31st Mar 2021
I started this series of posts originally to highlight how our clients were supporting others, adapting, suriviving and generally doing amazing things in the first lockdown of March 2020. Although one year later the lockdown situation is slowly, gradually changing our clients' hard work, kindness and tenacity isn't. So, here is the latest installment of Green Hosting clients doing amazing things...
Wild Intrigue, hosts of unique wildlife events to re-connect everyone with nature, choose Green Hosting to power their website.
Rafa Rafa, organic clothing brand that funds small-scale, volunteer-led environmental projects power their website with Green Hosting.
Mellow Grove, a permaculture smallholding producing food, providing therapeutic programmes in nature, giving bereavement support and green burials chose to power their website with Green Hosting.
Conscious Skincare hosted giveaways of their beautiful, organic skincare products throughout the month.
Caitlin Job, copywriter & French to English translator specialising in ecotourism, ethical marketing and international development chose to power their website with Green Hosting.
Scottish Ecological Design Association hosted a series of conversations with experts about rural land use in Scotland, focussing on issues such as biodiversity, health and wellbeing, carbon capture and employment.
Support for Carers continued their weekly, much needed online support groups for carers in Leicestershire
The Abdication Micropub celebrated International Women's Day by holding an online beer tasting session with all women brewers.
26th Mar 2021
Did you know that we have Green Hosting badges for our clients to display on their websites?
If you are using our hosting service, go ahead and tell the world that you have chosen to power your site 100% by the wind!
We have a range of different sized badges and an option of full colour or grey and white. To use a badge, hop over to our support page and copy the code for the badge of your choice. If you would like some help then do get in touch with us through our helpdesk.
3rd Mar 2021
What a month February was! Despite it being the shortest of the year it feels like a lot has happened. We went from freezing ice and snow to sunshine and milder days, from full lockdown to plans for businesses and opportunities opening back up. Our clients have been super busy too and here are the amazing things some of them have been doing...
Laura from Fuzzfox has been filming virtual PE classes for kids with a historical theme.
Greens Windmill took advantage of the change in weather which brought high winds from the south. They worked long hours once again to produce flour for the city.
Conservation Through Public Health provide training to reformed poachers to support their needs and help them to work in harmony with wildlife whilst protecting themselves from COVID-19 and preventing transmission to gorillas and other wildlife.
19th Feb 2021
Social media is pretty much a standard part of most businesses’ online marketing by now but users’ experience of it is far from standardised. This could be due to the content itself, how it's posted, or both. For people who have disabilities it may be difficult to access social media in many ways, which at best could be frustrating and at worst be a complete barrier.
With some forward planning and a few adjustments to the way we prepare and post, we could be providing a whole different and much more inclusive experience to many users.
This is a whistle-stop tour to highlight the different aspects of our social media posts we could (should) be making more accessible and inclusive. I'll say right now that we are learning too and will be implementing these things in our posts going forward.
At the end of this article I've added links to some really great guides and deeper information by the experts in this subject. There's a video from AbilityNet, which is very much worth a watch too.
Images are a big deal in our social media, especially in Instagram where it’s all about that engaging picture. For visitors who cannot see images, a useful and concise description is needed in the form of ‘Alt Text’.
Facebook creates automatically generated alt text, which you will need to check and edit, for Instagram and Twitter you can add alt text:
Editing alt text in Facebook
Adding alt text in Twitter
Adding alt text in Instagram
In some instances, alt text may not be sufficient to describe your image, especially if your image includes text (more about that below). In these situations you could add an image description into your post text or link through to the full information on your website.
For podcasts or audio-only content, a transcript should be included. If this isn’t possible within the post itself then you could provide a link to the full transcript wherever it is available online.
Subtitles vs Captions?
Subtitles covey only the dialogue in the video and captions convey all of the essential audio (e.g. sound effects, music etc as well as dialogue). So you need to decide which will be most useful for the video you’re publishing.
An audio description is useful for videos where visual content conveys meaning or information. However, you may be able to plan your video in advance so they’re not needed.
The W3C provide clarification on audio descriptions, when to use them and how to add them
Custom fonts, which aren't included as standard on the social media platform can be difficult to read, due to the letter forms. Additionally, on social media custom fonts are are ignored by text readers and assistive technology. Using the fonts as provided means a better user experience and reduces the risk of your content not being read at all.
