What’s the big deal about Page Load Speed?

Snail showing slow page speed

There is a lot of buzz on the internet about website Page Load Speed. In this post, I will give you a rundown on what it is, how to check your website page load speed, and why it’s important that it loads FAST!

What is Page Load Speed?

slow as a snail page speed load
Do you remember those horrible days of dial-up?

Page load speed is the amount of time it takes for a page to fully load on your screen, beginning when you click on a page link or type in a domain address, and ending when the page is completely loaded in your browser. It’s measured in seconds. The faster your website loads, the better the user experience is for your clients. It is so frustrating when you hit enter and then have to wait… and wait… and wait! Nobody wants to wait, we are an impatient species and want everything yesterday (or sooner!). Do you remember those horrible days of dial-up? You would enter your search, hit enter, make a snack, go for a walk, watch some TV before the page loaded.

Factors determining Page download speed

The speed at which a page loads depends on several factors:

  • First, the hosting server; shared hosting is affordable but it can also slow down the speed your website loads since your website ‘shares’ resources with other websites.
  • Second, the internet download speed, the faster the speed, the faster the page loads. (In rural Ontario the average download speed is 5 to 10 mbps (megabits per second)).
  • And third, the website design. A dynamic, interactive website (think shopping) will take longer to load than a static website with only content and data.
  • Other factors include user location, device, and browser type.

The same web page can easily have different page load times in different browsers, on different platforms (e.g. mobile vs. desktop), and using different server locations. If someone located in Ontario visits your website, which is hosted on a server in the U.S., there is a slight delay as the data has to travel across the internet to the device.

How to test your page load speed

There are 2 tools I use to test page load speed and both are FREE!

Google Page Speed Insights:

Click https://pagespeed.web.dev and enter your URL in the text box and hit Analyze. It takes about a minute to run and display a detailed report.

page load speed performance on Google Insights

It’s great to have a high score on desktop, but it’s the rating on mobile that really counts. This rating is used as a small part of the Google Search Algorithm. Google measures the page load speed on mobile devices, rather than laptops because people are always searching on their phones.

Google Page speed metrics

Scroll down the page to see the detailed metrics:

Page load Speed Insights Metrics for desktop

Google encourages pages to load in less than 4 seconds. I am going to say it, this is very difficult to achieve! Websites are designed to use large images and interaction (videos, gif files) to keep users attention. Websites now need to be designed with load speed in mind; images need to be compressed, lightweight themes need to be used instead of resource-heavy themes and plugins. Or simply designed for mobile screens, and modified to look good on desktops instead of the other way around.

Below the metrics section, specific details are listed stating what is slowing down your website. These details will give you (or rather me) insights into how to improve this speed.

These metrics will identify images that need to be compressed or javascript that can be run after the page is loaded. The metrics will also show which resources are slowing down the page. I actually find it interesting that some of the resources that slow the site speed are Google tools (Recaptcha and fonts).

I have only touched the tip of the iceberg on Google Page Speed Insights!

If you want to learn more about Page Speed Insights, visit About Page Speed Insights or Analyze and Optimize your website with Page Speed Tools.

GT Metrix

How fast does your website load? Find out with GT Metrix!

GT Metrix website to test page load speed

GT Metrix is set up the same way as Google Page Speed Insights. Enter your domain name and hit Test your site button. It takes less than a minute for the report to generate with your page speed results. My page ranks better in GTmetrix than Google Page Speed Insights, I got an A!!!

page load speed performance on gt matrix

Page Load Speed Metrics Explained

Wondering what those Metrics mean?

First Contentful Paint or FCP

How quickly content like text or images are painted onto your page. A good user experience is 0.9s or less.

Time to Interactive or TTI

How long it takes for your page to become fully interactive. A good user experience is 2.5s or less.

Speed Index

How quickly the contents of your page are visibly populated. A good user experience is 1.3s or less.

Total Blocking Time

How much time is blocked by scripts during your page loading process. A good user experience is 150ms or less.

Largest Contentful Paint or LCP

Largest Contentful Paint is the time it takes for the largest element of content (e.g. a large banner image) to be painted on your page. A good user experience is 1.2s or less.

Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS

How much your page’s layout shifts as it loads. A good user experience is a score of 0.1 or less

GT Metrics my website performance

I’m thrilled to see that my home page is doing well!

How to speed up your page load speed

Here is a summary of what can be done to speed up your web pages:

Choose a great hosting provider

Use a reputable hosting company, one that provides CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). A CDN takes a copy of your data (photos, static information) and stores it on servers around the globe. When a user clicks your page, the static information will be pulled from the closest CDN, therefore allowing your page to load faster. You can also choose a hosting company that has a server closer to home. Make sure to host your website on a fast server.

