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How To Build A Lodge Web Site?

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dgresh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How To Build A Lodge Web Site?
    Posted: April/09/2009 at 7:23am
This morning, I was asked the following question:
 
"... I am very interested in starting a simple website for communication purposes for our lodge. I have no clue on where or how to even get started. Can you please provide me some costs and assistance on how to get started?"
 
My reply follows.
 
===
 
Brother,
 
It is possible to build and deploy a web site for your Lodge at zero cost (or you could spend thousands).  To do that, you will have to invest your time and effort, but hopefully you will find the process of learning something new and the outcome enjoyable.
 
It can be free because:
1. There are development tools to build your web site that are free;
2. There are tools that help you deploy your web site that are free; and
3. Mastermason.com provides free hosting services for Masonic-related web sites.
 
You will develop your web site locally on your own PC.  If you know HTML (hyper text markup language), you can do this using Notepad.  However, most people prefer using an application that simplifies the design effort.  You might look at KompoZer (http://kompozer.sourceforge.net/).  There is a good step-by-step tutorial on using KompoZer to build a basic web site at http://www.thesitewizard.com/gettingstarted/kompozer-tutorial-1.shtml
 
Once your web site is built to your satisfaction, you will need to deploy your web site to a hosting server.  You will need an FTP Client to do this, in most cases.  Here, I would recommend FileZilla (http://filezilla-project.org/).  It allows you to essentially copy your web site from your PC to the hosting service, just like you would from one hard drive to another.  There are basic setup instructions for FileZilla at http://www.mastermason.com/Webspace/.
 
Finally, you will need a hosting service.  Mastermason.com provides free web hosting for Masonic-related web sites.  There are no pop-up ads or commercial links.  It is provided as a free service to the Masonic community by a brother.  Donations are accepted and used to defray some of the costs, but a donation is not required.  You can find out more about the hosting service at http://www.mastermason.com/.
 
To conclude: Use whatever tool you choose to build your web site; use whatever FTP Client you choose to deploy your web site; and select a hosting service that meets your needs.  Invest your time and effort, and that's it.  Enjoy the process.
 
 
===
dgresh


Edited by dgresh - October/01/2009 at 6:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vlmr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 1:48am
My suggestion is to spend a little amount of money and buy shared hosting account with php/mysql support. Then install joomla, or some other CMS, and build in a few days proffesional looking web site. With CMS AddOns you can attach forums, and any other feature you like in a second.

Recently, my Grand Lodge [ http://www.rgls.org/ ] strated providing subdomains and hosting space for it's lodges, so I took one and made I decent site for my Lodge [ http://aurora.rgls.org/ ] in few days. I used template with changed header, so now, my web site is similar to my GL website...


Edited by vlmr - October/17/2009 at 1:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 6:39am
vlmr,
 
That's an attractive site.  I've seen a few others built with joomla that also looked very professional.  I have not used this software, so I don't know what the learning curve is like.
 
Mastermason.com provides a suitable environment for joomla. Our services include:
  • FrontPage extensions
  • FTP uploads
  • ASP (Active Server Pages)
  • PHP
  • MySql
  • MSSQL
  • SSI (Server Side Includes)
  • ASP.Net

In your opinion, what skill level is required to build a site with joomla and how long might it take for a newbe to become proficient?

---
dgresh


Edited by dgresh - October/17/2009 at 6:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vlmr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 4:25pm
It should be easier the creating HTML site in Front Page. There are few free Joomla hosting services on the net, so you can try and practice before starting with Lodge site... It took me few hours to figure it out, and I had no experience with CMS before. There are excellent support forums for joomla, and you can find plugins for anything you can imagine Smile

Fraternally, 3x3
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2009 at 1:10am
Brother Vlmr - excellent work you've done on the Aurora website, let me congratulate you here too...
Another good way of creating a lodge web-site is just creating a Blog. If you go on blogspot.com, you can easily create a nice blog, and then - with a little manipulation, you can actually create a very good web-site, without having it look like a blog, but yet - keeping all the advantages of a blog (easy posting, easy changing of articles etc).
That way - the hosting is free.
In order to have a URL which will be "YourLodgeName.com", all you need to do is register the domain and forward it to the blogspot address.
This is very very easy to set up and the maintenance is even easier.
If anyone needs help with this way of creating a site - contact me, I'll be more then happy to assist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M4cGuyv3rUSMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2009 at 10:31pm
Thanks for the info. Im working on a site for my lodge as well. If all goes well, Ill post the link in a few weeks. If not, I'll be seeking help. Stepping off with my left foot...
Okinawa Military Lodge #68
MWPHGLWA, District #7
www.okimil68.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RS30PHA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2010 at 2:44pm
You Brothers have shown some very good examples of lodge web pages.  I am using Web Expression (the new Front Page) to service out lodge and distrcit web page. www.mastermason.com/woodlin30pha When I have more time I want to get a good book on how to use Web Expressions so I can learn how to add banners and things like that.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2010 at 6:09pm
RS30PHA,
 
Very nice looking site.  A couple of questions for you ...
 
Were you a FrontPage user before making the switch to Web Expressions?  If so, how difficult (or easy) was the transition or learning curve?  I'd like to hear some personal experiences from those that have made this transition.
 
