The Fastest WordPress Themes in 2019

The Fastest WordPress Website Themes

At WPSpeedFix.com, our site speed optimization service, (through which we’ve worked on just over 3000 sites so far, optimizing them for speed) we often receive questions concerning WordPress themes. A lot of the time it all boils down to which WordPress themes are the fastest.

In this post we share the fastest WordPress themes we’ve found in 2019.

The Fastest WordPress Website Themes

Below we share the fastest WP themes and frameworks we’ve found and also give you a brief overview of some of their individual features.

If you want to skip all that and just want to know which themes are the fastest, it’s these four:

Generatepress – a theme that’s very lightweight and built for speed. The developer of this theme set out to build something that’s lightning fast. Part of what makes this theme so fast is the fact it doesn’t rely on Jquery, which means it’s light on Javascript so it renders faster AND makes Google Pagespeed Insights very happy.

Astra – this is another lightning-fast theme and also has some really awesome child theme options. Like the Generatepress theme, it also doesn’t rely on Jquery – it’s a little more feature heavy so can have a bit more javascript.

Genesis Framework – this one’s one of the oldest themes on the internet and also always has been super-fast. A version 3 of this theme was released recently, and it contains inbuilt AMP support.

Flatsome, the fastest theme for Woocommerce – definitely the fastest Woocommerce theme we’ve stumbled upon. It has a lot of features, operates with lightning speed, and also has some friendly Woocommerce optimizations, like for example lazy-loading.

Why Speed Matters

A fast website is very important. Speed impacts Google rankings, and also Google likes faster websites, so it’s definitely better for SEO. Fast sites rank higher, or to be more specific – slow sites don’t rank as high and they get a ranking penalty. 

But what’s even more important than rankings and traffic is conversion rate. People get pretty frustrated with slow websites, and as you yourself might also know, when a website is slow you’re pretty quick to click away and go elsewhere. And that really has a heavy impact on the conversion rate and the number of enquires in sales and calls, or whatever the website’s generating. 

So both traffic and conversions are affected by speed, which means – speed is important! 

How Theme Speed Factors into Overall Site Speed

Two words: Render speed. Getting the stuff from the web-servers is one part of speed, and the second part is how quickly the site actually renders. A fast WordPress theme both renders fast and is quick to download. Its actual file size is much smaller, so the amount of stuff to download is much smaller, and its speed of rendering is much faster. 

What Makes a Theme Fast – HTML, JS, CSS, jquery or no jquery

It’s basically smaller – smaller in weight, which means it has less code. It has cleaner CSS – the style sheets are much cleaner, and there are also fewer CSS files, which means there’s less to download and process, and there’s less javascript. There’s not that much stuff to process: there are fewer javascript files to actually download. 

All of this translates to faster download from the server and faster render, so the amount of time it takes the browser to actually assemble the page and show it

If we want to get more into the technical stuff, we have to mention jquery. Jquery is a javascript library, and themes that are based on it basically go slower. The reason for this is that the device has to do more processing. So typically where the internet speed might be more variable or slower (the speed is tied to the reception – how strong the cell phone signal is), and there’s less CPU power available versus the desktop computer. That renders speed in the amount of javascript work the device has to do a really key part of how fast the site wall renders. So themes that don’t rely on javascript, which can render without javascript will load faster. 

Testing Speed

Just be mindful when it comes to theme speed. You’ve probably read a few articles on theme speed. A lot of them will have tested demo sites or demo themes and will have speed test results of themes, but they’re not a good indication of theme speed. The reason why the testing of a demo site is problematic is that you don’t know where they’re being hosted – typically they’re on cheap hosting providers and they’re also highly unlikely to be speed optimized. This means that the tests aren’t really valid – they’re using demo themes or child themes, and they’re not actually live sites, and they kinda don’t mean anything. So, they’re worthless in terms of gauging how lightweight a theme is. 

So the main things are: jquery or no jquery, how much javascript it requires in general basically – the more features the theme has, the more javascript is required. A lot of the themes in this list have a lot of features, but you can turn most of them off. Things like Google Maps integration, Vimeo and YouTube integration, things like that – they all require javascript libraries which slow down the theme. So the ability to turn them off will actually make these themes faster. 

