A lot of WordPress users find that speed is one of the most important qualities that make a good theme. After all, if your site doesn’t load fast enough, your visitors may decide to leave instead of waiting to view your pages. So, it’s safe to conclude that every second count when it comes to your presence on the internet – it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to gain subscribers or sales.
Speed is definitely a deciding factor when it comes to forming an interactive, smooth user interface and extending an arm of professionalism to your site’s visitors. Sites that load slowly are usually perceived as badly-developed, and are basically a large neon sign saying “A bad site!” – and that’s why anyone who’s aiming to create their own site is justifiably concerned about loading speed.
The advantages of having a quickly-loading site don’t end at customer satisfaction. Google will rank faster-loading sites higher than slow ones, meaning that your loading speed is proportionally going to influence your rankings on web searches.
It’d be silly to assume that users who want to create their sites actually have the time to test every theme individually. For that reason, in this article, we’ll be listing and discussing 10 of the fastest WordPress themes you should think about using. Let’s get started.
The Acabado theme was originally created by Jim and Ricky at Income School. The main goal behind Acabado was to create a theme that has lightning-fast loading themes and is search engine optimized – all of that right out of the box.
Jim and Ricky were able to achieve scores of 100 (or very nearly 100) every single time they tested their theme on Google Pagespeed Insights. You can check out the video of the testing here. This is an incredible loading time, which adds to the amazing user experience. This also helps you get a lower bounce rate and a higher time on the page.
Because of this, Acabado is currently the world’s fastest WordPress theme!
Although anyone can use the theme, it’s best suited for people who want to start a niche site and need to get it up and running as soon as possible. The theme is designed for people creating content on a site that’s optimized for SEO, without the need for WordPress’s additional plugins that slow the site down.
A lot of people wonder about the authenticity of Acabado’s speed. Feel free to test the theme with Best Roof Box, Camper Report, Outdoor Troop, and Embora Pets. All these sites, when tested with speed tests, show the highest marks when it comes to loading speed.
When it comes to customization, Acabado lets you make different adjustments to the layout of the homepage, as well as minor adjustments to the posts. However, there isn’t a whole lot of customization available when we’re talking about Acabado – the good news is: if you’re just looking to make a niche site, then customization isn’t that important to you.
According to its creators, Acabado is built for speed. “Acabado is designed to achieve a 100 on Google’s Page Speed Insights testing tool–without resorting to AMP. Even with lots of images. Even on mobile.”
The theme has SEO features, including Schema, already loaded – you don’t have to waste time bothering yourself with that.
Acabado is also built with the intention of being visited on mobile phones. Even though 65% of web visitors are doing that on their mobile phones, nearly all themes are built with the desktop version in their mind first.
Acabado means ‘finished’ in Portuguese. The authors named it like that because it takes literally three minutes to set your site up using this theme. You’re offered a predesigned template for your website and they even added a ‘report a bug’ feature, so their support system is also great.
If you’re looking to make a niche site or if you’re converting your site to another theme, Acabado should be your top priority. At the price of $50 per year, or the $99 per century, Acabado is relatively inexpensive.
GeneratePress takes pride in being lightweight and accessible, with a focus on speed and usability. A fresh GeneratePress install adds less than 10kb to the site of the page. Completely utilizing the new block editor (Gutenberg) – you have more control over content creation.
GeneratePress is completely compatible with all page builders, including Beaver Builder and Elementor. The coding behind the theme has been independently reviewed by leaders in the WordPress community, and it uses the latest and most stable coding standards. Thanks to that code especially, as well as the tiny footprint it makes, GeneratePress ensures that you start as fast as possible.
The theme is search engine optimized; as it has Schema built-in, validated HTML, structured data, and lightning-quick loading times. This theme actually gives you a head start with search engines before you even start adding content.
A major advantage of GeneratePress has is the fact that it’s so mobile friendly. The theme’s code was developed sublimely, and the theme size is very light (as I’ve already mentioned). It loads very quickly, and it doesn’t cause any issues on mobile phones.
