The Top 5 Fastest WordPress Themes in 2019

The Top 5 Fastest WordPress Themes in 2019

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.

The Contenders

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.

https://gtmetrix.com/

https://tools.pingdom.com/

https://developers.google.com/pagespeed/

Test Environment

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.

The Results

Click here to view this table in Google Sheets.

Avada Genesis GeneratePress Divi WordPress 2019
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
GTMetrix Score 94 94 94 94 94
Pingdom Grade 78 81 80 80 80
Average Score 83.33 90.00 88.67 83.33 89.33
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
Pingdom Requests 34 22 26 27 23
Average Requests 30.5 22 26 27 23

The Winner

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.

Wordpress fastest theme 2019

Wordpress Pingdom Speed Test

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.

Speed Test Generate Press

Generate Press - Pingdom

Generate Press - GTMetrix Speed Test

 

Third PlaceThe 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.

Genesis - Google

Genesis WP Theme - Pingdom

Genesis - GTMetrix

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.

Avada WP Theme - Google

Avada - Pingdom

Avada - GTMetrix

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.

Divi WP - Google

Divi - Pingdom

Divi - GTMetrix

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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