Are you looking for the fastest WordPress theme in 2019? So was I.
That’s why I bought and tested some of the most popular WordPress themes on my own blog to see which one was truly the fastest.
Why does speed matter?
According to KissMetrics, almost half of all web users want to see a site load in 2 seconds or less.
A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Speed is the name of the game, especially with the web mostly on mobile. So I set out to find the fastest WordPress theme that could deliver speedy results to my readers.
Side note: I only tested some of the most popular best-selling themes on WordPress that I was aware of. If you have recommendations for others that you think or know are faster, drop a comment below. I would love to test them out.
Disclaimer: Some of the theme links below have affiliate links that will pay me something small if you buy them. I did not pick these themes because of this reason. These were the fastest I found, purchased myself, and believe are worth recommending. In fact, most have free options.
WordPress 2019 Default Theme – (version 1.1) Free Theme
Avada Theme – (version 5.3.1) Premium Theme
Genesis Theme – (version 2.7.3) Premium Theme
Generate Press – (version 2.2.1) Free + Paid Option
Divi Theme – (version 3.19.4) Premium Theme
The Testing Tools
These are the tools I used to measure site speed.
These were all tested on my own site which is hosted on Siteground. Every host has its own speeds, but for consistency, I tested on only one.
|Google Speed (First Contentful Paint)||1.9s||1.6s||1.7ss||2.6s||1.6s|
|GT Metrix Load Time||1.8s||1.6s||1.9s||1.5s||1.7s|
|Pingdom Load Time||1.11s||1.31s||0.46s||0.805s||0.526s|
|Average Load Time||1.60s||1.50s||1.35s||1.64s||1.28s|
|Google Speed Score||78||95||92||76||94|
|GT Metrix Page Size||502kb||218kb||250kb||502kb||230kb|
|Pingdom Page Size||510.4kb||215.8kb||247.4kb||508.2kb||229.6kb|
|Average Page Size||506.2kb||216.9kb||248.7kb||505.1kb||229.8kb|
|GT Metrix Requests||27||22||26||27||23|
First Place – Overall it was a close race, and surprisingly the default free WordPress 2019 theme had the fastest average score. The only issue I had with this theme is that it lacks a lot of customization features. So if you’re looking for more customization you may want to go with one of the other more customizable themes.
Second Place – Generate Press was the second fastest theme and is the one I chose to go with. It’s simple for my needs but has great customization options also.
Third Place – The Genesis theme framework came in third place. This was the default theme framework, and I did not test using the different child themes they have. Keep in mind, every child theme is different and will have different results.
Fourth Place – While still fast, the Avada WordPress Theme came in fourth place. Avada is a great theme with tons of features. Just watch out for all the extra plugins and add-ons that can slow it down. If you go with Avada, make sure to test your site as you add more of the plugins it includes.
Fifth Place – The Divi WordPress theme came in 5th place, but still was fast overall. Divi is another one to be careful with as adding a lot of the customizations can start to slow it down. Divi is still a top choice of mine and I use it for various projects that need lots of customizations without being too slow.
Making Your Site Even Faster
Overall, all the themes mentioned above are fast. All averaged under the 2 second time goal.
This was also with a very simple home page with very little images, so keep that in mind. Once you start customizing your sites, adding images, and content it will increase the load time.
To keep your site fast, run them through the speed tools mentioned above to optimize. Don’t stress too much about the Google page score since it’s been notorious for not being too helpful. Instead, worry about your actual site speed shown on Pingdom and GTMetrix.
I also highly recommend using WP Rocket to speed up your site. They have created an amazing tool that speeds up sites with little effort if you’re not very technical.
You can also use the plugin W3 Total Cache if you prefer a free option. This one just requires a bit more technical know-how, but the guys over at GTMetrix created this great optimization tutorial to make it easier.
Overall, these top 5 themes are all fast, and you can’t go wrong picking either one.
I hope this was helpful to you, and if you find better options I didn’t mention here, drop them in the comments below.