lightweight wordpress theme

There are some important factors that you should consider when looking for the fastest loading WordPress theme. First, you need to understand the importance of having a fast website.

Data asserts that 50% of internet users will leave a website that takes over 6 seconds to load! Apart from enhancing the user experience, and thus conversions, page speed is a massive ranking factor for search engines. This has been the case for desktops since 2010 and 2018 for mobile browsing.

Websites usually start to slow down as you start to install addons; similarly, themes with more features are often slower. Unfortunately, you need many features to get the best out of your website.

However, as with most problems, there is a solution to this – there are some WordPress themes that have high customizability and myriads of features. Getting the best option for your website makes it reliable, secure, and – of course – fast.

What Features and Qualities to Look for in the Fastest WordPress Theme

Here is what you should be on the lookout for when trying to get the fastest loading WordPress theme:

  • Speed – We’ve already touched on the importance of a fast website. You want a fast theme because search engines like Google favor fast websites and pages. When page speed decreases by a second, bounce rates have been shown to increase by 40% to 50%.
  • Niche – Having a theme that suits your niche is great for your SEO. Alternatively, you can go with a multipurpose theme and work later with SEO enhancing plugins, such as Yoast SEO.
  • Flexible Customization Features – Themes that give you more customization options enable you to brand and personalize your site. You will need a flexible theme for the future changes that your site may be forced to undergo. For instance, having a child theme will help you retain all changes to your theme even with updates.
  • Page Builder Compatibility – Page builders make it easy to customize websites without having to deal with coding. Even without knowing anything about PHP, CSS, and HTML, you can create and launch a website quickly. If your theme is compatible with the best page builders, it takes you a step closer to creating your dream site.
  • Plugin Compatibility – Adding plugins, such as Yoast SEO and Contact Form 7 gives your site more functions and higher chances of getting conversions. Your theme of choice should be compatible with all the plugins that you intend to use.
  • Support – Having great support is vital because you may not always know how to do everything you want to with a plugin. You can then ask the theme’s developers for help with whichever issues you may be having. Getting yourself a premium theme should come with premium dependable support. The best them will give you one-on-one live chat support.
  • Regular Updates – A theme that has regular updates shows that its developers keep trying to improve it. Themes need bug fixes and feature improvements and you don’t want your site to be left behind.

Astra

Astra - lightweight wordpress theme

Astra is a gorgeous, fully customizable, and incredibly fast WordPress theme that suits blogs, personal portfolios, and eCommerce websites. Developed and maintained by the Brainstorm Force, this lightweight WordPress theme has garnered over 5,000 5-star ratings and is used on over a million websites.

Astra works with any page builder that you want to work with, from Gutenberg and SiteOrigin to Beaver Builder and Elementor. In this theme, you still get the plugin compatibility that you want in a theme. The WordPress customizer allows you to see real-time previews of your edits.

Custom options include colors, typography, footers, headers, archives, blogs, menus, and widgets. Astra is translation ready and supports RTL languages like Arabic. You can add PO and MO language files easily to add new languages. Astra is also fully responsive so that it works seamlessly on all devices.

It is also fully compatible with WooCommerce. Astra comes with an innate breadcrumb functionality for a more user-friendly eCommerce site. The premium version of this theme has advanced WooCommerce custom options, including infinite scrolling, off-canvas sidebar, grid settings, and sales bubble styles.

Having made the list, you can guess that Astra is lightweight and super fast! It is highly customizable, which doesn’t diminish its speed. Before you add much content, it loads in less than a second.

Astra has a default setup score of an A from GTmetrix with a mere 400 milliseconds of loading time. The theme weighs less than 50kb, which is over 200kb less than most WordPress themes. This translates to about 0.5 seconds of loading time.

When we tested it on Google Page Speed, it had a score of 100%. Astra’s use of Vanilla JavaScript and removal of render-blocking help make it even faster.

