Graphic of "How to make your website faster"

Website speed is the number one determining factor for if a visitor will actually see your website. You already did the hard work of directing them to it. Don’t lose out on potential business by having a website that takes over 2 seconds to load.

Here are our recommendations for testing your website’s speed and then improving it.

Checking your website speed 

Web Page Test is a great free tool that you can use right now to check the speed of your site. 

Google Page Speed Insights is also an industry favourite. Just enter your website’s URL and it will calculate the speed for you. 

Are images slowing your website’s speed? 

Oversize images can drastically slow down the speed of your site. A good rule of thumb is that graphic files should be PNGs while image files should be JPEGs. If your images and graphic files aren’t right, then you can always upload them into Canva, and re-download them as the correct file. 

Another great way to change the type of file is by using a file converter, you can find a bunch of these on Google. Rosewood uses Converter & Bulk Resizer

Clearing your Website’s Cache

A cache is a storage location that collects temporary data to help websites, apps and browsers load faster. So when someone is returning to your website, it will load faster, since the cache automatically stored a bunch of useful information about your site on their first visit. Clearing your cache will help to increase your website speed. A great tool to use is SEO Site Checkup, it is free and will check your site’s cache for you.

Outdated Software, Plugins & Apps

Outdated software such as the core wordpress environment, or supporting plugins could also be another reason why your website has slowed down. If you don’t have the time to make these updates yourself, let Rosewood do it for you! Contact us to find out about our Maintenance plans. 

Website speed is a critical determining factor for who actually sees your website content. People won’t wait around for ever. Make sure your website loads quickly, fully and securely for potential visitors.  Your potential clients, and Google, will appreciate it! 

web design wordpress vs. wix-weebly rosewoodva deanna simone newmarket york region

If there is one question I get asked more than any other, it’s ‘Why WordPress?’

The simple answer; because it’s the best.

But, for those who like to know the Hows and Whys of things, here is the long version. Below is my breakdown for why I choose WordPress vs. Wix and Weebly, with as little boring technical jargon as possible.

The Benefits of WordPress


WordPress allows for every page, post and image to be optimized for SEO. And it has tools that check your Readability and SEO scores on every page and blog post you create. Quality of code (below) also impacts your SEO.

Quality of Code:

The quality of code (the symbolic arrangement of data that makes computer programs run) matters, period.  For the most part, if you know what you’re doing, the theme you choose will have quality code. For more on this, see the negatives of WordPress.

Ease of Use by Clients:

Rosewood has researched a wide range of WordPress themes and narrowed it down to only those that have full customization options as well as an easy user interface.  We want all of our clients to at least have the opportunity to take over their own simple updates on a regular basis if they so choose.  We include basic training in our packages. However, our goal is that our websites make our clients so busy that they need to outsource back to us. It’s a win-win!


WordPress is open-source (resources that have been designed to be publicly accessible and editable) and has been since is creation on May 27th, 2003.  Since then, developers from around the world have created plugins for basically every functionality you can dream of.  Some are free, and some are premium.  The only real issue that arises is that you really need to do your homework before committing to a plugin.

APIs (Application Programming Interface)

Here’s where we get a little technical.  An API is “a software-to-software interface that enables two applications to exchange data among each other.” (source). Because WordPress is open-source and the platform is world-wide, WordPress has tons of APIs; meaning almost everything integrates with it. From MailChimp to PayPal, to Stripe and Salesforce. Whatever you need, someone has most likely already created the API for it.

The Benefits of Wix & Weebly

Ease of Use:

Wix and Weebly knew they couldn’t compete with WordPress on most levels, so they really went after the simplicity component.  Wix and Weebly are so simple, anyone can use them.  But what I always say is, just because you have a website, doesn’t mean anyone can find it.

Quick & Simple

You can have a Wix/Weebly site up within a few days by yourself.  These sites are best suited for people who just need a website as a passive portfolio.  These sites will rarely actively find leads for you.

The Negatives of WordPress

Quality of Code:

Not all websites are built the same, and not even all WordPress sites are built the same.  Some themes (which is the core layout design of your website) have terrible code quality and rank poorly in Google.  This in turn reflects poorly on your SEO.

