About This Website

About This Website

To the next webmaster of this site, here are notes about maintaining this site. The site is powered by Word Press. I am aware of the following benefits of Word Press:

  • Future webmasters will not need to be savvy with html.
  • District 6 SMSC can provide support for future webmasters in need.
  • As the html language changes, WordPress will keep up with those changes.
  • WordPress creates pages that look good on cell phones as well as full computer screen browsers.
  • We can make the appearance of the site conform to guidelines set by the District 6 SMSC.
  • Newsletters can be uploaded monthly without making any coding changes (because I am running a cron job).
  • Earliest upcoming events from the calendar are automatically posted to most pages.
  • The theme supports WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0.

The President and the Editor have passwords to this site. You can get them from one of those people.

Contact the District 6 Social Media Support Committee (SMSC) for help with using WordPress. We use the “simone” theme and a child theme developed by the SMSC.


We are storing most photos on Google Drive. That saves us the need to generate separate thumbnail images because Google handles that automatically and correctly. There are about 15 gigs available on Google Drive (as of 2/15/2015), and the drive belongs to the lodge. You can upload photos to the drive and share the link. Then you can put the shared link on the “Photos” page.

Header Photos

The photos in the header were taken by my wife and me when we visited Norway in 2011. We saw that Norway is a very beautiful country. There are no copyright issues with those photos because we did not download them from another web site. We can have multiple photos for the header and one is randomly selected each time a page is loaded. I have uploaded 5 photos: 2 from Bergen, 1 from Ålesund, 1 from Øystese, and 1 from Flåm.


We use Google Calendar to maintain our calendar. We can display the calendar weekly or monthly or in a list of events on this website. We can also list upcoming events on most pages.


The newsletters are kept in the wp-content/uploads/Newsletters directory. There are subdirectories by year. There is a softlink called “CurrentNewsletter.pdf” that points to the latest newsletter. There is a file called NewsletterList.txt that is used by a plug-in called “newslist” to list the newsletters in the “Newsletters” page.

When there is a new newsletter, all you have to do is upload it. You can use the WordPress upload-media feature. WordPress will stick the letter in an incorrect directory, but not to worry. There is a cron job called “newsupdate” that runs every 30 minutes. I used perl to write the program that is run. This program looks in the <year> subdirectories of wp-content/uploads for files of the form “Valhall-Viking-<year>-<month>.pdf”. Those that are found are moved to the correct <year> directories in wp-content/uploads/Newsletters. Then the Newsletters/<year> directories are scanned for the latest newsletter. That latest newsletter becomes the linked letter from “CurrentNewsletter.pdf”. If the link is changed, then the Newsletter/<year> subdirectories are scanned and a complete list of the newsletters is written to “NewsletterList.txt”. This means that the new newsletter appears in the “Newsletters” page within 30 minutes from being uploaded (even to an incorrect directory).

It is important that Newsletter files be named “Valhall-Viking-yearmonth.pdf”, where year is numeric (e.g., “2015”) and month is spelled out (e.g., “February”). The perl script does not work correctly if this is not done. Be careful to rename the file before uploading it because the Editor will send you the file with a name of her choosing that might not conform to this convention.

It is also important that the “Newsletter” page not have a parent and that it not be the home page. That is because the location of the newsletters is determined relative to the “Newsletter” page, so the “Newsletter” page must be exactly 1 subdirectory below the home page.


Go to the Dashboard and select “Appearance -> Widgets”. You will need to update the “Text” widget in the “Sidebar” panel after each lodge meeting and social to indicate when the next lodge meeting and social is taking place. I like to have that information at the top of the sidebar for the convenience of the lodge members and the Zone Director.


The “Officers” page uses the “TablePress” plug-in to create a table to list the officers. There are about 30 officers, and creating that table using the plug-in was a manageable effort. In Dashboard, click on “TablePress” to get the Table ID of the table in use for this page.

The “Birthdays”, “Books in English”, and “Books in Norwegian” pages existed in a previous web site not done using WordPress, and they have tables that are so large that it was simpler to import them as-is instead of building additional TablePress tables.

HTML Codes

You won’t need to use HTML codes very often, but maybe once in a while. You may need to use them when you maintain the sidebar. Some pages, as noted above, explicitly use tables. Here are some codes to know:

<b>All text between these delimiters is bold.</b>

<p>These delimiters indicate the range of a paragraph.</p>

<h6>This is a 6th level heading</h6>

<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, and <h5> are used to designate various other levels of heading. <h1> is the biggest heading; <h6> is the smallest. If you use the “Visual” tab when you edit a page, you can let WordPress insert that heading level by clicking on a box at the top of the page that says “Heading” or “Paragraph” or “Pre”.

<table> Defines the range of a table </table>
<tr> Defines a row in a table </tr>
<td> Defines a columnar entry in a table row </td>

<ul> Defines the start of a bulleted list
</ul> Defines the end of a bulleted list
<li>This is an item inside a list</li>

&nbsp; Non-breaking space — causes a hard blank to be inserted.
&lt; Less-than symbol (“<“)
&gt; Greater-than symbol (“>”)

Host and Domain Management

The website is hosted by hostgator.com. We have the cheapest plan, which is called “hatchling”. When we started, we prepaid for 3 years. There is a login for billing and a separate login for cPanel. The billing login will let you update payment information and find out when payment is next due.

The domain is registered with gkg.net. You can manage the domain by logging into the GKG site. If you move the site from hostgator to some other host, you will need to change the nameservers in the domain. I had the lodge pay $7.95 extra per year to hide my name and personal details from “whois”. You can see information about the lodge of valhall domain by visiting www.whois.com/whois/ and entering “lodgeofvalhall.com” in the lookup field.

To manage the domain at GKG, login on their website and select Domains -> My Domains -> Manage Domains.