AS OF DECEMBER 27, 2012,
GRAND LODGE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW HOSTING REQUESTS
WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
Eligibility:
To be eligible to place your website on the Grand Lodge's internet server, you need to be a Lodge working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, F. &.A.M. of Pennsylvania, or an authorized School of Instruction, or an approved state-wide appendant or concordant body.
Web Site Guidelines:
Be sure to review the Grand Lodge Committee on Internet Services guidelines for posting a Lodge website, which you can find at: http://www.pagrandlodge.org/programs/internetcommittee/guidelines.html
Service:
We provide hosting space, a user identification, a password, and site security. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU SAFEGUARD YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD. Only ONE person should have access to the server, to make changes to your pages. Even if you work as a committee, one person should integrate the pages on a local version of the site, to make sure there are no broken links. Problems with the navigation and content of the site are your responsibility, although we reserve the right to take down any site that violates Masonic Law or basic good taste. We do not create websites or pages. This is your responsibility. You need to have someone create the pages using any one of a wide variety of software packages (even Microsoft Word can create simple HTML pages...) and you will need to be able to upload it. This can be done with Internet Explorer however, we recommend you use something better, such as CUTE-FTP (one of our favorites,) WS-FTP, or a utility built into web-site creation software packages. Some of these programs are available as a shareware program and can be downloaded from the internet.
File Server Space:
We don't allocate a specific file space limit to any group-- but we feel it is highly unlikely that any Lodge or user would need to exceed a 5-10 megabyte limit normally provided to individuals on most other "free" service providers. Take a look at some other Lodge sites that use us as a host and you'll get an idea of what we permit. If you aren't sure about a particular project you'd like to post, just ask. If it sounds like a good idea, we might be able to support it, regardless of size. What will determine the size of your site is the way you handle photos and graphics. Cameras that take 5 megapixel photos and greater can give you some great pictures, but they don't need to be so large on a webpage. If you compress them to be no larger than 200-300K you'll conserve space and stay within a reasonable website size.
Where is the Server Located?
The server is located in a bomb shelter somewhere in Philadelphia-well, not really- but it is not at Grand Lodge, and it is in a very safe and secure area. "Ours" is really someone else's, and we are renting the space. We also have access to a test server that we use for development purposes, so you don't see us experimenting on the website. We believe this is cheaper than if we owned them and had to maintain them. At least, if the system fails, we know that the data is painstakingly backed up, and that highly qualified technical support is on it immediately, because we aren't their only customer, and several profit-making businesses rely on the service. Since February of 1998 there has been very minimal down-time for hardware or software maintenance, and only two or three service breakdowns caused by the telecommunication companies "upstream," and beyond our control.
Front Page Extensions:
For those of you who know what they are, we do NOT authorize the use of Microsoft Front Page extensions, for well-documented security reasons. However, we can do almost anything on the server that Front Page does, using specifically authorized CGI scripts. If there is something that you need, let us know and we'll see what we can find for you.
ASP & SQL:
While we have some ASP and SQL applications on our site, they are on a different server and are unavailable to you. We are a free service, and sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case, you get a lot more, but there is a limit to what we can do for you.
Other Programming Languages:
CGI/Perl - We have a "mailform" that Lodges can use, but we would need to add the recipient to the script. Other cgi scripts could be approved for installation if they are reviewed and approved as "safe" by our technical service. The cost of this review would have to be passed along to the Lodge or requester. We do not have a CGI bin in the actual root of our virtual domains for safety reasons. The script would be installed by our technical service in the protected cgi bin that the server uses for our cgi/pl scripts.

Java, Java Script, and DHTML are all browser dependent. You may also put an RSS file on your site, and your visitors could use a reader to parse the feed. We do NOT support C/C++ or SSI (aka: SHTML)
Specialized Domain Names:
If you have purchased a domain name specifically for your Lodge, you can post a single page pointing visitors to the site hosted on the Grand Lodge server at www.pagrandlodge.org/districtX/YYY (where X=District Number or Letter and YYYY=Lodge Number.) If, however, you want that domain name to be hosted on our server, we can do this, but at your expense.

There is a one time $75 setup fee. Additionally, there would be a minimum fee of $10 per month, paid in advance on a calendar year basis, to maintain that domain name and IP address on the server. If you want more services, such as mail, there will be additional costs, to be determined based upon your specific needs.
Other Features:
Guestbooks are popular features, and there are free off-site services you can use. If you wanted a duplicate cgi script as was customized for the Grand Lodge, it could be made available, but it would be at your cost. Tests and Quizzes most likely run off a cgi script, and we would install it if you were willing to pay for testing.

Password Protection or Registration to use your site could be possible, if it was really needed. This would be a cgi script or other authentication process that you would provide, which would be examined and tested for security reasons... at cost to you or your Lodge.

We do not presently provide the scripts for handling rotating banners or ad management. We do not support Blogs (or web-logs), for those who haven't caught up with the lingo. We do not presently support news publishing and/or content management. Nor do we support any kind of Chat program on our server, however there a plenty of free programs available which you can easily incorporate into your site for a small fee to the provider each year.

Mail List Management is possible using Mailman ( http://www.list.org/ ) which can be installed for you, at cost. There is a learning curve, and it needs to be carefully managed or it can become a spam nightmare. Each post has to be approved.

ICAL is the Calendar program we use and have approved. At a small cost, a calendar could be established for your Lodge.

E-Commerce is not available on our server. There are shopping cart services on secure servers that you can contract if you want to get into appropriate e-commerce. You would need a shopping cart and secure server, at your expense.

As for Search Engines, we have Infoseek installed on the site. A Lodge could use Infoseek if requested, and at a cost to be determined.

Bulletin Boards and Real Server Streaming Audio/Video can be set up at cost. However, they tend to be a nightmare if not moderated diligently.

Bandwidth
The only way we can anticipate a restriction on bandwidth is if a particular lodge was using too much and we could isolate it. Then we might make you aware of the problem and look for a solution to that issue.
Support:
While we will try to be supportive, we are basically a committee of volunteers, and we don't have a lot of time to help diagnose problems in coding. You can use web-based services such as http://www.netmechanic.com/maintain.htm for that. However, if you have trouble uploading material, or other problems, we will do our best to respond quickly.
How Do We Sign Up?
AS OF DECEMBER 27, 2012,
GRAND LODGE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW HOSTING REQUESTS
WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
Requesting Links From The Grand Lodge Pages
Once we provide you with a space for your website, it will be your responsibility to notify us that your site is ready for public viewing and that you would like it to be linked to the GREAT LINKS page, and the LODGE LOCATOR. Once that request has been acknowledged it could take up to two weeks to fulfill that request.
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