Compress your images

Don’t upload full-sized images that are 5mb in size. Compress your images beforehand using Adobe Photoshop or another online compression tool or install a WordPress plugin that compresses your images for you (Smush plugin or WP Optimize).

Optimize your website

Use a lightweight theme such as Astra, or one that includes Performance Tools that will help improve the page load speed. Plugins can be installed that increase the speed by compressing your images (Smush plugin), or optimizing your files (WP Optimize).

One final note, you most likely will get different results from Google Page Speed Insights and GT Metrix. Here is a great article explaining the differences.

Go for a test run!

So, try this for yourself. Use one of the tools listed above, either Google Page Speed Insights or GT Metrix and see how your website is doing. If you have any concerns, email me. I can help improve your page load speed.

Website Builders

website builders

What is the easiest way you can build a website?

The easiest way to build a website yourself is with a Website Builder. Website builders are affordable, come with ready-made templates and have lots of features. You don’t need to be a programmer or know how to code, but you should have some knowledge on using software (such as Word or any other drag and drop builder) and be comfortable browsing the internet. Website builders are generally easy to set up and will have tutorials on how to use them.

There are many popular website builders out there that are very popular.

Our top 4 Website Builders:

  1. Godaddy Website Builder
  2. Squarespace
  3. Wix
  4. Kajabi
building a website


Website Builder Business Plus

$18.00 /per month

* on sale, renews at $23.99/month

Custom Domain
SSL certificate
Social Media Integration
Online booking
Search Engine Optimization
Professional Templates

Godaddy Website Builder

Create your website and online store, plus manage appointments, social media and email marketing all in one account. Build your own modern, professional website with no programming knowledge required.

Wanna Web Design is a reseller of Godaddy and offers hosting, domain and email products for great prices and 24/7 support.  The Personal Website Builder plan is $12.99 (CDN) per month with a custom domain connection, SSL certificate, on-the-go editing, responsive mobile design, rapid Page-Load performance, create a blog and 24/7 support (on sale for $9.75/month  for new accounts).

The Website Builder Business plan is $18.99/month (CDN) which includes what’s offered in the Personal plan plus Search Engine Optimization and Paypal Buy Now or Donate button (on sale for $14.25/month for new accounts).

The Website Builder Business Plus plan offers the best value for $23.99/month (CDN). Included in this plan is everything in the Website Builder Business plan plus social media integration, Share Content to Facebook and online appointments (on sale for $18/month for new accounts).

The Ecommerce Plan is coming soon!

There are 100s of templates to choose from.

Godaddy Reseller accounts have the same excellent 24/7 support, response time is fast, usually within 5 minutes.  Wanna Web Design has been working with Godaddy for over 13 years.


Squarespace is simple to begin: choose one of the award-winning templates, then customize it to fit your style and professional needs with designer fonts and colour palettes. Use the website builder to add text and images to your website, then add the tools you need to grow your business. Squarespace offers a custom free domain for the first year of an annual plan.

Build your Online Business with Squarespace:

  • Portfolio
  • Blog
  • Online Store
  • Personal & Creative Services
  • Events & Weddings
  • Small Business
  • Booking Service
  • include 3rd party extensions
  • custom domain connection
  • Create your logo with their Free Online Logo tool
  • On-brand email campaigns & social media tools
  • Connect Social media, music and videos
  • Sell subscriptions & gift cards
  • Powerful SEO tools
  • include directions with interactive maps

Included with all Squarespace plans:


$18 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $26/month

Pro Email from Google
Premium Integrations & Blocks
Customization with CSS and Javascript
Advanced Website Analytics
Fully Integrated E-commerce
3% transaction fee
Sell unlimited products
Accept donations
Sell gift cards



$26 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $35/month

Pro Email from Google
Premium Integrations & Blocks
Customization with CSS and Javascript
Advanced Website Analytics
Fully Integrated E-commerce
0% transaction fee
Sell unlimited products
Accept donations
Sell gift cards
Point of Sale
Customer Accounts
Checkout on your domain
Powerful Merchandising Tools
Products on Instagram



$40 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $54/month

Pro Email from Google
Premium Integrations & Blocks
Customization with CSS and Javascript
Advanced Website Analytics
Fully Integrated E-commerce
0% transaction fee
Sell unlimited products
Accept donations
Sell gift cards
Point of Sale
Customer Accounts
Checkout on your domain
Powerful Merchandising Tools
Products on Instagram
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Sell Subscriptions
Advanced Shipping
Advanced Discounts
Commerce APIs

Squarespace Upgrades/Custom Features

Squarespace has so much to offer, but there’s more!

