If your site doesn’t load fast enough, your visitors may decide to leave instead of waiting to see your pages. Whether your goal is to gain followers or sales, every second counts. Using one of the fastest WordPress themes could boost your efforts.

Speed is a deciding factor in creating a smooth user experience and can have a huge impact on your conversions. A fast loading website is also a must if you want to rank well on Google. Fortunately, there are many lightweight WordPress themes that can help you achieve your goals.

In this roundup, we will introduce you to ten of the fastest WordPress themes. We test each of them ourselves using the same hosting provider and a standard set of demo content. All of them have high quality code and are suitable for any niche. Let’s go!

Ten fastest WordPress themes (tested and compared)

If you’re interested in how we test each theme, we’ll walk you through the methodology at the end of this article. As for the choice of themes themselves, we used personal experience and popularity as a starting point, and then we removed the themes that weren’t performing well enough to make a list.

Finally, this is a short caption of the meaning of the abbreviations in the results that we will share for each topic:

  • PSI = PageSpeed Insights mobile test
  • GT = GTmetrix desktop test
  • WPT = WebPageTest Desktop Test.


We include relevant metrics such as increased content paint and cumulative design changes, two of the fundamental metrics of Web Vitals.

You can get an overview of the speed and performance results in the overview table. Check out the full list to see all the metrics we’ve tested!

Theme PSI Mobile Score PSI LCP Page Size
(WPT)
HTTP Requests
(WPT)
GeneratePress 100% 1.2 s 26 KB 7
Astra 100% 1.4 s 44 KB 9
EcoCoded 93% 2.6 s 118 KB 15
Neve 100% 1.2 s 32 KB 8
Zakra 99% 1.7 s 40 KB 12
Sydney 96% 2.4 s 88 KB 10
Kadence 100% 1.4 s 40 KB 10
Arke 100% 1.2 s 20 KB 6
Blocksy 99% 1.6 s 86 KB 10
Page Builder Framework 97% 2.1 s 69 KB 12
Hello 100% 1.3 s 20 KB 7
OceanWP 88% 2.9 s 166 KB 18
BuddyX 82% 3.1 s 230 KB 34

1. GeneratePress

GeneratePress prides itself on being lightweight and accessible. Its high encryption standards keep it stable and secure. It also supports Search Engine Optimization (SEO), giving you a head start in improving your Google rankings before you even add your content.

This theme also comes with advanced customization options. You will be able to modify all the design elements, install demo sites, etc. It is also compatible with Elementor, which will allow you to modify the desktop and mobile versions of your website.

  • Speed Rating (PSI): 1.9s
  • Paint at highest content (PSI): 1.2 s
  • Highest Content Paint (GT): 0.47s
  • Cumulative Design Change (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 26 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 7
  • Performance Index (GT): 100%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 100%

2. Astra

Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes. It is optimized for performance by removing dependencies on jQuery, which often cause lags. It also allows you to choose individual modules to include on your site so that you can edit your content more efficiently.

This theme comes with a real-time customizer so you can see your creation unfold before your eyes. It is integrated with popular page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder. It also comes with a huge demo library and lots of customizable elements, including header design options.

  • Speed ​​Rating (PSI): 2.1 s
  • Highest paint content (PSI): 1.4 s
  • Highest grade paint (GT): 0.5
  • Cumulative design displacement (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 44 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 9
  • Performance Index (GT): 100%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 100%

3. EcoCoded

EcoCoded is a newer WordPress theme that aims to make your website environmentally friendly by reducing the resources required to run it.

Most of these optimizations are about making your site lighter, which is also the same kind of tweaking you need to build a fast WordPress theme.

All in all, this is a solid option if you want to build a clean and minimal website.

  • Speed Rating (PSI): 3.3 s
  • Highest Content Paint (PSI): 2.6 sec
  • Highest grade paint (GT): 0.8 s
  • Cumulative design displacement (PSI): 0.045
  • Size (WPT): 118 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 15
  • Performance Index (GT): 99%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 93%

4. Neve

Our modern theme is incredibly fast and easy on your server resources. Neve is also mobile-friendly, which gives you that extra SEO boost. Best of all, you can start customizing it almost immediately without digging into your code by installing one of its pre-built designs.

Neve is compatible with all popular page builders. You can easily customize various elements of your website and see changes in real time as you edit. Overall, this theme is super flexible and easy to use, making it a perfect solution for beginners or advanced users who want to work more efficiently.

  • Speed ​​Rating (PSI): 2.0 s
  • Paint at highest content (PSI): 1.2 s
  • Highest grade paint (GT): 0.7 s
  • Cumulative design displacement (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 32 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 8
  • Performance Index (GT): 99%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 100%

5. Zakra

Zakra is a multipurpose theme very suitable for online stores. It is optimized for speed, thus maximizing your chances of conversions. It’s also fully responsive and AMP ready so your website will look its best on any device.

The developer offers various demos for this theme, including various ecommerce startup sites. It integrates well with Elementor so that you can fully customize your content as well. Additionally, Zakra works seamlessly with WooCommerce and is SEO optimized, making it a great option for online retailers.

