When looking for the fastest WordPress theme, one wants to test all the fastest themes that are available in the market to make a decision. But that’s an impossible task. There are thousands of themes and almost all of them have decent speeds. A significant portion of those themes that were developed in the last two years, are light-weight and load within the desired time. But they don’t always have the right design.
So, how do website owners find the right themes that can offer them the best quality and performance?
In this article, we are going to test 20 top fastest WordPress themes and tell you how fast they actually are.
We would also compare their performance, customizations, and see if they would offer you the right package that you would need to grow your business.
How we selected The Fastest WordPress Themes
WordPress themes directory has numerous themes available. Out of all these themes available, WordPress offers ‘Popular’ and ‘Latest’ themes that people can select from. We selected the top 20 popular themes from this section. All our themes have been passed through rigorous performance and speed tests.
Our Testing Criteria
We had a simple testing criterion for all the WordPress themes. Here are the points that we used to test each theme. We used these points as the standard so that you can easily see each WordPress theme’s performance on BionicWP.
- The latest version of WordPress will be installed on the website
- The theme will be installed only through the WordPress themes directory. No theme installed from any other third party will be counted for this criteria
- The theme will not be customized in any way. It means no menus, no widgets, no redesign of the theme. We will just test the WordPress theme as it was installed. i.e. in its initial format.
- The theme will be tested on top three-page speed plugins including Pingdom, GTMetrix, and Google Page Speed test (for Desktop) only.
- All themes will be tested on BionicWP WordPress managed hosting with Nitropack enabled.
Since each speed testing tool has its own benefits, the ones we used offer the best of both worlds, that is usability and performance.
Here is what you should know about these three-page speed tools before we get started.
GTMetrix tests your website for everything from performance, structure, to page design, Total Blocking Time (TBT), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). The reason for all this is because GTMetrix makes sure that the whole website performance is tested and not just a part of it.
Grade: This is the grade that GTMetrix gives to each site that is tested on the platform. It is an overall assessment of your website.
Performance: This is the lighthouse (Google Page Speed) performance score that GTMetrix provides by doing a proper website analysis.
Structure: Site structure tells how well your website is built for loading and performance. That’s what the GTMetrix structure score offers.
LCP: LCP is the Largest Content Page Element on your page that would be loaded such as a banner image, a widget, or a script.
TBT: TBT is the Total Blocking Time. When a website is loading, it is blocked for a certain period. TBT assesses that.
CLS: CLS indicates Cumulative Layout Shift or the shape or size of elements on your website changing when the website is loaded.
GTMetrix has changed most of its performance indicators after the release of the Google Page Speed tool and Lighthouse chrome performance testing plugin. Since Core Web Vitals are not an important part of Google search rankings, these changes in indicators were necessary.
Pingdom is one of the best speed testing tools in the market. If a website owner wants to see their website speed, they visit Pingdom because it offers a simple set of parameters to test website speed. Here is what these parameters do.
Performance Grade: This is the ranking that Pingdom offers for all websites that are assessed by its tool.
Page Size: Pingdom also tells what your webpage size is. This is important if you are testing your theme. You can compare different page sizes and settle for one that is the lightest.
Load Time: The time it takes for the website to load completely.
Requests: Number of requests that a browser will make to get assets from the server. These can be images, scripts, widgets or other elements.
HAR Format: Browsers only understand HTTP archive format or HAR format for site performance analysis. Pingdom offers you to download the HAR file format.
FCP: First Contentful Paint is the first bit that the browser receives from the server. This needs to be minimum.
Time to Interactive: Time to interactive is the time it takes after the website resources have loaded and the site is ready to respond to user actions.
Speed Index: Speed Index checks how much time it takes for the page to become visible to the user after he searches for the URL in the browser.
TBT: TBT is the Total Blocking Time. When a website is loading, it is blocked for a certain period. TBT assesses that. It is part of the Lighthouse speed testing tool by Google.
LCP: LCP is the Largest Content Page Element or the biggest element on your page that would be loaded such as a banner image, a widget or a script.