Once again, keep it in mind that those speed test you encounter on the web are pretty much useless, in fact, worse than useless because quite often something will look faster than it actually is in real life. 

If you want to do speed testing, we have a test tool we’ve built for our speed fix agency, WPSpeedFix, so you can access that at SiteSpeedBot.com, if there’s a site you want to test. It’ll give you detailed recommendations on speed that you’ll probably won’t find elsewhere. Other tools on the internet don’t probe or test a lot of the things we do, things that really matter in 2019, on the modern web. 

There are a few other considerations, besides speed, when you’re thinking of selecting a theme:  

  • Gutenburg support – the new WordPress 5 editor. Generally most of the up to date themes will support Gutenburg, but not all, so if that’s important to you, keep it in mind. If they don’t support Gutenburg, you’re going to have to use another plugin to disable that new WordPress 5 builder 
  • Custom code
  • Child themes – if you’re running a child theme or you want to use a template off the shelf, some of them have better-looking child themes or off the shelf templates than others. 
  • Woocommerce – whether or not you’re running Woocommerce – some of the themes are going to look better or function better than others with Woocommerce – so keep that in mind if you’re running Woocommerce from membership sites. On this list, we’ve got fast and fastest WordPress themes, and actually some of the fast, rather than the fastest ones, will work better on a Woocommerce site, so just keep that in mind as well. 
  • Ease of development/familiarity with the theme with your developer

Fastest Themes

The themes listed here are hands-down the fastest themes on the market you can currently find. It you want lightning fast WordPress theme, then you should definitely go with one of these. 

GeneratePress

Superb performance and super versatile. If you use its WordPress Customizer options (of which there are many), you can adapt GeneratePress to any kind of niche. Also, if you’re ready to pay for the premium version, lots of pre-built demo sites, which you’ll be able to easily import, will become available at your disposal. Definitely one of the fastest WordPress themes you’ll be able to find, no argument about that. 

The developer of this theme, Tom Usborne, has concentrated on creating a clean, lightweight code. The theme is under 30kb, doesn’t have any dependencies (that also includes jQuery), and it’s simply designed to perform really well in general. 

Website: generatepress.com

Astra

Another very popular option, similar to the GeneratePress theme. Astra also doesn’t rely on jQuery, while also being pretty lightweight at just 50kb. It’s also a very customizable plugin – if you want, you can import one of the numerous free demo websites that are built with either:

  • Elementor
  • Beaver Builder
  • Gutenberg (the WordPress block editor)
  • Brizy

If you wish, you can also tinker with things yourself, using tons of the options available in the real-time Customizer.

Website: wpastra.com

Genesis 

Genesis is also among the most popular WordPress themes out there, and is often used by a number of professional bloggers on the internet. It’s a lightweight theme – less than 30kb in size, with lots of SEO-friendly features and very responsive design. It’s also Gutenberg ready and contains one-click demo import. 

Website: studiopress.com

Flatsome

The best-selling Woocommerce theme – this theem is deeply integrated with the e-commerce platform for WordPress, thus providing users with the best e-commerce features and functionality. 

A very powerful theme with a great design, it’s also a very fast one that allows for a great online store experience. 

This theme offers a variety of options for customization – it integrates a large element library and a powerful live page builder. It’s also got more than 300 layouts that are pre-defined, as well as sections that allow you to replace the demo content with your own one. 

Website: flatsome3.uxthemes.com

Fast themes

The themes listed in this section are popular themes which are still fast but don’t fall in the category of the fastest. We’ve decided to include them as well because they allow for more flexible styling and child themes since they are less constrained by the super lightweight code of the fastest themes.

Divi

Divi is without a doubt one of the most successful themes on the market – the Divi theme itself has about 500 000 users! This is a powerful and flexible theme, coming with its own page builder that’s made in the form of drag-and-drop page builder. It’s also updated very regularly, which means new features are being constantly introduced. 

