Virtual Home Page Questions

The Elks National Website has provided every lodge with a " Virtual Home Page " (VHP)

What is a Virtual Home Page?
A Virtual Home Page (VHP) is a fast, simple, and inexpensive way to put your lodge on the Internet. Just submit a few simple online forms, and you'll have an effective web presence within the Grand Lodge web site.

What kind of information can we post on our lodge Virtual Home Page?
Each Virtual Home Page includes space for:
. Lodge News. Post your newsletter on the Internet! With your Virtual Home Page, you can publish your news immediately - no more waiting for printers or the U.S. Post Office. Even better, your news will available to all of Elkdom - not just the folks on your mailing list.
. Lodge Facilities. Do you have a lounge? Restaurant? RV hookups? Golf Course? Post your facilities on your Virtual Home Page and they'll become a part of our searchable database so traveling Elks can find the services they need when they're on the road.
. Lodge Officers. Publish your lodge directory online. Each directory listing can (optionally) include a name, spouse, current office, past offices, address, telephone number, and email address.
. Lodge Calendar. Lodge events can be posted in a familiar calendar format with a "hot-linked" detail screen where you can include a full description of the event, contact information, and lots more. Your members can even display a "printer-friendly" version to create a hard copy of your calendar.
. Lodge Links. You can now post links to external web pages that feature additional information about your lodge, your programs, or your community.
. Extra Pages. You can now customize your site with "extra" pages for topics like Lodge History, Lodge Location or any topic that's appropriate to your lodge. These pages will be included automatically in the menu of options that appear on the left side of your Virtual Home page.
. Images. You can now upload up to thirty images for display on your Virtual Home Pages.
. ENF Reports. A variety of reports from the Elks National Foundation are now available from within your Virtual Home Page. You don't have to do anything - the reports for your lodge are included and updated automatically by the Foundation!

Who can update our Virtual Home Page?

Virtual Home Pages can be updated by your Lodge Secretary or an authorized "Cyber-Assistant." To register as a Cyber-Assistant, you'll need to submit a letter of authorization on lodge letterhead signed by your Exalted Ruler or Lodge Secretary. You'll also need to submit a $25 access fee for the current lodge year. Send your check to:

BPO Elks Internet Department
2750 N. Lakeview Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

Be sure to register as a member of the Elks.Org web site if you haven't done so already. You'll be notified via email when your registration has been processed.
Secretaries can update their lodge Virtual Home Page when they register for online access.

Is the $25 access fee an annual or one-time charge?

The $25 access fee is an annual charge, and applies to the lodge year ending March 31st. Note that pro-rated fees do NOT apply, so you should register as early as possible each during each lodge year.

There is no fee for a State Association Virtual Home Page.

What's the difference between a regular web site and a "Virtual" Home Page?

A Virtual Home Page is not as flexible as a regular home page but it's much easier to create and maintain. Although you won't be able to control the "look and feel" of your site, you'll be able to post information quickly and without any sort of programming expertise. If you can browse the Internet you're qualified to create a Virtual Home Page.

Can I post graphics and photographs on my Virtual Home Page?

Yes! Each lodge can now upload up to ten images that can be easily "attached" to any of the pages on your Virtual Home Page.

What if we already have a home page, or we're planning to create one?

No problem. Submit the address of your "off-site" home page and a link will appear automatically on every one of your Virtual Home Pages.

Is there any point in having both a regular and a Virtual Home Page?

Yes. Information posted to your "Virtual Home Page" is included in a searchable database that can be accessed by members nationwide. Traveling Elks looking for a particular type of facility, for example, will be able to search the database for matching lodges in a given area. This type of feature is not available through regular web sites. All lodges are encouraged to develop a Virtual Home Page, even those that have an established home page elsewhere.

Once I'm registered, how do I create my Virtual Home Page?

Actually, Virtual Home Pages don't need to be created - they exist automatically for every lodge. To update your pages, simply select the EDIT VHP button on the left side of your Virtual Home Page. You'll be taken the the main editing area, where you'll find options for editing all of the pages on your site.e


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