The theme comes with 14 modules that enable you to change the functionality of the theme. In the future, the number of features will probably be scaled up. The theme is also very developer-friendly: it has built-in options that allow you to add hooks and filters without altering the theme files that get reset after the theme is updated.
The theme is available as both free and pro versions, with the pro version coming at a yearly price of $39, or a one-time payment of $209. Unless you’re explicitly looking for extra customizations and want to tweak the CSS code, the free version should be enough for you.
This theme is slower than Acabado, but what it slightly lacks in speed is definitely compensated in the customization available.
This theme is actually one of the most popular themes on WordPress.
Ben Pines from Elementor described Astra as “Astra is a simple, fully customizable & fast theme that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all Elementor users. I love the fact that it comes with dozens of pre-built sites that were built using Elementor and that can be used to create a full website with one click.”
Astra is fairly quick, but just like GeneratePress, it lags behind Acabado. However, the customizable features on this theme are absolutely amazing. The theme is incredibly lightweight, and the developers claim that a website using Astra should load in less than half a second (with default WordPress data).
The theme integrates completely with a lot of page builders, including WPBakery Page Builder, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Elementor, Divi Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg.
A major selling point for Astra is the support it offers for page builders. A lot of WordPress themes weren’t built with modern page builders in mind, and Astra definitely has an edge over its competition in that regard.
When you activate Astra, a new settings box becomes available when you edit posts, pages, and other custom post types. This allows you to change many common page settings, for example, you can choose where the sidebar is displayed. Features such as the header, page title, featured image, and footer bar can be completely disabled from here.
Regarding design, Astra lets you customize the website design through the WordPress theme customizer. You won’t face the issue of finding modifying the theme’s design being difficult. Astra Starter Sites plugin is a feature that lets you import a number of pre-built website designs.
When it comes to pricing, Astra has three lifetime and three annual deals. Astra Pro ($174), Mini Agency Bundle ($349), and Agency Bundle ($419) are three-lifetime options, each one with its respective features. Annual options are Astra Pro ($41), Mini Agency Bundle ($118), and Agency Bundle ($149) – which clearly makes the lifetime options much more profitable.
Neve is a lightweight, yet versatile WordPress theme. This theme comes with over two hundred starter sites, which makes web design terribly easy for the users. These starter sites work straight out the box, which helps the users build the websites much faster than what it would take if there were no starter sites. Also, given that these starter sites were designed by web designers, it ensures that your site will look professional.
Regarding speed, Neve loads in less than a second – it’s just 28 kb in size, which ensures its speed. Neve sites make fewer requests and load in literal milliseconds.
Just like with Astra, Neve is compatible with a lot of page builders, as well. Gutenberg, Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, and Divi Builder are all page builders that can completely implement themselves with Neve.
If an online store is something that you’re looking to start, then Neve’s a great choice. An option called WooCommerce Booster comes with Neve, and it lets you design page layout, product card, card image, card content and site tag.
Unfortunately, Neve may be a little bit lacking in SEO. SEO doesn’t work effectively in Neve’s free version, which means that you’ll need to install a plugin for SEO.
The speed on this theme is excellent, but it can’t exactly compare to the first three themes because it’s faulty when it comes to mobile phones. Acabado is known for its compatibility with mobile phones – Neve has issues with this, so if this is extremely important, then I wouldn’t suggest installing Neve.
When it comes to pricing, Neve has a similar plan to Astra. Lifetime plans Personal (€189), Business (€299), and Agency (€499). Annual plans: Personal (€59), Business (€99), and Agency (€159).
This theme, as it may be obvious from its name, is for all intents and purposes a blogging theme. It’s flowy, and using it you’ll find that you can freely write and share anything that strikes your mind. It has an elegant and readable design, one that’s easy to interact with and makes reading easier, which is vastly important for this kind of theme.
The theme is compatible with SEO configuration and it supports the Gutenberg editor. Writee is also already customized for SEO, the speed of this theme is good, but just like with Neve, it lacks when it comes to mobile phones.
