The following is an evaluation of over 50 Masonic Grand Lodge websites as reviewed in the Fall of 2022. Its purpose is to showcase, compare, and contrast how various jurisdictions handle their primary web presence. The sites chosen were the main websites of the 51 mainstream Grand Lodges of the United States (50 states plus the District of Columbia). Prince Hall and other jurisdictions were not included only to limit the scope of the work to a manageable size.


{Please note that the author has researched and written this as his own project and not under the behest or sanction of any group or body. Nothing herein contained is to be taken as the position or opinion of any other person or Masonic body.}

Though there are truly excellent sites and those that are clearly problematic, it is not a contest. Any observation here that may be considered criticism is not directed at any individual who may have been involved in their development or management. However, these sites may be useful examples of what can be done right, and what examples should not be followed.

Masonic organization websites can provide unique challenges due to the complexity of the mission and “brand” of Freemasonry. To the public and to its members, Masonry is a philanthropic, social, historical, and educational thing. Any website representing that must look professional and the information should make sense without having to be a member. On the other hand, such a site needs information that by its nature will only make sense or be of interest to its members.

Perhaps the greatest challenge with websites is execution. There may not be a budget for a professional site, and even if there is, it is no guarantee of a site will enhance, rather than embarrass its image. External firms may not appreciate or understand the needs of such an organization; volunteers have several other issues. They may not have the skills to do it properly but are tasked to do it simply because they are (or were) technically astute. As I have seen time and again, the understanding of the medium may be a generation (or more) out of date. Or they may really shine, but only in one area, such as coding or design, both of which are necessary but by themselves cannot complete the picture. And most difficult of all, they can not be “fired” and it is difficult to avoid the appearance of disrespect when told they need to retire or step aside.

But even with a good web designer, volunteer or professional (or both), a site will only be as good as their teamwork with the leadership. Sometimes they are asked to make bricks without straw — they are given little or no content or guidance. Other times, their hands are tied and they do what they are told, even when it’s not a good idea. Multiple leaders and committees all want their fingerprint in the design (never a good idea) and everyone wants their agenda front and center. Member content is either too forward-facing or hard to access, if it exists at all. Catering to prospective members is essential, but there may not be a good process in place to receive and process inquiries. And one administration may have a very different focus than the next, meaning a shift in design and content that may not be fully worked out, so that over time a site may look like that old farmhouse with five additions with at least as many architectural styles.

Ask me how I know these things… Over my nearly 25 years of web development experience, I know one thing for sure: human nature is a constant. These issues are fundamental challenges of leadership and organization. It’s no wonder so many companies and groups struggle to pull off something that reflects who they are accurately and in a way that is useful. Hopefully, this concise analysis will be useful in untangling and clarifying the web presence of our Fraternal bodies.

Methodology and Overview

Every effort was made to use objective criteria by which to compare and contrast the sites evaluated. Nine areas were straightforward:

  • Front page content / focus
  • How Lodges are found
  • Information on joining
  • Information on other jurisdictions
  • Information on concordant and appendant bodies
  • Social media links / integration
  • Member-focused and member-only content
  • calendar(s)
  • CMS (content management system, site architecture)

Two other sets of notes were made, one for technical issues and features, and the other for non-technical ones. They are combined below for the purpose of this report.

Grand View and Other Management Systems

At least 24 Grand Lodges use Grandview, though a few do not use their Lodge locator, just their portal. Two used private-label URLs. At least four Grand Lodge sites were developed by them, all using WordPress. A few use their inquiry form. 

A number of Jurisdictions use Groupable‘s B2 / Our Lodge Page (Formerly Enable Labs / MORI) but very few link to them as membership portals. Seven have been set up with a Lodge locator map, but only three use it on their site. (Note: Tests have demonstrated that many Lodges found in their directory view are not findable using search. We do not know if this has been fixed or is currently being worked on, but was reported to them last year.)

