When choosing a WordPress theme for any current/ upcoming WordPress website, there are many aspects which a user looks for. One common and most important aspect is Speed. Nobody likes slow loading websites. A website which loads slow and performs slow leads to a poor user experience. Visitors may not be willing to visit your website again simply because it takes too much time to load.
This week, we went ahead and tested 50+ WordPress themes to determine which one is the fastest loading without compromising on features. We excluded minimal themes which were not feature rich and tested only those which have most commonly used features like content with sidebar, social sharing, custom pages, custom widgets, full-fledged header, search, custom posts, recent comments, recent posts etc. Our tests were mainly conducted using 2 tools available online.
A) Google PageSpeed Insights
Page Speed Insights measures the performance of a page for mobile devices and desktop devices. It fetches the URL twice, once with a mobile user-agent, and once with a desktop-user agent. The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. A higher score is better and a score of 85 or above indicates that the page is performing well.
B) Pingdom Tools Full Page Test
To find out more how plugins and themes affects WordPress and website performance make sure to check this article.
Update (1): While these themes are great and will help you to achieve high Google’s PageSpeed score they are enough to make our website fast. You can do as many optimizations as you want for your website but if your hosting sucks then other optimizations and worthless. Fore more information which WordPress hosting is the best you can read this detailed guide.
Based on the combined average scores, we have shortlisted 15 of the fastest loading WordPress themes down below (in no particular order):
GoodLife is a beautiful and amazingly creative, youthful and fresh, bold and colorful, wonderfully readable and very dynamic and interactive, smooth and sleek, polished and pristine, highly well-structured technologically cutting edge and top of the line, modern and engaging, easy to use and responsive WordPress magazine multipurpose website theme. GoodLife is a very fresh-faced and highly innovative and charming WordPress theme, constructed with painstaking care and the utmost attention to detail by a dedicated team of professional developers in order to craft the most amazing websites in the magazine archetype.
Theme comes with the most advanced and polished features integrated right out of the box for optimized content legibility and readability, deft and dexterous handling of all media formats across tons of post styles and types and many smoothly animated, interactive and immersive capabilities to make your audience feel right at home from day one. GoodLife has been coded on a powerful HTML5 framework styled through dynamic CSS3 scripting and orchestrated around a modular Bootstrap design, making GoodLife websites inherently mobile friendly, superbly responsive and impressively fast-loading, so that your websites are easy on the servers and lightning-fast. Try GoodLife today if you want a streamlined and easygoing solution for all your online magazine website needs.
Soledad is a powerful and impressive, professionally graphically composed and extensively designed, modern and avant-garde, amazingly creative and imaginative, easy to use and very simple and user friendly, uncomplicated and efficiently coded, lightning fast and super lightweight responsive WordPress multiconcept blog and magazine website theme. Soledad is a deliberately developed theme, constructed specifically as an all-encompassing solution for webmasters looking to establish an online magazine or blog website that is both modern and light.
With plentiful styling and visual choices at your disposal that alter the essential behavior of your Soledad website without you ever having to write a single line of code yourself, owing to Soledad’s powerful WordPress Live Customizer, expanded and enhanced with over 250 custom options you can fiddle with, and added to over 100 blog and slider combinations and over 250 conceptually unique homepage demo websites, included for your convenience. Every aspect of Soledad has been completely optimized for speed, making Soledad websites particularly easy on the server loads, spectacularly fast loading and very friendly to users with slower connections common across regions of the world. Soledad makes sure no one is left out in the rain of slow-loading websites. Don’t waste more time, get your Soledad website today!
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 87 Pingdom Tools score: 94
SEO WP theme is a modern and fast loading theme carefully crafted for Digital Marketing Agencies, SEO companies and their clients. This theme is feature-packed, flexible and very powerful. This theme includes features and options that will empower both novice and professional developer to build a striking and efficient website in no time. This theme is not only 100% responsive but it also gives you the capability to control any element presentation on tablets and mobile devices. Every aspect of this theme looks crisp, sharp and pixel-perfect even on devices with Retina displays because SEO WP theme retina ready and comes with Scalable Vector Graphics file format support. This theme comes with full width and boxed page layouts with advanced background options. In addition, it offers unlimited header styles, different footer layouts via drag & drop footer builder, infinite color options, advanced typography settings, 20+ custom widgets, unlimited sidebars and many more.