CLS: CLS indicates Cumulative Layout Shift or the shape or size of elements on your website changing when the website is loaded. It is part of the Lighthouse speed testing tool by Google.
Google Pagespeed Tool checks for website performance, site architecture, layout and structure, and usability. It provides a score from 0 to 100 to the websites based on all these factors. The purpose of this analysis is to ensure that a website is fit to get user visits and hence site rankings.
Fastest Themes for WordPress Compared in 2020
Now that we have discussed the metrics we would use for our themes, it is time to discuss the fastest WordPress themes and their performance test scores.
SuperbThemes is a package of multiple free and premium themes that you can get for your website. It also offers a few layout plugins that you can use for your website. In this review, we will be using the SuperbThemes Minimalist WordPress theme. It is a premium theme that you can purchase from SuperbThemes and then install on your website.
To get started with SuperbThemes, simply install the Superb Helper Plugin on your website.
Once the theme is installed on the website, it is time for the test.
But before that, let’s discuss its pricing and other features.
We have installed the latest version of the Minimalist Blogger Premium theme by Superbthemes. These are chances that the results can differ when you test site performance with the free version.
SuperbTheme Minimalist theme is available as a free and paid version. You can directly download the free version on your website. If you need the paid version of SuperbTheme, it will cost you $29 only.
It is better that you get the premium package if you are looking for enhanced functionality of the theme. With that said, it is time for the features of SuperbTheme.
- Creative design and available with multiple customizations
- Offers optimal performance. Has a minimum page size
- Fully SEO optimized theme, simply install it on your website, do the on-page of your site pages and you are good to go
- Comes with two additional child themes to use with your current theme.
- Child themes offer a lot more room for customizing your site layout
Pingdom Speed Test SuperbTheme
Tested the Minimalist theme on Pingdom, the results are in front of you. The theme loads in just one second. It has a minimal page size and only two dozen requests from the server.
GTMetrix Speed Test of SuperbTheme
As you can see, the results of GTMetrix speak for themself. Performance, Structure, and Grade all 100%. The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) takes 0.3s. This is a great speed for websites with minimum content. We can assume that the site would still load in less than a second when it has images and content available.
Google Pagespeed Test of SuperbTheme
Google Page Speed test also shows the same numbers. The theme is truly super-fast and works great on almost all hosting solutions. But with Bionic’s hyper-optimized cloud, the theme can prove its true potential.
We have tested the premium version of BionicWP, but you can start with the free version available in the market. Simply install the theme on your website, test the results and see for yourself.
Since it offers many customization options, it can work great for bloggers, business websites, and portfolios.
First in our list is Neve. Neve is a free theme that is not only super-fast but makes it easy for anyone to start their online business with a lightweight theme. Neve is known for its faster performance, lower page size, and low requests to the server. It has a 100 score on the Google page speed test.
Neve is a free theme and you can directly download it from the WordPress themes section. Neve is known for its quality templates, robust design, and high-quality theme performance.
- Flexible and lightweight theme available for free
- Comes with multiple website templates that you can use
- Easy to setup and comes with a sleek design
- Reliable updates and offers a lot more to its users
- Load size around 1 second
- Absolutely low page size
Pingdom Test Results of Neve
Google Pagespeed Score Neve Theme
GTMetrix Pagespeed Score Neve Theme
As you can see that Neve is a perfect theme for anyone who is looking for a fast, lightweight, and quality WordPress theme that they can use on their ecommerce store or website. It is a versatile theme and works for multiple businesses without any extra effort.
Next in our list is Airi – another free WordPress yet super-fast WordPress theme that you can use for your business. The website has a lower load time of less than 500ms, it offers only 26 requests, and comes with a page size of 599kbs only. Airi is a lightweight theme with complete Elementor page builder integration. It is perfect for anyone who would like to improve their website design. You can use it for your blog, business website, or to showcase products to your ecommerce store.
Airi is a free theme that offers multiple integration features for new and old ecommerce store owners.