Membership Sites and Materials

Videos, images, or other materials from the AASR Northern Masonic Jurisdiction were used on 14 of the Grand Lodge sites. These are part of the “Not Just a Man. A Mason.” membership campaign that was specifically crafted to be used on such sites. Six Grand Lodge sites link directly to BeAFreemason.Org, which collects information that is passed to a person’s natural geographic jurisdiction. Others use their own contact form, although some do not have a CTA (Call-to-Action). {Note: This program was developed and is offered at no cost to Grand Lodges, and has brought countless candidates to our doors.}

Two jurisdictions have their own website specifically for new members,, and New York’s DiscoverMasonry.Com, though the former has no discernable CTA.

One site, Utah, used a UGLE video. Massachusetts used its own and they are known for a number of widely used videos they have produced in recent years.


Some sites were given a rating for the benefit of emulation or remediation. Four sites really stood out as the “top of their field” — those of California, Indiana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. These sites are rich in content and features with solid, modern design and no technical or other issues. If this were a contest, an “Honorable Mention” would go to Florida as well.

Five sites are marked as “Needs Improvement”, including the one I manage for New York. Their Grand Lodge is in the process of professionally rebranding and doing a number of back-end integrations which will hopefully make it a world-class site. One site, for New Mexico, was marked as “Incomplete” due to having almost no content. Perhaps it is still under development.

Sadly, seven sites were marked “Fail”. This was not done lightly and was reserved for those with egregious errors or issues that could not be ignored. These sites need an overhaul, not a makeover or a fix. I will not list them here as a matter of tact but will qualify the judgment in brief. The killer blow for most of them was not being mobile-responsive and/or looking like they were made when the web was new. (If grading sites were a class, this would be half the grade.) The main cause was the tools that were used. Some were in raw HTML, or used the GoDaddy Builder, or MS Office, or EditMySite.Com. Whereas all the “Top” websites used WordPress (today’s standard), one of the failures used it, but their issue wasn’t technical. They did not have basic, necessary, findable content.

The rest were somewhere in between, and plusses and minuses for improvement can be found in the report data linked HERE.

The Data and Notes

Main Page Focus and Content

Twenty Grand Lodge websites featured the Grand Master, Grand Line, or one of its members as a photo, welcome, or message. Less than half featured becoming a Mason. A few were structured with a blog, news, or event information. Some had slideshows and videos. Pennsylvania featured its charities, while Kentucky and New York included disaster relief. Some employed quality PR copy, but many many were a “mish-mosh” of unrelated items with little focus. Two sites used archaic practices — a “site map” and (possibly automated) “featured pages” listings.


Nearly half of the Grand Lodge sites linked to Grand View, and most of the remainder had at least some interactive locator and/or a directory. Three were embedded from Groupable (MORI, see above). Florida had a different off-site locator. Hawaii had a links page. Arkansas had a directory sorted by meeting days. Deleware‘s directory was sorted by district. I could find no information on Lodges on the sites of Rhode Island or Virginia. The District of Columbia had a locator using Google Maps, but no Lodge contact information. 


As stated above, less than half of the sites featured anything regarding becoming a Mason on the front page. By contrast,  California made it the focus of the main page, and it was a sitewide focus for Oregon. Many linked to BeAFreemason.Org or another external site to collect leads. Several had general information, or even detailed information but no inquiry form or CTA. The District of Columbia, Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia had nothing at all (that I could find) about becoming a member, and others, such as Maryland, buried the link. Montana employed a PDF. New York used AASR graphics that linked to DiscoverMasonry.Org. Only South Carolina used the old “2B1ASK1” slogan, on a buried page in the navigation (named just that, which means outsiders would not recognize what the page was for without clicking it).

Other Jurisdictions

There were 34 Grand Lodge sites that did not link to any other jurisdiction. Most of the rest put links to other mainstream jurisdictions on a link page. Utah included a specific submenu link for it, as does New York. Georgia only linked to jurisdictions in the SouthEast Masonic Conference. New York included all recognized Prince Hall jurisdictions. California didn’t link to any mainstream jurisdictions, only its Prince Hall counterpart.

Concordant and Appendant Bodies

Only 13 Grand Lodge sites didn’t link to concordant or appendant bodies. Most were on a link page, the most detailed of which was Wisconsin‘s “Family of Freemasonry” page. Utah used submenu links. Maryland, Rhode Island, and New York featured logos on their front pages. Wyoming did as well, but the links were dead. Idaho had a calendar of concordant and appendant events.