No need to build pages in the dark because SEO WP is powered by Live Composer, an advanced and powerful drag & drop page builder on the market. This incredible functionality allows you to construct and edit custom pages with unlimited layout combinations right there in the front-end of your website, with instant view on every single alteration you make. It comes with an amazing mega menu plugin that allows you to create responsive dropdown menus that will surely increase user engagement in your website and improve user experience. The theme also includes an off-canvas mobile menu so site visitors using handheld devices could also have an excellent user experience.
SEO WP make the most of the WordPress Theme Customizer. This Live theme Customizer allows you to customize, alter and transform using live preview for monitoring the changes you have made in your theme. It’s comprehensively intuitive and lightning fast. This theme also includes other premium WordPress theme plugins such as Master Slider, Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress, NEX-Forms, Rankie, Simplified Google Maps (SGM), Fresh Favicon and WordPress Menus Management. This SEO theme is fully optimized for speed and yields high scores in GTMetrix and Pingdom tests.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 89 Pingdom Tools score: 93
Newsmag is a clean and polished WordPress theme designed to let you write and publish your articles and blog posts on the internet with ease. This versatile news magazine theme is powered by WordPress Booster framework, which is very clean and fast. This theme is perfect for news, newspaper, magazine, publishing or review site. It has a spotless and crisp design with some lively highlight colors and plenty of white space to put greater emphasis to your content. This theme comes available with six unique stacks (default, fashion, tech, video, sport and classic blog), which are very easy to install and customize to suit your needs. This theme is bundled with Visual Composer, the most powerful drag and drop page builder available in the market that allows you to create unlimited pages without difficulty. This advanced page builder allows you to mix and match the 20 content blocks and the 3 page templates included in this theme to craft a fine page layout for your magazine, blog and business website. Newsmag comes with 22 custom widgets, 17 widgets for content and 5 are for general UI. The custom content widgets display posts in different styles and support custom colors, advanced filters (by tag, category, author, post type), ajax pagination, ajax filtering and infinite load.
Newsmag also includes a user-friendly admin panel that enables to change certain elements of your theme such as the color scheme, background image, header and so forth. It has a unique article system that ensures that a particular article will not appear twice on the homepage of your website. It is fully integrated with TinyMCE WYSIWYG, a WordPress editor that gives you a preview of the alterations you have made in your theme. It has an iOS slider to showcase your content in a fashionable way. It features a custom built drag and drop gallery that adds value to your articles. This gallery can be presented in different aspect ratio and gives you the capability to add description and copyright information to each image you display in your website. News also includes other valuable theme features such as custom made lightbox, powerful shortcodes, Live Search with Ajax, smart sidebar, Youtube/ Vimeo video playlist, an advanced sticky menu, intelligent ad system, social counter and many more. This theme also provides support for WooCommerce, TypeKit, Google Fonts, font stacks and WOFF font files.
H-Code is a flexible and versatile, graphically polished and very professional, tech-savvy and wonderfully responsive WordPress single page and multipage multipurpose website theme. H-Code is a stylish and functional website building toolkit, a sophisticated set of potent plugins, plentiful templates and demo websites and impressively thoughtful configuration options and styles. H-Code is packed with over 58 unique demo websites as well as 197 template pages that cover pretty much any possible need you may have while building a modern website.
H-Code’s deft handling of beautiful visual content through 40 different portfolio page templates that truly showcase your high resolution imagery in the most amazing presentation possible. H-Code includes 16 different layouts for your blog pages, each with a slew of customizable elements and options to present your readers with your textual and visual content in whichever fashion best fits your magazine’s tone and style. The Revolution Slider brings your pages alive with engaging slideshows of your featured posts, latest images or a number of other selections for you to engage and amaze your viewers while bringing more exposure to your content. H-Code is incredibly lightweight and amazingly responsive, making for a powerfully cross-compatible theme that quickly adapts itself to all screen sizes and devices. Try H-Code now!
Onfleek is a competent and capable, creative and charming, crafty and clever, completely responsive WordPress AMP magazine website theme. Onfleek is a fresh-faced and entirely modern solution for webmasters from all backgrounds and walks of life to effortlessly craft the most amazing, polished and professional online magazines on the market today, in a matter of minutes. Onfleek is packaged with a series of professionally graphically designed template pages and whole demo websites for you to get started off on the right foot, quickly customizing your website’s look and feel to suit your specs with the premium Visual Composer, Slider Revolution, and advanced theme admin settings, which work in unison to essentially turn your website inside out at your leisure, from fonts to animations and much more.