Astra’s Main Features:

  • Superfast
  • Compatible with all page builders
  • Compatible with the top plugins
  • Compatible with WooCommerce
  • Fully responsive
  • Mobile friendly
  • SEO optimized

Hello Elementor

Hello Elementor - fast loading wordpress theme

Hello Elementor is a fully free, plain-vanilla, and lightweight theme for use with the Elementor Page Builder. It was created and is maintained by the Elementor team. As you would expect, it is ideally suited for use with the Elementor Page Builder; however, it is also compatible with Gutenberg.

Hello Elementor is fully customizable and is easy to change its designs using Elementor Page Builder. This lightweight WordPress theme doesn’t come with sidebars, a settings page, or design options. Still, it allows you to download a child theme for further customization freedom.

Hello Elementor supports all popular WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce. This enables you to build eCommerce websites quite easily. Whatever you create will be supported on all devices because Hello Elementor is fully responsive. This theme is optimized for SEO friendliness and also supports Yoast SEO and other SEO plugins.

Your site will be highly accessible, even by any language speaker because Hello Elementor comes with multilingual support. You can even create a Right-to-left language website for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.

This fastest loading WordPress theme offers support via knowledgebase articles. Hello Elementor has no pricing since it is a free theme; this makes the lack of additional email or web support understandable.

Hello Elementor loads really fast and its page size stands at 300kb page size. Its performance score on PageSpeed Insights is 93% for mobile devices and 99% for desktops. It gets to 100% on GTmetrix and 92 on Pingdom.

However, it doesn’t allow you to customize its pages out of the box; you have to install Elementor to do it. This is all good, but it means that adding a page builder may add to the loading time if the pages aren’t done very well. However, having a fast hosting server will make up for the difference.

Main Features of Hello Elementor:

  • SEO optimized
  • Page builder compatible
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • All-plugin compatible
  • Highly responsive
  • Child Theme compatible
  • Multilingual supports

OceanWP

OceanWP - another lightweight wordpress theme

OceanWP is a gem of a lightweight WordPress theme that’s used on more than 700,000 websites. It works seamlessly with all popular page builders, including Elementor, Divi, WPBakery, and King Composer. OceanWP is also highly compatible with most WordPress plugins.

OceanWP works seamlessly on all devices, from tablets to desktops. It is fully customizable, an aspect that allows you to brand your website extensively. Since it is also compatible with the WordPress customizer, you can see real-time previews of your edits. OceanWP lets you download and use a child theme.

With OceanWP, you can personalize the headers, menus, typography, and color. The premium versions allow you to customize them with the Core Extension Bundles. The theme also supports multilingual websites, RTL languages, and popular language plugins like WPML and Weglot.

This fast loading WordPress theme comes with a ready integration of MailChimp. This enables you to manage your email subscriptions easily. The compatibility of OceanWP with WordPress SEO plugin, like SEOPress, coupled with its great SEO optimization puts you miles ahead of most websites.

OceanWP is also fully compatible with WooCommerce. It has inbuilt enhancements that provide an excellent eCommerce experience. These enhancements exempt you from having to install WooCommerce extensions and addons, which keeps your site’s loading speed higher.

On the WebPageTest, OceanWP has a speed of 2.758 seconds. On GTmetrix and Pingdom, it has loading times of 233 and 474 milliseconds. It has a 97% (A) score on PageSpeed Insights, which reflects its lightweight nature. OceanWP has a total page size of 356kb.

You can disable many JavaScript and CSS elements on the theme. When you disable such elements, you reduce the overall size of your webpage, which boosts your page load times massively. OceanWP comes with extensive documentation and FAQs. With the premium subscription plans, you get priority email support.

Key Features of OceanWP

  • BuddyPress compatibility
  • RTL support
  • Sticky post support
  • Block editor styles
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • Widget ready
  • Accessibility ready

Kadence

Kadence - another fast loading WordPress theme

Kadence is a lightweight WordPress theme that maintains its speed despite having quite a few features to work with. It comes with a drag & drop customizer with which you can create your pages. You also get to build whichever header and footer types you want using the header and footer builder.

