity No377, Kidderminster
Inner Guard

An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have. - Andy Warhol
User avatar
mrfrankowski
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster

Re: websites

Postby piginthepoke » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:38 pm

We have all been taught to be cautious and that is no bad thing. WordPress can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. There are certainly enough Brethren who know there onions that can give good free advice to anybody with an enquiring mind etc. I guess an idiots guide to WordPress or a Wiki that Brethren of any ability can refer to would be a good idea
User avatar
piginthepoke
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:29 am
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Re: websites

Postby Hilaritas » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:25 am

Do any lodges have a presence on facebook? Our lodge is considering making a lodge facebook group in order to let members and non members of our public activities.
Hilaritas
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:04 pm
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: websites

Postby mrfrankowski » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:56 pm

Hilaritas wrote:Do any lodges have a presence on facebook? Our lodge is considering making a lodge facebook group in order to let members and non members of our public activities.


I've been appointed an Information Officer and just today have launched a new website for our lodge. The next step is to build some social media presence, too. Starting with Facebook and Google+ ?(as it's replaced Google Places) as we speak, but we're going to launch Twitter account as well.
S&F,
Konrad Frankowski
MM, Lodge Information Officer - The Lodge of Hope and Charity No377, Kidderminster
Inner Guard

An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have. - Andy Warhol
User avatar
mrfrankowski
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster

Re: websites

Postby kev146 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:14 pm

Why have most maybe 90% of lodges under UGLE not bothered with a website is the question even a bad site is still better than none in today’s electronic age. so how do we convince our lodges to get on the net i have been asking myself that question. I am over 50 and i am on the net most days and i run several websites for different people and organisations (advert time www.type42assocition.co.uk and www.reddragoncrafts.co.uk) just some examples. Is it the cost of a web site I don’t think so the navy one cost £60 a year the other is about £30 most lodges can afford that. so it must be apathy and how can we get round that ?
PM prudence lodge 7183 Hants & IOW
Beamish Temple lodge 9815 Durham
companion Norman chapter 1334 Durham
Harte 177 RCC Durham
Dunelm 269 OSM Durham
User avatar
kev146
LRUK Newbie
LRUK  Newbie
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:15 pm
Location: Horden, County Durham

Re: websites

Postby Mike Martin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:56 pm

Kev,
I think it is just a lot of brethren (regardless of age) are just not sure what they are capable of and as a result just don't bother!

The cost is not an issue when you remember that Bill who owns and runs this forum charges peanuts to host Lodge sites (my own among them).

Those who can need to take it to their Lodge Committees and just start the ball rolling.
User avatar
Mike Martin
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 1207
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:22 pm
Location: Kent or London

Re: websites

Postby Trouillogan » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:21 pm

kev146 wrote:Why have most maybe 90% of lodges under UGLE not bothered with a website is the question even a bad site is still better than none in today’s electronic age. so how do we convince our lodges to get on the net i have been asking myself that question. I am over 50 and i am on the net most days and i run several websites for different people and organisations (advert time http://www.type42assocition.co.uk and http://www.reddragoncrafts.co.uk) just some examples. Is it the cost of a web site I don’t think so the navy one cost £60 a year the other is about £30 most lodges can afford that. so it must be apathy and how can we get round that ?

I have found there to be a general belief that creating a web site is an immensely complicated undertaking and that only expensive professionals can do such things. Codswallop, I say. I have several sites and knock up simple ones to show them. Also with domain costs as low as they are and ISP hosting (for simple ones) initially providing sufficient space and bandwidth these days, cost is not an issue.

Basically, I just do it for them and then hand over to someone in their Lodge who's capable of continuing. It usually works and produces enquiries from prospects, which is often one of the purposes.
User avatar
Trouillogan
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 3095
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK

Re: websites

Postby Rowan » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:48 am

My lodge had always talked about having a website but we had no one who was readily able to put the work in. I was keen but had no experience of building a site, and although many people were telling me how "easy" it is with Wordpress etc the fact is that it's still fairly complicated. There is a lot to do and understand technically but also artistically - Good content is something that takes time. There is also the question raised earlier in the thread - what do you want the site to do, inform the members? Recruit?

Anyway, I found a brother who has a small company which helps create and if required administer sites. He did a great job helping me with the technical aspects and now I'm self sufficient and able to make edits and keep the site tidy etc. This is the result:

http://www.raflodge.org

The website of the Brother who helped me is here: http://societywebsite.co.uk

We decided against a Twitter Feed for now, partly because the nature of our lodge means we have little happening outside of the 4 meetings so there was a danger that the twitter feed would become stale. However, I'm keen to get going with Twitter so have decide to let the website run for a while so everyone is comfortable with it and then expanding into twitter.
User avatar
Rowan
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: London. UGLE

Re: websites

Postby Trouillogan » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:48 pm

Congratulations Rowan, on an excellent and clear site. Were it that they were all so clear!
User avatar
Trouillogan
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 3095
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK

Re: websites

Postby Rowan » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:39 pm

Thanks Trouillogan, it' very kind of you to say so. The praise is very much due to Paul from Society Website who had to put up with me trying to keep things simple!

The other key to its success is that I was very clear in what I wanted to achieve. Having a "closed" Lodge meant that I was keen for the site to be of interest to any existing masons with an RAF connection and to potential candidates who wanted to learn ore about Freemasonry and the RAF.
User avatar
Rowan
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: London. UGLE

Re: websites

Postby Trouillogan » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:32 pm

I would say that you have certainly achieved that aim.
User avatar
Trouillogan
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
LRUK Grand Supreme Master
 
Posts: 3095
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK

Previous

Return to What can be done to Improve Freemasonry

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron