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Creating  a  Masonic  Web  Site

Getting Started

A number of Irish Lodges have their own web sites and the Grand Lodge of Ireland is pleased to encourage this. So how to begin?  First, your Lodge must agree to allow its chosen member/s to carry out the project. 

Initial requirements include, someone with the knowledge to complete the project, a package to put the pages together and prepare them for the Internet environment and somewhere to store the data on-line. In the absence of readily available web space you will need a Domain Name. These are easy to obtain, need not cost a lot of money and are usually sold on an annual basis. Hosting for a web site is renting space on the Internet for your files. Most hosting companies also sell the Domain name as part of a package.

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The design and content of any website, together with subsequent additions or amendments, must be approved by Provincial Grand Lodge. Please e-mail your proposals to Provincial Grand Lodge Office at  PGL Office

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Site). There are a number of ways to design your site. Perhaps a member is experienced in HTML coding and can design from scratch. Alternatively there are several freely available page templates on-line. Remember the Brother taking over the site may not be as experienced as you and may require support.

Expected Pages

Please be aware that a web site provides the World with a view of your Lodge so be careful not to let the Lodge or the Order accidentally come into disrepute (word spreads quickly). So the contents need to reflect what the Lodge members need to know and what outsiders are looking for. The word outsiders refers to both the casual viewer and, more importantly, potential Candidates.

Basic pages you would expect to include are Lodge history, listing of Current Officers, a calendar of future events, a record  of Past Masters, a brief description of previous successful events, a welcome page including details of meeting information and a readily available contact link.

Regarding contact information. It is not advisable to include personal addresses or telephone numbers on-line. If you are concerned about spam etc. and are worried about email addresses then do not include your main address but acquire a free address like Hotmail or Googlemail for sole use of the web site.  Then should you have a problem you simply change this address.  Another solution is the use of forms.  However you need to ensure the form is simple and working correctly before you go live.  And by the way ensure the email address is monitored as it may take some time for the site to get response but it will come!

Things to Avoid

Lodge Webmasters should not attempt to define either Freemasonry or A Freemason. Grand Lodge of Ireland provides a number of pdf files that provide the "official" versions. You should also avoid pages that require a password to enter as this creates the "Secrecy problem" and does not communicate a good impression of the Lodge or the Order. Similarly do not include personal information, embarrassing photographs, unacceptable comments or Minutes (other than those of historical interest)

Beware of "freebie" bells and whistles (hit counters, guest books,etc) as these tend to bring with them unsolicited advertising. A lot of this would not be acceptable on a Masonic site. They tend to advertise gambling, dating or gaming sites which, apart from anything else, add nothing to your pages.

Graphics and Music

The onslaught of high speed Broadband has drastically changed the acceptance of graphics and music. Good quality photographs are great but should if possible be optimised for the web before displaying. The standard of graphics has also improved as more space can be used to produce high quality images. However be aware that there are still a number of users throughout the World without the higher speed Broadband available. Animated graphics and slide show effects work well but can take a while to generate properly on some systems. Certainly, some animated graphics are annoying, but this is personal taste.

Music is a slightly different thing. For a start it is very personal and what suits you may not suit the viewers. A lot of Masonic music is rather slow and dreary and can be hard to tolerate for lengthy periods. It is essential that any page containing music must include a control panel allowing the viewer to change volume or mute the music altogether. It is not acceptable that the user is expected to change ANY of their computer settings in order to facilitate your site requirements (that includes their volume control).

External Links

Search engines love to encounter links to similar sites and it helps increase your ranking.  It is also a nice thing to include a Links Page. Automatically include Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodges. Many Lodge web sites operate an unofficial "link exchange" where they link to you and you link back to them. Be careful that all links are to parts of the Order that are in Fraternal Communication with the Grand Lodge of Ireland and if in doubt it is simple to check with a quick email enquiry to Grand Lodge.


Hopefully in a short space of time your pages will be ready to release from captivity. Run final spell checks and make sure all links work adequately. Do not make the mistake of waiting "until the site is finished" because they are never finished and the best way to improve the site is to allow viewers and be ready for comments (even those you do not like). You are now ready to contact Provincial Grand Lodge and seek approval for your website. If you wish, you can also contact the Webmaster at Grand Lodge of Ireland and ask for a link. Do not forget to include Provincial and Grand Lodge on your own links page!

Web sites are supposed to be fun and interesting for all. Do not be impatient. Visitors will find you as will the search engines. Remember to keep check of email and ensure details are up to date!