Squarespace Scheduling

The easiest way to manage appointments. Already have a Squarespace website? Add Scheduling to your website and take the hassle out of online scheduling.

Clients can quickly view availability or book a class, pay online and reschedule with a click. Promote your availability, stay organized and save time through automation.

The Scheduler upgrade costs $14/month for 1 calendar, $23 a month for  2 – 6 calendars, clients get text reminders, can book for classes and pay too. Click for more information on Squarespace Scheduling.

Member Areas

Get everything you need to create, share, and manage paid content with the Squarespace versatile Member Areas.

Create online classes, training and packages such as virtual yoga classes, writing workshops, digital networking events, 1:1 coaching, the Membership platform helps creators educate and inspire members.

Choose how you would like to charge: free, every week, month or all at once. Squarespace offers a seamless and secure member experience. For more information on Squarespace member areas click here.


Unlimited Plan

$14 /per month

US pricing

Custom Domain
Free domain for 1 year
SSL certificate
Unlimited Bandwidth
10GB storage
1 hour of Video
Social media logos
Site booster app
Visitor analytics app

Wix Website Builder

Design and build your own high-quality websites with Wix website builder.  Whether you’re promoting your business, showcasing your work, opening your store or starting a blog—you can do it all with Wix.

Wix starts with a very basic package for $5 (USD) per month with a personal domain and the bare minimum of resources up to the VIP package for $29 (USD) per month which includes an SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, 30GB of storage and up to 5 hours of video.  The Business and eCommerce plans start at $20 (USD) per month and go up to $35 (USD) for the Business VIP package. All of the Business accounts include SSL certificates, secure online payments and unlimited bandwidth. Video hours start at 5 hours for Business Basic and unlimited for Business VIP.

Wix offers over 500 professionally designed customizable templates to choose from.  Wix has built-in tools to help you build your business online:

  • online store
  • online scheduling software (clients can book appointments or services and pay online)
  • professional blog
  • custom domains
  • SEO tools
  • Email marketing
  • Accept Visa, Mastercard,
  • ticket and event management
  • manage hotel reservations
  • take online orders (restaurants)
  • membership only areas
  • subscription services

Security is built into every Wix website. Wix offers a 14 day free trial.


Build, market and sell your online course, membership site or coaching program with no coding, no hiring, no learning curve, no plugins and no broken integrations. This is an all-in-one website platform. It is designed for memberships and courses therefore it does not include an appointment calendar. This is a very expensive platform, but will be worth it if you are planning on selling your membership and courses to many clients. When you sign up for Kajabi, you can receive commissions on referrals which can help offset your monthly cost.

Learn Kajabi in the Kajabi University: hours of detailed training so you can master Kajabi‘s powerful tools to help you grow your business.

Over 40,000 entrepreneurs around the globe are using Kajabi.


$119.99 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $149/month

3 Products
3 Pipelines
10,000 Contacts
1,000 Active Members
1 Website
1 Admin User


$159.99 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $199/month

15 Products
15 Pipelines
25,000 Contacts
10,000 Active Members
1 Website
10 Admin Users
24/7 Chat Support
Advanced Automations
Ability to Remove Kajabi Branding
Affiliate Program


$319.99 /per month

(USD) paid annually or $399/month

100 Products
100 Pipelines
100,000 Contacts
20,000 Active Members
3 Websites
25 Admin Users
24/7 Chat Support
Advanced Automations
Ability to Remove Kajabi Branding
Affiliate Program
Code Editor

Beware of Domain Name Expiration Notices

I received in the mail a notification of one of my domains expiring. The title said ‘Domain Name Expiration Notice’. Now you might think that this is normal getting a domain renewal form in the mail. But what you don’t know is it isn’t from the company I host with! The title is deceiving, in this fast paced world people see the title, see the form and think they have to provide their credit card to renew their domain. But if you don’t take the time to read the letter, you will miss the line:

“As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months. When you SWITCH TODAY (there it is) to xxxxxxxxx, you can take advantage of our best savings.”

Further down in the letter it does state in bold “This notice is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to switch your domain name registration…”.  This company is a little more straightforward with what their intention is… to take your domain name from your current host. Some letters sound much more vague so you aren’t quite sure if it is a real renewal form or not.

I have received many calls and emails from clients of mine who tell me they have received such a letter and I just tell them to ignore it.

So if you don’t recognize the name of the company sending you a Domain Name Expiration Notice, then it probably isn’t yours. Call your web developer first and check with them. Chances are it isn’t your hosting provider.