---
dgresh
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RS30PHA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2010 at 7:25pm
I used Front Page only briefly, so working with web expression wasnt much different.  I in the process of looking for a good book on the program so i can do some more advanced things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote robrey51 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 12:06pm
I have a question and I believe this to be the proper forum for it.
I an considering a website for my lodge and this appears to be a great hosting service.
My question... Does anyone know if Geeklog is compatible with this service?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarditi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 1:04pm
It still seems to use deprecated tags like FONT and inline styles as a result or WYSIWYG editing.

Aside from that, the actual application-generated HTML is not nearly as spaghetti as the old FrontPage used to spew out.

I use Visual Studio for my web-based applications and Dreamweaver (old copy - back when Macromedia owned it!) for my plain website HTML editing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 1:38pm
robrey51,

Per the website, the software requirements are:
Quote Required Software

To install and use Geeklog you will need to have a server running Apache or Microsoft IIS with PHP 4.3.0 or higher installed. You will also need either MySQL 4.0.18 or greater or Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or newer.


Mastermason.com is an IIS server and it supports PHP and MySQL. I am not sure which versions are running, this should probably be verified. Also, after requesting FTP webspace, you will need to work with Support@mastermason.com directly to get the permissions setup correctly.

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dgresh     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2010 at 6:41pm
To All:
 
I recently evaluated CMSimple.  See the results in the Techno Room forum, topic "CMSimple", link http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7479&PID=82470&title=cmsimple#82470
 
This tool may meet the needs of many Lodges wishing to establish a web presence that is inexpensive (free) and easy to maintain.
  
 
---
dgresh


Edited by dgresh - July/16/2010 at 5:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akm88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2010 at 11:15pm
Nice sharing!!!!!!
In order to build the website i use this site http://www.tucktail.com/tt/dream-web-design/ ,
In this site it provides tools for building the website at cheap cost ..
I use and gain it & build the website as per my wish!!!!!!!
 


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgresh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2010 at 7:04am
akm88,
 
If I read their web site correctly, they charge $600+ per year.  Wow!  That is way more expensive than "free".
 
---
dgresh 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote daves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2010 at 6:24pm
I used Google's Blogspot. Free, simple to use. lots of templates. Took me about 15 minutes to set up and as much time as I want to keep it updated. Our Lodge website is very simple, however, so I'm not sure whether it would be any good for sophisticated animated graphics.
The Carrington Lodge (WAC 363)
Bassendean RAC (WAC 20)
18th Boucaut RC (AASR Australia 5)
The Carrington Lodge



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Navallodge87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2010 at 3:08pm
If you need help setting up a stunning website PM me here or contact me in my mother lodge website:
http://www.navallodge87.org/contact-us/
The only think I required is you need to provide your own hosting and please no free hosting because I don't want to waste my time.
Don't forget to sign our guestbook.

Naval Lodge 87.



Edited by Navallodge87 - September/26/2010 at 3:09pm
why would a man choose to attend Lodge instead of a Rotary meeting?
http://www.navallodge87.org/reason-to-join/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dubberly228 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2011 at 2:04pm
Brethren,
We are in the process of updating our website that is currently hosted graciously by mastermason.com. We would like to have a secure area on the site that members can login to. Does Mastermason.com offer any type of mechanism to facilitate this? Is there a specific way to set permissions to certain directories without having to implement a bunch of PHP script?
 
We are also intested in making use of and SQL database over the next year. Is mastermason.com suitable for this? Do you have any tips on how to go about implementing a database on mastermason.com?
 
Thanks for any input! I am a novice web designer and not great with code so I am trying to do some research ahead of time as to not waste any time or make too many mistakes up front.
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I have filled out the forms for mastermason.com and received a confirmation but never herd anything from them. Wen I try to contact them it will not accept the anti-spam code. Any help would be appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dubberly228 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/08/2011 at 8:01am
Check with stonecutter here on this forum. He has helped with some server issues in the past. He may be able to assist you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DarrelComer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2012 at 2:12pm

I know this is somewhat old and not to plug myself, but I guess it's what I'm doing! I do websites & computer repair for a living @www.comerwebs.com

I just completed 
www.triplelodge835.com/site it is a redesign of an old word press website with a custom joomla template. Installing and setting up joomla isn't the terribly hard part, it's customizing a design that works for your lodge. I have a family to support so I cannot offer free work but I can offer considerably discounted work for lodges. For around $250-500 I can set you up with a custom template with your own domain name. I would set up all the components you want and need such as calendars, photo galleries, trestle boards, forums and one of my favorites is the document section for freeing up the secretaries time and energy. This is less than half of my normal rates. These websites allow each user to have a personal login so that you can have public and private areas on the website. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDAncientMason Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2012 at 2:43pm
Nice.  I'm a Joomla fan as well.Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DarrelComer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2012 at 3:14pm
I fell in love with Joomla years ago when I had a client come to me asking for a website to be done on the mambo backbone. I was reluctant at first but very quickly came to be a big fan!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shaun127 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/06/2013 at 2:09am
I have used WordPress for our lodge website http://www.unionlodge127.org.uk
Its still very much a "work in progress" and I'd welcome any constructive feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jerzboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/06/2013 at 8:39pm
Originally posted by Shaun127 Shaun127 wrote:

I have used WordPress for our lodge website http://www.unionlodge127.org.uk
Its still very much a "work in progress" and I'd welcome any constructive feedback.


Greetings my brother, perhaps a guest book for your visitors to sign? Keep up the good work Thumbs Up
Samson Lodge #66 PHA
Sardonias Consistory #41 AASR NJ


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