  • Speed rating (PSI): 2.5 s
  • Highest Content Paint (PSI): 1.7 s
  • Highest Quality Paint (GT): 0.7s
  • Cumulative design displacement (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 40 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 12
  • Performance Index (GT): 99%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 99%

6. Sydney

Sydney is a popular multipurpose theme that just got a big facelift in its latest version. Although it has never been a slow topic, new performance improvements make it much lighter and also improve the code base, such as removing all dependencies from jQuery.

Like many of the other themes on this list, Sydney pairs particularly well with Elementor and includes a number of pre-built Elementor-based demo sites.

  • Speed Rating (PSI): 2.7 s
  • Highest Content Paint (PSI): 2.4 s
  • Highest quality paint (GT): 0.8 s
  • Cumulative Design Displacement (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 88 KB
  • HTTP requests (WPT): 10
  • Performance Index (GT): 99%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 96%

7. Kadence

Kadence is a newer WordPress theme that has generated a lot of interest. It fits the same mold as Astra and Blocksy (a later entrant on this list) as it is a highly customizable theme that you can use for literally any niche.

One of Kadence’s strengths is its many options in the WordPress Customizer, even in the free version on WordPress.org.

  • Speed Index (PSI): 2.1 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (PSI): 1.4 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (GT): 0.47 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 40 KB
  • HTTP Requests (WPT): 10
  • Performance Score (GT): 100%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 100%

8. Blocksy

Blocksy is another brilliant multipurpose theme. You can easily design your pages with its drag and drop feature. It is also compatible with popular page builders like Elementor. You can also customize the individual features of your website with many color and design options.

Blocksy integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, making it a great theme for online stores. It is also SEO friendly and very responsive, which should have a positive impact on your conversions.

  • Speed Index (PSI): 2.1 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (PSI): 1.6 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (GT): 0.7 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 86 KB
  • HTTP Requests (WPT): 10
  • Performance Score (GT): 99%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 99%

9. Hello

Hello is kind of a bonus because it is not a complete theme like the other options on this list. Instead, it’s the lightest possible foundation to use with Elementor (or another page builder if you prefer).

In terms of raw performance, Hello is the fastest free WordPress theme. However, you should note that this is not a full-featured WordPress theme like any other. That is, you can’t use it alone, you have to pair it with a page builder.

However, if you are using a page builder or theme builder, it should definitely be one of your best options.

  • Speed Index (PSI): 1.9 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (PSI): 1.3 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (GT): 0.5 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 20 KB
  • HTTP Requests (WPT): 7
  • Performance Score (GT): 100%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 100%

10. OceanWP

I’m not repeating myself here, but OceanWP is another option optimized with the same basic approach as GeneratePress and Astra. It’s a lightweight basic theme that you can customize for any niche imaginable.

Like Astra, OceanWP also offers free pre-built demo sites that you can import if you don’t want to start from scratch.

Overall, OceanWP isn’t as light as some of the other themes on this list, but it’s still well optimized and the upside is that you get a ton of features and customization options for any niche. It is especially strong for WooCommerce stores.

  • Speed Index (PSI): 4.0 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (PSI): 2.9 s
  • Largest Contentful Paint (GT): 0.6 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (PSI): 0
  • Size (WPT): 166 KB
  • HTTP Requests (WPT): 18
  • Performance Score (GT): 100%
  • Performance Score (PSI): 88%

Conclusion

All of these free WordPress themes load quickly, so there should be no questions about the performance of each theme. Instead, let’s talk about the best options from a design and usability perspective.

If you want a versatile theme that you can use for absolutely anything, GeneratePress, Astra, and OceanWP are three of the most popular options, and you’ll probably be happy with one of them. Of the three, GeneratePress and Astra are the fastest, although OceanWP is still quite optimized.

Beyond that, Zakra and Neve also give you a lot of flexibility and come with pre-built demo sites. Kadence and Blocksy are also newcomers to the roster who have garnered a lot of attention due to their performance and customization. And the Sydney remake is also one of the fastest themes out there.

On the other hand, if you are planning to use Elementor to design your site, you will definitely want to use the Hello theme because it is the lightest base possible … largely because it does literally no functionality of its own.

Finally, whatever theme you choose, WP Rocket is the easiest way to blow your website up. And if you are wondering which is the best caching plugin for WordPress, you will probably find some useful information on our dedicated page.

Have questions about the fastest free WordPress themes or how we test them? Ask in the comments!

What is the easiest theme in WordPress?

Divi – Easiest WordPress Theme to Customize for Beginners

Divi is one of the most powerful and fantastic WordPress page builder. It offers hundreds of layouts with content importer just a click away. It also includes templates for page building in different business niche.

What is Astra child theme?



A child theme is the exact replica of the parent theme that en-queues all functionalities and styles from the parent theme. The main use of the child theme is to allow customization in the theme files. Any changes you make on the theme files directly will be erased when you update the theme.

What is the fastest WordPress builder?

Fastest WebPagetest Fully Loaded Time: SiteOrigin Page Builder with 578 ms. Lowest WebPagetest Speed Index: SiteOrigin Page Builder at 500. Fewest Database Queries: Divi Builder with 8. Lowest Database Query Time: Divi Builder at 0.0039 s.

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