|Make the first webpage of your website (your homepage)
quick to load. More details and graphics can be included on other pages,
but the first webpage should load quickly so viewers, even those with
slow modems, can quickly see which website they are at, and hopefully
|Include on the first webpage of your website, and
somewhere (possibly at the bottom) on all pages of your website: (a) the
name of your organization, so there is no doubt even if someone has gone
through several pages and has forgotten the starting page, (b) the name
and email address of the webmaster, so viewers can contact you easily
from any page, (c) a means to quickly get back to the original page of
your website, or a navigation bar to move around it quickly.
|Put a copyright notice on every page of your website, to
protect you and your organization from those, particularly antimasons,
who might otherwise steal your information or misuse it. Make sure your
copyright notice includes the latest year.
|On Masonic Grand Lodge websites, include, if at all
possible, at least the following information: (a) name and email
addresses of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, and other elected
Grand Lodge officers if possible, (b) dates and places of your Grand
Lodge's upcoming Communications.
|Place at least one nice Square & Compasses on your
first webpage of your website, and possibly on other pages.
|If your website is for a Grand Lodge, include links to
websites for your local Scottish Rite and other Masonic groups, and if
your website is for a Scottish Rite Valley, include links to your local
Grand Lodge and other Masonic groups.
|If possible, try to avoid using free website hosting
services that include pop up ads, which annoy viewers. It is now
possible to find website hosting companies that provide very inexpensive
services, and the cost of a domain name (www.xxxxxxx.org) is extremely
|Include addresses (including city and state -- not
everyone is familiar with your area) for your Grand Lodge's (or other
organization's) office, and other sites of interest to viewers. Also
consider including links to Yahoo Maps or a similar site where viewers
can see a map of your location and obtain driving directions to get to
|Include a graphic of your Grand Lodge (or other
organization) official seal, preferably in color, somewhere on your
website -- but not on the first page, as that might take too long to
|If your website is for a Grand Lodge, try to include a
listing of all the lodges under your Grand Lodge, with addresses, phone
numbers, email addresses, or other means for people to contact each one.
|Consider including some general information for
non-Masons about what Freemasonry is, and how a non-Mason could find out
more information and a petition to join.
|Include on your website a sitemap, table of contents, or
similar item so viewers can easily find out everything that is
|Consider including on your website the text of items that
members might need to see quickly, such as your Code, petition and other
forms, and similar items.
|Consider the benefits of an email group, and a button or
similar method to join your email group through your website. This way
your Grand Lodge could send information quickly to lots of members when
necessary. They are free and easy to use at Yahoogroups.com
|Consider including copies of your official publications
on your website, including past copies.
|Resist the temptation to include too many graphics,
especially moving or blinking graphics, on your website. Some viewers
find any blinking graphics to be too many.
|Update your website. If a viewer finds information that
is out of date, it is likely you will lose that viewer forever.
|If you change your website address, and there is no harm
in doing that, be sure to keep your old website address in operation for
a while (possibly a couple of years) with a simple way for viewers to
get to your new website address.
|Do not use frames. Many people find them annoying
or worse, and you cannot give a page reference for a specific webpage
since all have the same url.
|Do not use music on your website that stars
automatically, and even worse cannot be turned off. Many viewers will
never come back to your website because they find this annoying. If you
wish, feel free to have music but only if the viewer can turn it on or
|Put the name, address, phone number, and fax number
of your Grand Lodge or other organization on the first page of your
website, where it is very easy to find. Some people may be looking at
your website just to find the phone number to call.
|Include an invitation for viewers to comment and make suggestions
for improvements in your website. You don't have to do whatever everyone
suggests, but you should give the chance for suggestions to be made to
|Somewhere on your website, include a simple list of
all your elected and appointed officers and their titles, and keep
this up to date. Some people look at Masonic websites just for this
|Don't have webpages that go on and on, requiring lots of
scrolling. Break information up into many different webpages,
with links to get to them, so viewers can easily find what they want and
see it easily.
|Consider using a guestbook. Lots of viewers want a
method to leave a message after looking at your website. There are many
good, free guestbooks available.
|Consider including a hit counter on your website.
Even though they are often said to be unreliable, and the webmaster can
artificially change them to show millions of hits, many viewers seem to
like seeing these counters. Some providers of hit counters also offer
statistics, such as days and hours when your website is viewed most
|Check your links often. It is annoying to viewers
to click on a link, only to find that it no longer works, or takes them
to a non-existent webpage.
|If you use Adobe Acrobat files -- which is a good
idea, because you can keep these pages looking exactly as you want them
(but the program is expensive) -- tell viewers that they need Adobe
Acrobat Reader to see them, and give them a simple link to download this
free reader program.
|Include on each page of your website the date when
that webpage was last updated. This will show viewers how current
the information is.
|Try to find a balance between a boring website that is
too plain, and one that is too busy with different colors, fonts,
pictures, etc. Neither extreme is good.
|Use spell checker on all pages of your website,
and also ask others to look at it and check the grammar and spelling.
Nothing makes your website look as bad as misspellings and bad grammar.
Pay special attention to particular Masonic terms such as
"brethren" (not bretheren or brethern), "altar" (not alter),
"marshal" (not marshall), and "steward" (not stewart).
|Some websites, including some Masonic Grand Lodge
websites, seem to have a code or something else that prevents a
viewer from using the "back" button to return to the
previously viewed site. When you click "back" nothing happens
and you cannot leave the site you are looking at. This is very annoying,
and forces the viewer to close the browser to view something else. It
should not be used.