- Woocommerce ready theme with Elementor page builder features
- Multiple options and Google Fonts available
- Multiple demos available for your website
- Translation ready theme to improve the translation process
Pingdom Result of Airi
Google Pagespeed Score Airi Theme
GTMetrix Airi Theme Results
Airi Theme Testing Results
The Airi theme is a perfect match with the BionicWP WordPress hosting server that we have used for this server. It is a perfect solution that users can use to display ecommerce products or online businesses.
Hestia is a stylish one-page theme for business, portfolio, designer, agency, and gallery websites. It offers high performance, a smooth usability and user experience, and a lot more.
The best part about the Hestia website is that you get everything you need at a single place. It allows you to take complete control of your WordPress website, make any changes you want, design the structure of the website, and use WooCommerce and Elementor page builders to get started fast and easy.
Hestia is completely free to use. Anyone that is looking for quality customized WordPress themes to use for their business websites can use Hestia without any hassle. It is also known as one of the most lightweight free themes available on the market. It works with page builders and offers great user experience.
- The fully responsive theme with multiple templates
- High performance on testing platforms
- Improved user experience and design
- Work with beaver builder and elementor page builders
GTMetrix Hestia Page Speed Test
Pingdom Page Speed Test
Google Pagespeed Test
Hestia Theme Testing Results
The speed test result of the Hestia WordPress theme shows that it works extremely fast on BionicWP web servers. It has a total load time of 1 second only as per Google. Moreover, since the website is responsive, you can use it for mobile and web without adding PWAs.
Next, we have OnePress. Another great free WordPress theme that comes with its fair share of advantages. It is made for ecommerce businesses but OnePress also works the same for any other type of website. Take any blog, website, or portfolio site and OnePress will shine for you.
There is no price for OnePress WordPress theme. The theme is completely free and you can use it on your WordPress website as soon as you want.
- OnePress theme is perfect for ecommerce stores
- It is lightweight, easy to install, and has no problems
- The theme has over 90,000 downloads and is downloaded on a regular basis
- It uses the latest design practices
Google Pagespeed Test of OnePress
GTMetrix Speed Test of OnePress
Pingdom Speed Test of OnePress
OnePress Theme Testing Results
The theme is the lightest you can get for free. It has half an MB page size which makes it a great theme to start with. Moreover, it only offers 27 requests to the server. Pingdom has given the theme an A grade. Similarly, GTMetrix has given it an A grade and it only takes 0.7seconds to load the website completely. Even on Google, it only takes 0.5 seconds to complete the theme loading.
Running an ecommerce store always requires top performance. What if a free WordPress theme can get you that performance? That is what ShopIsle does for you. It is a free ecommerce-centric WordPress theme that offers complete flexibility in design and performance. ShopIsle is simple to use and anyone who wants to start with an ecommerce store should go for it.
ShopIsle is free and you can install it directly from the WordPress themes section. If you want to try out new templates, you can get the ShopIsle Pro version for $199 only.
- ShopIsle is frequently updated and new templates are added
- It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- It also comes with a live site customizer to make changes
- Works with all page builders available in the market
Google Pagespeed Test of Shopisle
GTMetrix Speed Test of ShopIsle
Pingdom Speed Test of ShopIsle
OceanWP is not just a WordPress theme but a complete template package that allows users to create a customized theme by themselves. It is ecommerce ready, fully responsive, SEO optimized and comes with a lot more features that any OceanWP user can use to improve site performance and get more done.
OceanWP offers a freemium version for those who want to test out the theme. However, those who are looking for more functionality can get the premium package.
- DIY your own theme with templates and page builders
- Create themes of any type and for any business with multiple templates
- Completely SEO-optimized WordPress and WooCommerce themes
- Fully responsive
Pingdom Speed Test OceanWP
GTMetrix Speed Test of OceanWP
Google Pagespeed Test of OceanWP
OceanWP is a brand in itself. It is one of the first page-builder-centric themes in the market. It now offers a freemium version for users who need to scale their websites with minimum resources. But to get the most out of OceanWP you would need the premium theme as it unlocks multiple other features. OceanWP is a great theme for business users who would need to start a website and require a theme that they can design in a way they want.