* Your provider will most likely send you emails a month in advance reminding you to renew.


Is SharePoint a Good Platform for Building a Public-Facing Business Web Site?

I was wondering this morning if Sharepoint was something I should learn how to use for developing websites…. I got my answer… basically no! Sharepoint is used for corporations etc that have a large IT staff and the funds for customization. The author then went on to say that WORDPRESS is an excellent platform and listed all of the companies that use it for their public facing websites… including… wait for it…. Microsoft, the owner of Sharepoint! So it’s always good to realize what you specialize in has been validated by major corporations 🙂 So I will Keep On Trucking!

For the full article read: https://www.zubairalexander.com/blog/is-sharepoint-a-good-platform-for-building-a-public-facing-business-web-site/

Contact Form 7 Plugin

One of my favourite Contact Form plugins for WordPress is Contact Form 7. It’s easy to use, easy to set up and only requires a copy/paste of code into any page or widget and it works. I have tried a few of the other forms and find they are more time consuming and difficult to set up. I usually delete the plugin and install Contact Form 7 instead. My tried and true form plugin.

This isn’t a step-by-step how to set up the contact form, there is really good documentation that goes along with it. What I would like to point out is that some email providers block all WordPress emails as spam and go directly to the junk folder. I even set up rules that allowed any email from the WordPress website to be routed to the inbox but to no avail.

In comes Flamingo Plugin to the rescue. This plugin will take a copy of the Contact form entered and submitted and stores it on your website in the dashboard. You can sign in, click Flamingo in the left hand menu and see a list of all contact forms sent out of the website. If you have Google Recaptcha installed on the Contact Form 7 plugin, it will separate real forms from what Google believes is Spam.

This is a handy backup for you if you miss checking your Spam folder.

WordPress Security: Keeping your website safe from hackers

Last night I watched a youTube video by Wordfence Security showing how quickly and easily hackers can login to your website through outdated versions of plugins.  The security specialist, Chloe Chamberland showed how a hacker can use a search on Google called “Google Dorking” to search for any websites that use specific plugins such as BBPress.  A list appeared that showed the version of the BBPress plugin. Using that, Chloe could see which website is using an outdated version of that plugin to gain access (already knowing the vulnerabiltity of the plugin and how to break in). Chloe showed how quickly she added a new user id to the wordpress admin asking for ‘subscriber’ access. Before she submitted it, she used a program to stop the code before executing and then added a script that changed her userid from subscriber to administrator. She then submitted the sign up form which created a new user account with administrator access, with full access to the entire website. All within 5 minutes.

So I have mentioned to many of my clients how important it is to run the updates regularly on your WordPress (and Joomla!) websites.  I give instructions for those who wish to do it themselves and I also provide a service where i will go into the website, run a backup, run all of the updates and test the website afterwards to make sure none of the updates caused a problem with the website.

I recommend running updates bi-monthly at the bare minimum, monthly is better, weekly is the best. 

Having added security is also very important to protecting your website. Over 1/3 of websites on the internet are built on WordPress. Hackers figure out where the loopholes are and very quickly can attach one or many sites for their own purposes.

Some hosting companies provide higher security with the hosting such as Siteground Hosting. It’s the number 1 recommended hosting company by WordPress.org. I have spoken to their technicians and have been advised that if the plugins are kept up to date, there is little room for hacking of their system. Other hosting companies offer added Security services. Godaddy offers Website Security Essentials which scans websites daily looking for malware and will clean up your site if they find it. If your website has been hacked, don’t despair, once you purchase the Website Security Essentials, you submit the website scan and submit a ticket to have the website cleaned. Within 6 hours your website is cleaned and back online. You can also purchase the pricier service of a Firewall which will block all hackers from accessing your website.

There are 2 free plugins you can install directly onto your WordPress website: Wordfence Security or All In One WP Security. I use both (not at the same time on the same website). Both offer a firewall, added login security, can be set up to run scans for outdated versions of plugins, will allow you to block IP addresses (All in One does this, it’s a premium feature on Wordfence Security), and a host of other security features. All in One WP Security also allows you to change the login URL.

The premium version of Wordfence Security will also clean a hacked website and then provide protection to your website for 1 year. If a known attack is hitting websites, they will provide an immediate update to protect against the hack. The free version will get the update after 30 days.