This is a multi-purpose theme: it will allow you to build any kind of website you want: business sites, portfolios, blogs, online shops (it fully integrates with Woocommerce), and more. It’s a theme that’s very easy use, meant to serve different purposes; it’s also got customization options that allow for some very creative page designs which you can make at will (you’re able to control colors, fonts, and other design elements). Divi has very responsive layouts which make it work on practically any device. 

Website: elegantthemes.com

Avada

This one’s a number one seller on the ThemeForest market place, the most famous online selling spot for themes. This theme is very convenient for people that don’t have any coding or developer’s knowledge, which means it can help users of any level to build the website they want very easily. 

It’s a fully customizable theme (it’s got thousands of customization options), meant for different site purposes. You’re able to change all design elements via the user interface. It also contains hundreds of pre-made page designs. 

Website: avada.theme-fusion.com

Bridge

One of the most flexible WordPress themes, great for the more creative people behind WordPress websites who want full control of their site. The Bridge theme comes with a wide range of modules, and also premium plugins that allow for an even better customization experience. It’s got lots of customization options that are built-in and which can be accessed through the Customizer. 

Bridge is the kind of theme that contains: Slider Revolution, Visual Composer, Timetable Responsive Schedule and much more. There are over 350 demo options with which you can start building your site; this theme will also allow you to combine elements from different demos. 

It also comes with multi-purposed modules – you can use them for online shops, as well as magazines, blogs, and a lot more. 

Website: qodeinteractive.com/bridge

Optimizepress

This is a very powerful theme for creating sales pages, landing pages, membership portals, as well as blog pages and training areas. In fact, it’s one of the best themes that you can find out there for sales pages! 

It also comes with a plugin version, which also means that, if you opt for the plugin, you won’t need to change your current theme. 

With Optimizepress you can also create webinar pages, download pages; it has Overly optimizer which lets you create cool looking popups for your website. It includes integrated SEO features. 

Website: optimizepress.com

OceanWP

Another streamlined option that has the same basic approach such as GeneratePress and Astra. It has a lightweight base theme that allows for customization of any niche that you can imagine, although it’s not as lightweight as the other two mentioned. 

The same as Astra, OceanWP is also offering demo sites which are pre-built and which you can import if you don’t plan on starting from scratch.

Website: oceanwp.org

Beaver Builder

Another flexible drag and drop functioning page builder, one that works on the front end of your WordPress website. Regardless whether you’re a beginner in the IT world or an experienced professional, Beaver Builder will provide you with enough control and flexibility, as well as easy to use features and options for those that want to build a unique site of their own. 

Website: wpbeaverbuilder.com

Elementor Hello Theme

If you’re using a page builder plugin, such as Elementor, and you also want the fastest possible basis for your site, then the Elementor Hello theme could just be the right option for you. 

A mega barebones theme that gives you the necessary functionality you’ll need in order to work with your page builder, although it doesn’t include some of the more detailed customization options you’d get with another theme (since you’re supposed to use Elementor to handle that).

That being said, the Elementor Hello is not a theme you’ll use all by itself. But, as was mentioned above, if you’re already using Elementor Pro for theme building or page building, this can be a superb option that will give you the biggest performance-optimized basis possible, so it can withstand that theme building functionality.

Some Final Notes

Speed is only one element of marketing, and as long as you have one of the themes on this list, the site will run fast enough. If you want it to run as fast as humanly possible, if you’re trying to squeeze every last drop of speed out of the site, then, by all means, go with the fastest one, but keep it in mind that marketing is not just about speed. The design and the style of the site actually probably matters more than it being milliseconds faster from another theme. 

Also, keep in mind that some themes will support more customization than others (aka CSS that’s more workable than others’). And, if you’re working with a developer, some developers will be familiar with certain themes – Divi, for example, is a very, very popular theme, and they’ll probably have a lot of experience working with that theme. This means that they’re comfortable with it, they understand it, whereas if you throw them in front of a brand new theme, it might take more work to achieve the result you actually want because they’ll have to do more research. 

If you have any questions about this article, please post them in the comment section below; we’ll be happy to come back to you and elaborate, as well as provide more info on whatever you want to know on the fastest WordPress themes. Thanks for reading! 

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