Sydney is a free WordPress theme made to help WooCommerce store owners, bloggers, and affiliates to enhance their websites without any external help. It is lightweight and offers a lot of customization options to the users. You can make the basic changes to the theme by yourself. But if you need to make major changes like adding banners, widgets, or changing site design, then you would need to buy a page builder package.
Sydney WordPress theme is available in the free and premium version. Start with the basic one and then move to the next one as and when needed.
- Sydney is a great theme for users who are looking to improve their site design
- Start with five templates to design your website as you want
- Built-in blocks to improve your layout and enhance the user experience
- Integrated with page builders
Pingdom Pagespeed of Sydney Theme
GTMetrix Pagespeed of Sydney Theme
Google Pagespeed Test of Sydney Theme
OnePage lite is another 100 percent free WordPress theme that comes with a beautiful design and layout. It is perfect for designing service-based websites, portfolio websites, blogs, and affiliate sites. It is fully SEO compatible, has a stylish look, and offers strategic call-to-action buttons to generate more leads.
OnePage offers two versions. OnePage Lite and OnePage Pro. You can use any one of these to set up your own website. However, it is recommended that you move to the Pro version if you want to get the full benefit of the theme. The pro version of the theme is available for $59 only. With that said, here is a list of features OnePage has to offer.
- Creative one-page theme design
- Drag and drop features with integrated page builder
- Unique blog layouts
- Ajax loading
- HTML5 + CSS3 enable theme design
- Floating menu options
- One-click site install and a lot more
Google Pagespeed Test One Page Theme
GTMetrix Page Speed Test One Page Theme
Pingdom Page Speed Test One Page Theme
OnePage only has a 200ms load time and a 300KB page size. It is one of the fastest themes on our list. It is completely free and only gets 24 requests from the server. All this makes it a great theme to start with. However, do note that these rankings are for BionicWP only. If you test it on another hosting solution, there is a chance that you will see a dip in site rankings.
ColorMag WordPress theme is made for news websites, blogs, and listing sites because it makes it easier for them to start operations. The theme is simple to manage and set up. Users won’t need anything else to get started with ColorMag except downloading it from the WordPress themes catalog.
ColorMag offers both free and paid versions to its users. The premium version offers more templates, designs, customer support, and integration with page builders and is available for $149 only.
- Flexible and customizable theme
- Offers multiple design options to users
- Easy to download and set up
ColorMag GTMetrix Speed Test
ColorMag Google Pagespeed Score
Pingdom Page Speed Test One Page Theme
ColorMag offers a lot for such a small theme. The load time is easily bearable and the page size is not more than 300KBs, exactly what you can expect from a bare-minimum theme. Even with more images, the page size won’t increase by more than 1MB. So, you can still achieve less than 3 seconds speed easily that too on a free WordPress theme.
Customization is the key to success and that is what Customify WordPress theme has to offer to its users. The Customify WordPress theme is perfect for all users who would like to improve their site performance with a minimum budget. It is available on the WordPress theme store. With the free theme, you will get the basic customization options only. If you want to expand the theme features, you can either get the page builder package or upgrade to the paid theme.
Customify is available for free on the WordPress theme store.
- Flexible, customizable, and performance-focused theme
- Freely available
- Customize according to your own design
- Comes with visual builder, Beaver builder, and Divi compatibility
Google Pagespeed Test Customify
GTMetrix Page Speed Test Customify
Pingdom Page Speed Test Customify
Astra is one of the fastest WordPress themes in the market. It is perfect for all those who have faced performance issues with their previous themes. The theme has only 50KB page size! It generates only 10 requests and is known for its superior performance and flexibility.
Astra is a completely free theme and you can download it directly from the WordPress themes directory. However, it also offers a paid version for businesses that would like to put their best foot forward.
- Known as the fastest WordPress theme
- Offers multiple features and can be optimized at a whim
- Made to work with all page builders are recommended
- Customizable without code
Pingdom Astra Page Speed Test
GTMetrix Astra Page Speed Test
Google Page Speed Test Astra
Astra is one of the finest WordPress themes available in the market. It is easy to use. Delivers superfast performance and works great on each performance test. If you are looking for a WordPress theme that gets the job done and that can be customized in any way you want, then Astra theme is for you.