Onfleek is perfect for online fashion magazines, as its modern, stylish feel combines fantastically with its cutting edge social media integration, extensively featured throughout this youthful, vibrant, and connected theme. Plentiful customized sharing buttons and social media feed widgets are available within Onfleek, allowing your users to stay up to date on the latest trending topics across all your social media outlets. Impressive AMP tech makes mobile friendliness unmatched for this powerful, slender theme. Try Onfleek today!
Braxton – Premium WordPress Magazine Theme
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 91 Pingdom Tools score: 93
Braxton WordPress Magazine theme has been awarded as the *Top 10 Best Paid WordPress Themes in 2013 by FORBES*. Since the day it was launched on 17th October, 2013 it has been regularly updated. It is a 2-column magazine theme compatible with WooCommerce and bbPress. This Retina Ready theme features a responsive layout, 4 different ad units, Featured Slider on each category page.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 90 Pingdom Tools score: 92
If you run are running a WordPress marketplace website or planning to launch a similar service where people can post their requests and others fulfill them, and while they do so – you profit on each and every transaction. It is a perfect marketplace theme to start monetizing your website. If you’ve been to marketplaces which provide logo design services, website design and re-design services, branding and identity design services, and you’re also willing to start a similar website, then this should be your theme of choice as this theme allows you to implement flexible and powerful pricing plans, you can generate income by charging each seller a fixed price for listing their services or take a percentage of every transaction.
Nexus Magazine Theme
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 86 Pingdom Tools score: 92
Nexus is a blazing fast Magazine Theme from ElegantThemes. Despite it’s feature rich design, it does not compromise on performance. Content is neatly organized, and presented in a clean, structured way. Nexus features the most popular ePanel from ElegantThemes which gives you the opportunity to access and manage multiple ad-ready areas, unlimited colors, adding your logo, social media and more. Nexus is fully responsive, features easy-to-use shortcodes and built in page templates that can by applied to create individual pages, galleries, contact page, site maps, blog feeds and much more. The home page and posts page look neatly organized and easy to navigate.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 93 Pingdom Tools score: 95
Schema is the Fastest loading SEO friendly WordPress theme till date from MyThemeShop. It features custom options panel, shortcodes, widgets, and a pixel perfect design, Schema also includes rich snippets in order to help search engines your site and rank you higher. Schema is 100% responsive, it has built in ad management and review system. It supports custom CSS and has a secure and lightweight code. Being translation ready means you can use it in any language by just adding a translation file. It also comes with 3 different layouts for Related Posts, ready-to-use icon fonts, Google Fonts and social media sharing functionality. On top of that, you get excellent support from their support forum.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 68 Pingdom Tools score: 92
Genesis Framework is one of the most popular frameworks available today to WordPress community. Developed by StudioPress with security in mind, Genesis Framework is suitable for every level of WordPress websites – whether you’re new to Genesis Framework or an advanced developer, with it’s search engine optimized foundation, you can take your website to the new level. Genesis Framework is the choice of most of the people as it does not compromise on features. It includes 1/2/3 column layouts, left/ right sidebar, custom backgrounds, custom header and custom menu. It has beautiful mobile responsive design and blazing fast performance.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 92 Pingdom Tools score: 71
If you’re an App Designer or you showcase the portfolio on your website, then this theme will fit your needs as AppTheme is a portfolio theme built to help you showcase your work. With ability to showcase a single app, a portfolio of projects, services and testimonials, AppTheme is highly customizable. It is fully responsive, highly customizable – with unlimited color schemes, unlimited backgrounds, 600+ Google Fonts, Parallax scrolling effects and more. It is translation ready, has an ability to showcase a demo video on front page, customer reviews, app screenshots and features a unique blog layout as well.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 92 Pingdom Tools score: 91
Best is yet another wonderful WordPress theme from MyThemeShop. Best is a responsive WordPress theme that features fully fluid responsive design, it loads incredibly fast, it is highly customizable and optimized for search engines. It also includes a great review system and MegaMenu! Best also features advertising and it has been optimized for advertisers. Other theme features include Google AdSense optimization, Google Web Fonts, Fast Loading AJAX, SEO-friendly rich snippets, Retina Ready icons, Unlimited colors, backgrounds and sidebars. It has been tested to work on all the leading browsers. Other features include support for child theme, AJAX powered search, touch-enabled slider, breadcrumbs and an Author Box. Demo content is included in the theme.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 87 Pingdom Tools score: 82