The design is built from straight lines and boxes, and the colors are primarily focused on black and white. This is because it’s important not to distract the reader from the content. If something needs special attention, the color orange is there to highlight it.
Once you’ve activated the theme, it’d be advisable to install a 1-click demo import plugin. That will help you import all the demo content to your data – you won’t need that much time to set up your theme.
The most prominent features this theme is offering are comments, Gutenberg editor, standard post format, multi-language, featured post slider, related post, social sharing, and social linking.
It’s pretty easy to customize your site with Writee. The author of the theme was generous in that regard, as you can customize your site layout, sidebar position, slider styles, typography, etc.
The theme is actually made with beginners in mind, as it has tutorials on how to customize your settings, and it’s crazy intuitive.
Writee is used by over 30 000 customers, and along with the free version – it has a paid version. That version includes much more features. The regular license of this version comes at a cost of $39.99 a year, while the developer license costs $99.99 a year.
Divi is widely regarded as the most popular WordPress theme nowadays, and it’s one of the Elegant Themes’ staple themes. The theme is multipurpose, so you can implement it into any sort of website you might want to build with WordPress.
Over the years, Divi has faced many upgrades and improvements, as it’s often been called slow. Nowadays, however, Divi has a powerful builder tool, literally hundreds of website templates, along with a ton of customizable options and settings, along with other useful features.
Divi’s most prominent features, which likely make it the most popular theme, are: a large library of high-quality templates (it has hundreds of editable templates), a powerful content editor (Divi Builder is one of the best, if not the best drag-and-drop tool for content editors), split testing content optimization tool (this tool lets you optimize your content for the highest conversion rates possible by running A/B tests), and lastly – Divi comes with additional themes and plugins (all purchases come with an extra theme and a few useful WordPress plugins – it’s so much more than just buying a single theme).
Divi fully loads in 2.2 seconds (according to WebpageTest results) – and taking into consideration all the enormous features it has (it’s easily the theme with the greatest number of high-quality features on this list), that’s actually pretty quick.
As I’ve mentioned before, Divi has faced issues with users complaining about the loading speed, but the fact is: Divi is massive (in the terms of website themes). Despite it being relatively slow, Divi compensates for that with all the features it offers. Developers at Elegant Themes have addressed this issue and have relatively frequently released updates that have ensured speed.
Divi offers two, simple pricing plans. A yearly plan of $89 per year, or a lifetime plan with a single payment of $249.
Zakra is a free WordPress theme with multiple purposes. It lets users build any template for their business, agency, or eCommerce site.
Every single one of Zakra’s designs is highly focused on cleanness and brightness, allowing an easier and more enjoyable overview. Well-spaced layouts are airy and make the site easy to view. Zakra also has prebuilt demos, made by professionals, which can all be imported as soon as you set it up.
The theme is compatible with Elementor and WooCommerce, it allows commenting and social linking and it has standard post formats from Gutenberg editor.
You can create your own templates with this theme, as it’s compatible with Elementor page builder. However, if you’re not using Elementor, Zakra has a customization tool called Customizer. That will provide you with your basic customization tools. Given that this theme is compatible with Gutenberg, you can use all the standard post blocks.
Regarding SEO, Zakra still has a lot of room for improvement. The free theme doesn’t have good search engine optimization yet, and you will have to find and install a plugin for this feature on your own.
Speed, on the other hand, is absolutely top-notch when it comes to computers, but it has issues on mobile phones. That problem is very similar to the ones I’ve listed before, and it’s something the developers need to work on. However, if you’re mainly aiming at users reaching your site from their personal computers, then this shouldn’t be an issue for you.
Zakra has a free version, yes, but the paid versions of the theme are advisable. On the annual plan, Zakra has four offers, each one with different features: Personal ($37), Personal Plus ($48), Professional ($84), and Developer ($119). Their lifetime offers follow the same pattern: Personal ($112), Personal Plus ($139), Professional ($259), and Developer ($359).