How to run updates through your WordPress Dashboard

  1. Sign in to your WordPress Admin dashboard.
  2. Run a backup of your website either through a plugin that allows you to roll back your website if you encounter a problem, or within your hosting account. Siteground Hosting cPanel offers Softaculous software to install WordPress applications. You can run a full database and file backup within Softaculous. Godaddy WordPress Hosting automatically runs a daily backup which you can restore in the hosting account.
  3. Hover over ‘Dashboard’ in the upper left, then click ‘Updates’ or at the top of the page there will be a circling arrow with a number that tells you how many updates are available. Click this to go to the updates page.
  4. Select one plugin at a time and click Update. I always write down the plugin and the version so if I encounter a problem with the update, I know which version was working before the update.  You do have to be careful running updates, if they were installed with your theme package, you should update your theme first, then update the plugins through the theme interface, otherwise it could cause a problem with the theme.
  5. Some plugins will state their is an update available, but because it was packaged within a theme, the new update might not be available until it comes with a new version of the theme. The Bridge theme comes packaged with the WP Bakery plugin. This is a premium plugin and updates are only available within the Bridge theme update.
  6. After plugins and themes are updated, test your website to make sure it is still functioning properly. If you encounter any problems, it might be best to contact your website designer or host to troubleshoot what went wrong and how to fix it.  There are occasions where plugins have to be deactivated to figure out which one broke the website.

Another Way of Hacking Your Site

In the same Wordfence Security video, Chloe Chamberland, Security Specialist, showed how a hacker can use the Comments feature to gain full access to a website. She used a test website and added a seemingly harmless comment on a blog post.  She had Scott Miller, another analyst sign in to the website and click a link she had included in her comment … something like ‘I really like your post, maybe you can like mine too’ with a link to another website. When Scott went to her website from his link, he clicked a button on the website which said ‘enter site’…. nothing visual happened. Let me reiterate nothing VISUAL happened. In the background when Scott clicked the link to Chloes’ fake website, he inadvertently ran a script which created a user account on his own website, Chloe now had full administrator access to Scott’s website. It was really scary to see how quickly it could be done. Thank goodness Chloe is on our side and uses her knowledge to protect us and update the Wordfence Security plugin to stop hackers from gaining access to your website. Chloe also showed how having Wordfence Security plugin installed on a website would prevent this hack and the first one I mentioned in the beginning of this post from even happening.

So a few final thoughts:

  • Run your updates regularly
  • install a firewall through your hosting company or install Wordfence Security or All in One WP Security and make sure the firewall is enabled
  • disable user registration on your website if you don’t need it
  • watch the following video for more info from the pros at Wordfence Security





My new website design

At long last I have updated the layout of my website design! I am always so busy working for clients that I never had time to do my own. I was actually embarrassed to share my website with anyone because it looked so outdated.

Anyway, very pleased to finally have it done!

I tried to include many new features websites are using: Parallax images (sliding behind other content), pricing tables, icons, a custom header and footer. Please browse through my website to learn more about what I do, and what I can do for you!

Coles Notes version of Boosting SEO

Search engine optimization collingwood

Today I had someone email me how to help them achieve online presence with Google. After typing my answer I realized it was a great post that I could share with others!
Here was my response:

  1. Have descriptive page titles. When designing a site and setting up SEO I always ask my clients “how would people search you?” for instance if you wanted a chiropractor in Collingwood then that is what you would type in google “chiropractor collingwood”. So if this is how people will find you, then you need to make sure all the page titles have this included in the title.
  2. Narrow your selection. Don’t try to be the best across the province, narrow your location to a main town and surrounding area.
  3. The more pages you have with excellent titles, the better you rank.
  4. The page content has to match the titles… so if your page is about cutting wood… somewhere on the page you should mention that you cut wood.
  5. Each page url needs to be descriptive: here is the url for one of my pages : https://wannawebdesign.com/services/modify-websites-collingwood-barrie/ see how the url is set up?
  6. You need lots and lots of content. Good content.
  7. Your content should be typed on the page… not in a jpg or pdf. Google can’t read jpgs.
  8. Google does not use keywords anymore.
  9. Add a Google presence: Google Business, add your address to Google Maps
  10. Single page websites are not great for SEO. You only have 1 shot at google finding you, across the whole entire internet. You are competing with companies with multiple pages and very specific locations. Websites with structured SEO.
  11. Google likes Blogs. So create a blog with posts that are relevant to your theme. If you play music weekly have weekly posts with where you are playing: “Live Jazz music this Friday night at XYZ Bar & Eaterie”. Update it regularly. Google likes current blogs.
  12. Name your photos… don’t upload 1234.jpg. Change the name to reflect what you are promoting.

So this is the Cole’s Notes version of SEO. But if you follow these practices, you should be able to rank higher.

If this seems overwhelming, contact me!