Divi is the most powerful theme ever built by ElegantThemes. It features 18 pre-made completely customizable layouts to get started. Divi includes Divi Builder which lets you create unique layouts quickly without editing the code. Best feature of the Divi theme is that your website will be fully responsive no matter how you choose to create it with Divi Builder, with lots of pre-made modules like Call To Action, Sliders, Pricing Tables, Blurbs, Contact Forms, Sidebars – Divi will change the way you create your website. Divi includes different header styles, unlimited colors and blog/ portfolio options. Think of a feature, and it’s there. If you are not convinced yet, make sure to read our full Divi theme review.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 82 Pingdom Tools score: 80
Event Manager theme is a clean and easy-to-use responsive event management theme. It lets you manage the speakers and schedules very easily. and it’s Call-To-Action button has been placed in such a way that it makes the people click and register for an Event. Social media and Eventbrite integration have already been done in the Theme. If you use Eventbrite to manage registration, all the ticket options will be accessible directly from your website. Best part of the licensing is that a one off payment allows you to use the theme on unlimited websites.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 87 Pingdom Tools score: 96
Rosa is an incredibly fast loading Restaurant WordPress theme which features high performance Parallax scrolling (60 fps), OpenTable reservations, beautifully designed meals menu and more. You just need your OpenTable restaurant ID and you can implement the reservation system online! It features a live customizer which lets you change the fonts, colors, and layout and preview the changes before saving them. It is SEO-friendly, Translation Ready and features Shortcodes and Google Fonts. On top of that, you get all PSDs included in download.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 84 Pingdom Tools score: 93
PinThis is a beautiful and fast loading WordPress theme which features Pinterest style design. It’s a masonry based theme which features a clean design in beautiful flat style. PinThis is suitable for people ho like their website’s appearance to be inspired of Pinterest. It’s a perfect theme for Portfolios, designers, photographers and creative individuals. It features responsive slider, responsive layout, 4 pre-defined lovely color skins, RTL support and you can even add your Google AdSense ads. It supports custom post formats, custom 404 page, Contact Form 7 styling options, custom widgets and powerful Admin Panel.
X – The Theme
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 78 Pingdom Tools score: 96
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 86 Pingdom Tools score: 87
HireBee is another great freelance marketplace theme by AppThemes. Sites like Elance, Freelancer, oDesk, and 99designs and perfect examples of this type of WordPress theme. It lets employers post projects and freelancers can start the bidding for each project. You get the profit on each type of project. HireBee features Credit Plans, Terms Negotiation, User Dashboard and much more…
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 85 Pingdom Tools score: 94
Diamond is an awesome multi-purpose WooCommerce and Directory WordPress theme for small business owners which includes multiple home page layouts. Diamond is backed by the powerful and advanced ZOOM Framework and features a Directory Module and Parallax Slider. Diamond also features the 3-column layout and easy to use Theme Options panel. If you’re looking for an eCommerce or business theme which does not compromise of performance, then this should be your theme of choice.
Google PageSpeed Insights score: 86 Pingdom Tools score: 89
Stockholm is a minimalistic and multi-concept theme that you can use for any types of blogs or website. This theme is built Swedish design in mind and a great attention to details. White spaces and stunning fonts are the primary assets of Stockholm. Stockholm comes with a masonry layout that gives your website a Pinterest or sophisticated Metro look. It comes available with 20 unique demos that you can quickly install into your theme. If you can’t find the perfect page layout among the 20 demos included in this theme, you can mix and match all demos to get the layout design that suits your web design requirements. Further, this theme comes with 6 header styles, bunch of font options, 2 Icon sets to choose from and other styling options that enable you to set your brand apart from your competitors. This theme also has a very intuitive admin panel that will absolutely take your theme to the next level and give you a full control of your website design.
Build as many page layouts as you want using the Visual Composer. This drags and drop functionality makes building and arranging the pages or modules in your theme a child’s play. You can choose between exclusive Select slider and Layer slider if you want to add splendid and engaging slides in your pages or posts. This theme also features a fully responsive Video Slider that you can use for boosting the user engagement in your website. Animated page transitions are also included in this theme for added visual effects. If ostentatious page animations are not your cup of tea, you also have an option to turn them off for a more classic design. Stockholm is fully integrated with WooCommerce theme to help you easily set up an online store within your website and sell products online. It also offers multi-language support and fully optimized for SEO.