Next we have Zakra, a multipurpose, lightweight, responsive WordPress theme for beginners who would like to improve their business. It is a ThemeGrill production and perfect for business users. It is fully SEO optimized, user friendly, and made to generate profit for its users.
Zakra offers both free and paid versions, where the paid version is available for $179 only. The best part about the free Zakra theme is that it also offers customizations that are only available in the paid version. So you can start from free and scale to the premium one once you have decent profit coming in.
- Customization of whole website
- Flexible performance
- 10 free templates to start with
- Gutenberg compatible theme
Zakra GTMetrix Page Speed
Zakra Google Pagespeed Score
Zakra Pingdom Pagespeed Score
Zakra offers impeccable performance and it has a low page size that makes it a great theme to start with. Zakra generated only 20 server requests and has a load time of 331ms for bare minimum website. But even if we assume that the content has a total size of 1mb. The website would still load in a second or more. That’s still way below what we consider a decent pagespeed score. Zakra is a perfect theme for all those who are looking to get into ecommerce.
Allegiant is a modern theme with elegant design and multiple templates. It is a great theme for users who are looking for a lightweight, responsive WordPress theme that can be utilized for any business. Allegiant is fully SEO optimized, made to generate maximum ROI, and is fully compatible with Gutenberg.
Allegiant offers both free and paid versions. The theme offers responsive design and it also offers customizations that you can do by yourself without hiring a developer.
- Customize the website as you want
- Super-fast performance for beginners
- Start with a template of your choice
- Compatible with Gutenberg
Allegiant Google Pagespeed Tool
Allegiant GTMetrix Page Speed Tool
Allegiant Pingdom Page Speed Tool
Allegiant free WordPress theme offers great performance benefits to its users. As you can see that the theme is perfect from all angles. It generated 22 requests only. It loaded in only 546ms and has scored an A grade on all testing tools. If you plan to use it, you can opt for a page builder tool to get started.
If you are looking for a simple theme that works well for your website, then Schema Lite is the perfect theme to start with. It is free, performance optimized, scalable, and has great options available. Schema is fully compatible with Gutenberg and page building tools.
Schema Lite theme was released in Feb 2020 and it has been downloaded over 7,000 times. It is completely free to use and offers multiple customization options to users.
- Responsive theme
- Optimized performance
- Gutenberg and block compatibility
- Get templates of your choice
- 90+ pagespeed score guarantee with BionicWP
GTMetrix Schema Lite Pagespeed Score
Google Schema Lite Pagespeed Score
Pingdom Schema Lite Pagespeed Score
Schema Lite works great with all browsers. For starters, it offers a great load time of 259ms. This is just perfect for anyone who would like to meet Google Core Web Vitals. The theme also offers numerous other benefits to users including a high performance score on all top website testing tools.
Spacious is just like its name sounds – Space-ious. The theme has a grand look and caters to traveling, designing, portfolio, brand management niches with the default template. However, it also comes with multiple templates that you can choose depending on your need. Spacious is a lightweight, SEO-friendly, responsive WordPress theme for any business.
Spacious offers both free and paid versions. You can download the free version for the website from WordPress theme gallery. However, you can get the paid version from Theme Grill itself.
- Customize the website as you want
- Super-fast performance for beginners
- Start with a template of your choice
- Compatible with Gutenberg
Spacious Google Pagespeed Score
Spacious GTMetrix Pagespeed Score
Spacious Pingdom Pagespeed Score
Spacious has a 325KB page size and it loads in under half a second. It is a great theme for users who belong to outdoor, travel, event management niches. It offers 23 requests, has an A grade performance score on all three GTMetrix, Pingdom, and Google pagespeed tools.
The only reason we added Cenote in our WordPress theme list is because it has one of the highest downloads. Cenote is a great theme for beginners. If you want to start with a basic website and with a free theme then Cenote is a good option to start with.
Cenote is free to use and you can install it directly from WordPress theme panel and add it to your website. The process of customization is pretty straightforward and you can easily get started. If you want to buy the paid version, you can get that from ThemeGrill.