Text in images
If possible it's always best to avoid using text in images at all. However, it is a great way to make an impact, especially on Instagram. When using text in images, it is important to use a legible font that won't become illegible when zoomed to a much larger size. Also choose a simple or sans-serif font, where individual characters are easily distinguished. And importantly, ensure that the font colour and background colour contrast well so that the text is clear and strong. WebAim provide a very useful colour contrast checker which helps you easily choose highly contrasting colour combinations.
We can get a little carried away with hashtags sometimes, trying to hit as many key tags as possible. However, we need to take care about how we use them. Camel caps not only make hashtags much more legible but also allows text readers to distinguish individual words within the tag. To demonstrate camel case vs non-camel case, see the following:
Disability Rights Fund also advise putting hashtags in comments, separate from the post text. However others suggest hashtags within the post are OK if used in context within the sentence.
How we love an emoji to bring personality to our posts! However, for some people emojis can make the caption too ‘busy’ and difficult to read. They can also problems for those using text readers if used excessively and in the middle of sentences. This is because the text readers announce the name of the emoji and as you can imagine may make a post seem nonsensical. AbilityNet provide a brilliant example of this in their example video of emojis being read aloud (at 11:33).
This is a huge topic in itself and not as clear cut as making technical adjustments. However, two important things to be aware of are:
Here are some very useful resources which provide much more detail:
WebAim - People with Disabilities on the Web
Ability Net - How to Do Accessible Social Media (webinar and Q&As)
UK Government Communication Service - Planning, creating and publishing accessible social media campaigns
Disability Rights Fund - Creating Accessible Social Media for Those With DeafBlindness
Hootsuite - Inclusive Design for Social Media
Emojipedia - See all of the different names of emojis
Self-Defined - A dictionary of words which may be not be inclusive
Stroke Association - Accessible Information Guidelines (Making information accessible for people with aphasia)
5th Feb 2021
Many of our clients use WordPress, it's an extremely popular platform allowing much flexibility and creativity, without requiring coding experience. Very often clients who want to use our hosting service have an existing WordPress website, which they want to keep, but prefer an enviromentally conscious host - that's us!
We understand that the idea of moving your website from one host to another can be incredibly daunting, so we offer a service that takes the work off your hands. We can transfer your existing WordPress website (and e-mails) from your current host or from wordpress.com (where WordPress itself is the host) over to us. This is done with the utmost care and minimal disruption to ensure everything switches quickly and safely.
Sian Conway from #EthicalHour
"I'm really impressed with the service I received from Green Hosting. I was nervous about moving my site over in case anything got lost or broken but they guided me through the whole process, answered all my questions in plain English and kept me updated at every stage. They handled the whole switch over for me and it went smoothly. Not only have they made my site more sustainable but it's actually much faster now too!"
"You're a dream, thank you, best service I've ever had in my life from a hosting company!"
Laura Turner from Fuzzfox
"Thank you, I'm so happy to be powered by the wind now! So lovely to deal with real and wonderful people too who went above and beyond to make the whole process of switching a breeze (pun intended!)"
Sam Attard from Ethical Revolution
"Thank YOU for providing such a brilliant service! Honestly, before starting Ethical Revolution all those years ago I used to provide web solutions for businesses and so I have had plenty of experience of web hosts. Even without the amazing green credentials you guys are the best!"
If you're thinking of switching your WordPress website to us, feel free to drop us a line first so we can take talk it through, take a look at your website and get a good idea of what needs to be done. If you've already made your mind up that's great too - Go ahead and sign up for a hosting plan and let us know you'd like to switch.
The next step is to agree a good a day and time to do the work. We agree a mutual time so that we can be in contact with you during the transfer if we need to and ensure everything runs smoothly. We'll ask you to change some settings for your domain name, or we can do that for you too if you prefer. The transfer will be handled by us and we'll let you know when everything is complete.
The price starts at £25 for a website transfer and varies depending on whether you'd like to transfer e-mail accounts too and if you're coming from another host or wordpress.com. Get in touch with us and we can let you know the price for your transfer.
Because WordPress is such a hugely popular platform (with around 400 million users) it can be a rife target for exploitation from hackers. However, there are ways to boost your website's security by using a few techniques to make it difficult for them to gain access. We have a provided some guidance on how to add these security measures but if you'd like us to do it for you, that's no problem, just give us a shout.
If you don't already have a website but would like to have WordPress installed for you with the security features, then we can do that too.
Hop over to our Clients page to see who else is using Green Hosting and for some more lovely feedback about our service.