Social Media

Social media links were found in the header and/or footer of most Grand Lodge sites. The most common channels used (and number of sites) were Facebook (34), Twitter (20), YouTube (13), and Instagram (11). Two linked to LinkedIn, and one each used Vimeo, Pinterest, and Flickr. Iowa linked to its RSS feed. Kentucky linked to Google, but not their social media platform, just the search engine page. Alabama embedded its Twitter feed. South Carolina used the embedded Facebook like button. Thirteen sites had no discernable use of any social media.

Member-Centered and Member-Only Content

What was looked for here was how content was directed at members and if it was intermingled with site content for a more general audience. Roughly half had a distinct member portal (meaning a user logging in). The most common one was Grand View; Nebraska and South Dakota linked to OurLodgePage. A few were likely proprietary and two also had a specific Lodge or Secretary portal. 

Four sites had no apparent member-centric content, and a few more had very little. Other than poretals, some of them devoted specific pages or areas to members, public or private. Seven Grand Lodge sites had no orderly distinction between content targeting Masons in their jurisdiction and others (the general public) — it was all mixed in, often on the same pages.


Almost half (24) Grand Lodge sites used one or more Google Calendars, mostly embedded. They were presented in various ways and some aggregated several calendars into one. Other calendars used include Microsoft, CalendarWiz, and All-in-one Events Calendar (a WordPress plugin). In addition to Google, some were subscribable. The one using Squarespace had no features. Wyoming had a “Masonic Family” calendar. Arizona only listed Official Visits. Colorado opted for downloadable PDFs. Nine sites did not have any calendar.

CMS (Design)

WordPress, the dominant website building and management software of our time, is the CMS of 36 of the Grand Lodge Sites. The DIVI theme framework was used in three cases and Genesis in one. Some used custom themes.

Five sites were in HTML, only one of which was mobile-responsive, but primitive in layout. One site used the GoDaddy Builder and was mobile-unresponsive. One site each used SquareSpace, Weebly, Joomla, and Wix. The one using Weebly, Arkansas, had security issues and the site was down on 31 October.

Five sites used an unknown CMS, with one using ASP (Active Server Pages), which may have been the only site on a Windows server instead of Linux.


A handful of sites had technical issues of various kinds, and some were the result of changing their domain name or address as previously known. One site did not have a valid CA (security certificate) at the time, but appears to be now fixed. Six sites failed to be mobile-responsive. Two sites use page number IDs in URLs.

Kentucky, Mississippi, and Wisconsin have full e-Commerce on their site. Kentucky also has a QR code to receive donations through PayPal. Michigan linked to a Shopify store. The District of Columbia has visible signs of a shopping cart, but no visible way to use it. Another had a “Grand Master Store” that was unusable. Oklahoma has its own credit card program. Mississippi is the only one that displays Credit Card logos prominently (in the footer).

Three jurisdictions display links to background checks: Ohio, in its menu; Oregon, on the join page; and in the footer of the site for New York.

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas promotes New York’s MMRI. Georgia and Idaho promoted the George Washington monument event. Maine placed their genealogy records online; New York redirects such requests to its Livingston Library and Museum. The site for Illinois is an Amazon Smile affiliate and had a disaster-relief popup. The State of Washington links to SmugMug photo galleries. Nebraska uses Mailchimp. Georgia has a “Lodge Website Application”, obviously for internal use.

In terms of a clear message, Michigan is very public-facing and Wisconsin is very join-focused. On the extra credit side, CaliforniaFlorida, and Michigan have special accessibility features and options, the site for Florida also being multi-lingual capable. 

The main design and content issues found in many sites were that navigation was disorganized or too complex. The content was all over the place, and there were often things (names and acronyms) that would be unclear to anyone not in the know.


A review of these Grand Lodge sites shows a broad variety in both content and quality. Many properly address both internal and external target audiences, use social media, and have a professional design. Some need improvement. And a few — and this is hard to say politely — pose real harm to the image of the Craft, especially to younger generations wondering if we are still relevant. There are many areas where features are a matter of preference and goals; others are sins of omission that we may wish to correct. We can pay attention to what are neighbors are doing, and their sites may offer ideas and inspiration to our own jurisdictions.