- Beautifully designed theme
- Easily customizable and easy to set up
- Suitable for personal and professional use
- Part of the themegrill premium offering
Cenote Google Pagespeed Score
Cenote Pingdom Pagespeed Score
Cenote GTMetrix Pagespeed Score
Cenote is a light theme and very fast to load. If you are looking for customizations on this theme, they are only possible through page builders. With that said, it is still a great theme for any business.
Flash is a completely versatile theme for service-oriented businesses. It has three templates that users can start with and customize the site in their own way. The landing page of the theme comes pre-configured and users can use it to highlight their services in any way they want. Flash is a great theme for beginners and integrates with page builders.
Flash is completely free to use. No need to buy any license or theme package. Simply install it and launch your WordPress website
- Flash offers multiple site demos
- Fully integrates with flash toolkit
- Responsive and user friendly
Flash Google Pagespeed Score
Flash GTMetrix Pagespeed Score
Flash Pingdom Pagespeed Score
Flash page speed score shows that your website loads in less than half a second. This is a great score to start with. It generates only 20 requests which is perfect for a basic-level website.
Latte is a free, responsive WordPress and WooCommerce theme. It is great for people who either own a blog, magazine website, or a store. It is also a great theme for starting your ecommerce business. The theme offers multiple templates, customized and pre-configured. It is compatible with page builders.
Latte is a freemium WordPress theme to start with. You can download it from WordPress themes store. If you want the premium version, that can be availed from Themeforest.
- Latte offers multiple site demos
- Page builder compatibility
- Responsive design
Latte Google Pagespeed Score
GTMetrix Google Pagespeed Score
Pingdom Google Pagespeed Score
Last but not the least we have the Genesis Theme. Anyone who has ever created a website from scratch knows how important Genesis theme is because of its block based editor. Genesis offers a basic theme for users. But the real features are available in its paid version available on the Genesis framework package.
Genesis offers a free version on WordPress themes and a paid version on the Genesis Framework package. The paid version is available for $59 only. The Genesis theme is great for beginners as well as experts as it offers many customization options that are not available on other themes.
- Custom page templates
- Block based theme editor
- Featured content widgets
- Customizable headers
- One click theme setup
Genesis Theme Google pagespeed
Genesis Theme GTMetrix pagespeed
Genesis Theme Pingdom pagespeed
Genesis is the lightest WordPress theme as can be seen by its page size. It is only 31KBs which is surprisingly fast. The theme has a load time of 1 second only and made 8 requests to the server.
Signify Dark is a free blog and corporate website theme that is fully-responsive, dynamic, and ecommerce friendly. The theme is dark and made for gaming, technology websites and stores. If you are a fan of dark themes then Signify Dark is for you.
It is a completely free theme to use for your website.
Signify Dark GTMetrix Pagespeed Score
Signify Dark Pingdom Pagespeed Score
Signify Dark Google Pagespeed Score
Which WordPress Theme is the Winner?
Google Speed Test
As you can see that almost all themes have the same numbers in all speed testing tools. So, we decided to go a little granular and check which of these is meeting the most numbers on the benchmark report. Here are our numbers.
From the above image, Neve, Astra, Genesis Theme and Sydney are some of the themes that have scored the most on all benchmarks including page speed score on GTMetrix, Pingdom, Google Pagespeed, and page Sizes.
There were WordPress themes that were better on speed tests such as Spacious, Flash, Latte, OceanWP, but they had a higher page size. We had BionicWP enabled for all themes we tested.
Since our purpose was to look at all the themes that offered the most value to the users, so our recommendation is to choose the ones that we mentioned above.
- Page Builders will add more load on the server because the requests per website will increase
- Page Builders will also increase the page size
- Make sure to always go for themes that have a lower LCP and page size
- Performance is always measured on the content of the website. Make sure to keep your website under 1MB with a full page load size.
That’s all about our analysis of 20 fastest WordPress themes in the market. If you have something to add to this article about the theme functionality, or about adding you themes to our list, please write in the comment below.