The name of this brilliant theme puts an obvious focus on customization, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks speed at all. The theme was created by PressMaximum, and it can build virtually any template for your website. The theme is also compatible with many page builders and it can upload a lot of premade demos. Customify lets you build any sort of page, regardless of purpose.
On the basic level, Customify offers three different demos. All three of them have a clean, airy vibe to them, as they allow a lot of space. They’re also very well-organized. Although the demos allow you to change the color to any color you want, the basic one implemented in the demos is grey.
You can use these demos to turn your idea of a website into reality with a few simple clicks. After waiting for a couple of minutes for it to finish installing all the necessary components, content, plugins, and options – your site is ready to go.
The theme is WooCommerce compatible, and it’s also compatible with Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, Brizy, King Composer, and other page builders. It lets you choose your post format, and it allows commenting and social linking.
This theme is already optimized, so you shouldn’t worry about SEO. It’s also rather quick, as the page loads in a second and a half.
Customify is simple enough to create and embed social media posts.
The pricing for Customify is pretty simple, three payment plans, all on a yearly basis. $59 a year for the basic plan, called Personal Bundle, $89 a year for the Business Bundle, and $129 a year for the Agency Bundle.
9. X Theme
The X Theme is attractive primarily because of its sleek design. The drag-and-drop design it utilizes is very simple to use even without any coding experience. This theme is billed as ‘the last WordPress theme you’ll ever have to buy’ – and this is mostly for the amount of design it has inside one simple package.
These unique designs are called ‘stacks’ and the current package has four stacks (Icon, Renew, Integrity, Ethos), with more planned to be added in the future. The theme has a powerful option of customization which ensures that no two installations of the same theme will ever look the same.
The current version of this theme is version no. 4 – and it includes a purpose-built front-end page builder tool, donning the name Cornerstone. This tool gives you even more control over your website’s outlook.
Similar to Divi, this theme is so ideally popular because it offers so many different designs within a single theme. Another feature that makes this theme so attractive to users is just how you customize the site with it. A lot of themes come with their own options page that isn’t native to WordPress, which in return causes a lot of issues with customization. X Theme comes with a built-in customizer, which is a tool that eliminates that issue.
Customizer lets you change the: stack, header placement, menu placement, sidebar position, boxed or full width, colors, fonts, buttons, background, and logos.
This page takes just over a second to fully load, meaning that it’s fairly quick (despite all of its content).
The price is probably the best part of this theme, as it’s insanely cheap, and to quote the creators “We don’t think exceptional code and world-class support should cost you an arm and a leg.”
X Theme comes at a low cost of just $29.
To finalize the list, I decided to go with Yosemite. By far the best minimal WordPress blog theme from GretaThemes. This particular theme is very popular with travel bloggers and lifestyle bloggers. And, although it may be considered pretty minimalistic in design, it’s incredibly lightweight – which ensures speed.
This theme comes ready for SEO, so you won’t need to install any additional features to rank higher. Due to what some would call ‘lack of design’ – the theme is super lightweight. It loads incredibly quickly and doesn’t have any issues with loading on mobile devices.
The theme is very easy to use, as well as set up. However, it doesn’t have any prepared demos or templates, which means that you’ll have to design your sidebar, menu, title, and some other things (which is, albeit, not that difficult).
The theme allows you to import a sticky menu, sticky sidebar, it utilizes the Gutenberg editor, and it allows commenting and social linking.
The customization tools are minimized, so even beginner users don’t have to spend too much time worrying about that. Everything, even the most basic things, are customizable to an extent
You can get this theme at GretaThemes for $49 a year for the Single Theme or $89 a year (for the Premium Bundle) – or you can go for the $99 Lifetime Bundle.
Here are some other themes that have tested fairly quickly, and it’d be a shame not to include them on this list.
Bimber – a theme ideal for online magazines
MoneyFlow – best suited for bloggers looking to make a living off blogging
SociallyViral – another quick, magazine-styled theme
Schema – a theme with a sleek, clean look
Newspaper – a theme with 90 ready-to-use designs