We specialize in creating WordPress websites that are easy and efficient to maintain. We provide exceptional customization options to set your site apart from the rest along with a full spectrum of features. We also offer continued support with individualized guidance to help your business reach its goals.
Our Primary objective is to provide a sustainably structured website that will serve you, the community, and our Earth.
We offer an alternative to what is commonly offered for developing your online presence. Sustainable Design is a rapidly evolving field, energized by the realization that our future depends on how well we live up to its principles. In a United Nations report by the World Commission on Environment and Development, widely cited in most sustainability frameworks, the world’s nations agree:
“Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” - 1987 Brundtland Commission, UN General Assembly Document – A/42/427 – Development and International Co-Operation: Environment
We substitute “responsibility” in place of “ability” since it better reflects the urgency of the situation. One may question, “How can a website make any difference?” Well, just as what we eat has a long supply chain before it reaches our mouth, so too does a web page before it reaches our eyes. Every little step along the way adds up when it is multiplied by factors of millions.
Zellous.org would like to be a part of your effort toward sustainability. Please consider how we can create or remodel your site to fit the needs of today. We hope you enjoy exploring the articles and resources throughout this site. Listed below are 12 POINTS that pattern our approach toward “Sustainable Website Design.” This is an ongoing process of discovery and an open conversation.
1. Hardware and Server
As the next three points illustrate, there are several reasons why we use and recommend Canvas Dreams as the platform on which all else resides. Their processors are built using a halogen and lead-free manufacturing process. They have found ways to reduce the use of raw materials in hardware manufacturing and their VPS mini-servers reduce the Web host’s hardware footprint and energy demand by as much as 80%!
2. Hosting and Bandwidth
Through cPanel administration, all aspects of the hosting environment, PHP5, MySQL databases, scripts, etc.. are easily controlled. Premium Gigabit bandwidth is distributed through four major tier-1 backbones: AT&T, MCI, Sprint, and Level 3. This translates to lightening fast access time. Redundant connections guarantee accessibility. Bandwidth, is never over-sold. They also provide 24 hour customer service.
3. Energy Source and Usage
The hosting facility is powered by 100% new wind energy not through a carbon offset program. As previously stated, efficient hardware and servers reduce energy consumption. Company wide efforts further moderate energy usage achieved by equipment re-use, aggressive recycling, telecommuting, and marketing collateral and paper reduction practices. Every little bit of conservation adds up to significant savings.
4. Programming and OS
We use W3C’s standards and coding protocols which define key parts of what makes the World Wide Web work. All of our sites are based in WordPress which is a “content management system” (CMS), meaning it is easy to manage. WordPress is an Open Source Community project, with hundreds of people all over the world working on it. There is no license fee or proprietary aspect to it. Be empowered to fully manage your own site if you want.
“Ability of an entity or organism to alter itself or its responses to the changed circumstances or environment. Adaptability shows the ability to learn from experience, and improves the fitness of the learner.” In the design sense our CMS sites can change to any circumstance that comes its way.
By using W3C standards our CMS approach follow rational rules for application development. This collectively enables unprecedented potential for all developers to build rich interactive experiences, powered by vast data stores, that are available on any device.
The content of any site is the most important part when all other steps along the way have been successfully executed. In order to measure how valuable this content is to others see our guide by clicking here. We use visual-editors and code editors to manage site content. A library of member tutorials provide assistance if needed.
The management of a site goes beyond simply changing its content from time to time. Management extends to how the site is institutionalized or integrated into ones business or life. When all other sustainable business practices are up and running, the website becomes a living entity, so to speak, a skilled communicator of what you have to say and offer to the world.
Understanding, measuring and directing your website’s presence and influence
Everyone has their own sense of community. The world’s communities are dynamic and evolving together with the technology that carries their energy forward. For us, “The Community” is a world wide term that describes many types of communities all connected with one another. We view these communities as linked together through four spheres of engagement:
1) Social 2) Economic 3) Ecological 4) Political
These four dynamic aspects of “The Community” are essential when speaking about sustainability.
We understand that these four aspects of the community function more harmoniously when each is granted sufficient independence. When either of these four aspects are dominant or servile to one another, the sustainability of the system as a whole is compromised. As this applies to “sustainable design”, ones business touches upon these aspects in real ways. By analyzing ones business practices according to how they affect these realms, best practices are realized. (these ideas are discussed more fully in the members area of this site) A sense of these four attributes of the world community is illustrated briefly below. In essence …
“The Social Network” is a commonly used phrase these days when discussing website design. Quantitative measurements (as opposed to qualitative measurements) of how many “friends” or “followers” one has seems to get more attention than how those connections are getting transformed into loyal relationships. One question we sometimes ask while developing social networks is “if the internet was fried in a neutron pulse tomorrow, what relationships would endure?” Seriously! This thought helps focus our attention on longevity and commitment. Since we primarily help non-profits, individuals, and small businesses with finding the best social media outlet to reach their like-minded individuals in the market place, (notice we didn’t use “target audience”) relationships established often exist within a local geographical region. The clients are accessible by means in addition to the internet.
“The healthy social life is found when in the mirror of each human soul the whole community is shaped, and when in the community lives the strength of each human soul.” - R.Steiner, “The Fundamental Social Law” Essay GA-24, 1927 – Reordering of Society
The re-emergence of TimeBank/Service Exchanges and other alternative means of re-defining economic systems suggests that society needs to return to a “Core Economy” based on a fair exchange of capital with the welfare of everything factored in. The world’s present economic models have leveraged their influence un-proportionately upon the other three spheres of community. New sustainable minded models such as Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting expands the traditional reporting framework to take into account social and environmental performance in addition to financial performance. Another example, the folks at Redefining Progress created the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) as an alternative to the gross domestic product (GDP). The GPI enables any business or individual working on a global, national, state, regional, or local level to measure how well they are applying the principles of sustainability to their economic plan.
”What is the economy? The economy means far more than the obvious realm of market place exchange. Every activity or relationship that has value in either use or exchange is a part of the economy—whether or not money is involved. Thus a parent raising a child is engaged in an economic activity as surely as a professional “child care provided,” or someone working in a factory or office. By the same token, trees are engaged in economy activity when they produce oxygen and pulp. (If anyone doubts this, they should try maintaining an economy without parents or oxygen.) That parents and trees do not charge for their services does not make them any less valuable. It means only that their contributions are likely to be taken for granted.” - Jason Venetoulis & Cliff Cobb March 2004?
When looking at the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their natural environment (or un-natural environment) it is apparent that the first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else. Therefor our business practices have an effect on our environment. The inertia of past habits cause our practices to use up more resources than they restore, let alone re-vitalize.
“That inefficiency is masked because growth and progress are measured in money, and money does not give us information about ecological systems, it only gives information about financial systems.” - Paul Hawken, “An Interview With Paul Hawken, by Sarah van Gelder
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one recognized standard that helps to inform the accessibility of our websites message and meaning of content. Excerpts of this declaration follows.
“…a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.” - The United Nations General Assembly, - “Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)