That is why it is critical to really know what you’re doing and do your research. Rosewood VA stays up to date with theme developments and updates to see which ones are the best for visual performance as well as code quality.  Currently we have narrowed it down ONE SINGLE THEME!  But hey, if something better comes along, you bet we’ll know about it first!


New clients are often hesitant when I recommend WordPress because they’ve heard it’s hard to use and requires custom coding knowledge.  This USED to be true.  WordPress five years ago was no where near as sophisticated as it is now.  Like I say, if you know what you’re doing or have someone to get you started in the right direction, WordPress can be wonderful.


Having a website developed by a professional is not cheap.  In the same way that having professional photography is not cheap. However, what really matters at the end of the day is your ROI (Return on Investment).  You need to determine what that ROI is for your business. If you invested X amount in your website, how many leads/sales through that site are required for you to break even and then start turning a profit?  I know that with WordPress you will get there faster than with Wix or Weebly, even with those options being free.

The Negatives of Wix & Weebly


With Wix & Weebly you have almost ZERO SEO.  From experience, new clients have come to me with Wix and Weebly sites that they have built themselves. They look okay, but they don’t rank well at all in Google.  And that’s even with them contributing to a regular blog.  These platforms just don’t have what it takes regarding Keywords and Performance needed for Google/Bing SEO scores. And no one wants to end up twelve pages down in a Google search.

Limited Integrations:

Wix and Weebly, and even the free Blogger version of WordPress, do not have the capacity for integrations with specialized applications. Developers haven’t invested the time and resources to create these integrations. You may get basic functionality, but it can be difficult if you want to set up sales funnels, opt-in-offers, etc.

It is clear from the above list why I recommend WordPress over Wix & Weebly. However, regardless of which platform you choose, it’s more important to do your research when deciding which company to work with.  Web design involves trusting a company to not only build a beautiful, engaging website but also to achieve your business goals for that website. Good website design should be beautiful and functional!

Watch for my upcoming blog featuring questions you should be asking your current or potential web developer before entering an agreement. The web design process should be fun! And my goal is to educate and take the stress out of the project, so you can enjoy the journey!

If you’d like to discuss your website needs with us, or for more tips like these you can follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter as well for more education and inspiration!


online booking tools for your website

Many of my clients operate businesses based on appointment booking.  From automotive garages, massage therapists, hair salons to bookkeepers and more, online booking can have a great impact on traffic to your business.

Make Online Booking Easy for Regular Customers

Online booking makes it easier for your customers to book appointments with you. Regular customers can book, change, cancel or reschedule their appointment, all without picking up the phone. Not only is this easier for them, but it saves you time avoiding those 3-5 phone calls.

Encourage New Clients to Book

Online booking can also be a great tool for new customers looking to try your services. Maybe you’re interested in applying an introductory booking offer? Again, they don’t have to pick up the phone to see your availability and make their own appointment.  Presently it seems most people prefer to not speak on the phone. However, you will find that if they have questions about your services, they may book an appointment online and follow up with a quick phone call.

Features to Consider When Choosing an Online Booking Platform

There are many features to consider when choosing an online booking platform. These features will be specific to your business, your needs and what you consider to be so important you can’t live without it. The goal of this plugin is to make booking as simple as possible for your customers and for your business. There is a solution out there for everyone.

Keep in Mind:

  • Number of services offered
  • Number of staff members
  • Availability: Consistent hours daily/weekly or always changing?

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do you need clean-up/set-up time in between Appointments?
  • How far in advance can people book/cancel appointments?
  • Do you want text message & email reminders?
  • Do you want a customer portal where customers can view/edit their upcoming appointments?
  • Would you like this to also serve as a CRM tool?
  • Do you want to accept payments online at time of booking?
  • Would you like it to connect with your current invoicing system?
  • Do you need to be able to keep customer records and be able to share them with the customer?

If you’re thinking of implementing a new online booking system, it’s important to first sit down and find out your exact business needs.  Like buying a house, make your wish list and then start looking for solutions that fit. If this task seems daunting, give us a call and let’s figure it out together.

Don’t forget to join the conversation online on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And sign up for our monthly news for even more tips.

Until next time,