This fastest loading WordPress theme gets you off to a good start with a comprehensive library of beautiful templates. The font and color controls are built to have a global effect so that you can modify any Kadence template. If you need to work with other third-party plugins, you can do it easily because the theme is highly compatible with them.

With Kadence, you get to create a custom background so you can embed some of your brand elements. If you want, you can take your branding to the next level by adding your custom logo. The menu is also highly customizable.

Kadence is widget ready and has ready footer widgets for you. Featured images are available so you can draw particular attention to whatever content you want. You can utilize the left and right sidebars of your site to showcase more content cleanly and elegantly. Kadence also has a full-width template option, which means that you can opt out of using sidebars.

With its threaded comments, Kadence enables your users to have discussions on your site. The lightweight WordPress theme is translation ready and supports RTL languages too.

Kadence is pretty fast, scoring an A on GTmetrix. It is a little slower than GeneratePress and Astra. On Google Page Speed Insight, it scores 95 and 91.2 on Pingdom tools, only 1.1 points lower than GeneratePress. It has a loading time of 840 milliseconds and a page size of 297.7kb.

Top Features of Kadence:

  • Translation ready
  • Highly customizable
  • Sidebar support
  • Header and footer builder
  • Featured image
  • Custom logo support

GeneratePress

GeneratePress - lightweight wordpress theme

GeneratePress is another exceptional lightweight WordPress theme that is active on more than 400,000 sites. It is built with adherence to WordPress coding standards, which makes it highly compatible with most WordPress plugins. Although the theme is highly flexible, it works most seamlessly with the Beaver Builder and Elementor page builders.

If you want additional customization options for WooCommerce, you’d have to go with the premium version of GeneratePress. However, the free version is still compatible with WooCommerce. Since it is SEO optimized, has valid HTML, and inbuilt schema.org structured data, it would be easy to get your pages to rank.

GeneratePress is highly customizable with sidebar, header, footer, font, and typography options. You can download a child theme so that you have more customization freedom. Among the premium, version options include advanced menu options, additional color, blog options, and WooCommerce customization.

GeneratePress is already translated into over 20 languages, including RTL languages.

This theme is 39.8kb in size, which makes it quite fast. However, it is slower than other themes of similar sizes because of its CSS that loads behind the scenes. It has clean code and only loads the necessary scripts.

Installing the Autoptimize plugin, you reduce the amount of CSS and JS fields that load on each page, making a massive difference to your page speed. GeneratePress has a 99% (A) score on PageSpeed, a 94% (A) on YSlow, and a full loading time of 1.1 seconds.

Top Features of GeneratePress:

  • Compatible with most WordPress plugins
  • Highly responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • Highly customizable
  • Child theme support
  • Multilingual support

Blocksy

Blocksy

Blocksy is a minimalist and fast loading WordPress theme that is built with the latest tech. Since it is built with Gutenberg in mind, you get many extensibility and customizability options for it. You also get to use options, including Brizy, WPBakery Page Builder, Beaver Builder, and Elementor.

Blocksy is highly responsive and mobile friendly. Since it is highly adaptive, you can create a website whose sections and elements morph to look elegant on websites. The SEO optimization of Blocksy makes it easy to get people to view your pages.

This lightweight WordPress theme is translation ready so that you can let users of different languages access your content. Blocksy is cross-browser compatible. It works smoothly with IE11 and below, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

The compatibility of Blocksy with BuddyPress and support for threaded comments is ideal for creating sites on which users can converse. This theme is also widget ready and has preinstalled footer widgets. You can add a custom logo to your header to take your site personalization to the next level.

Blocksy is pretty fast, only taking 1.699 seconds to load on WebPage test, 1.5 on GTmetrix, and 1.27 on Pingdom. It has a score of 98% (A) on PageSpeed and 86% (B) on YSlow too. Blocksy has a total page size of 118kb.

Blocksy Top Features:

  • RTL language support
  • BuddyPress support
  • eCommerce support
  • Custom logo
  • Robust theme options

Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is a piece of heaven for small business owners who need to maintain low costs. It is highly customizable and allows you to customize it using different page builders, including Beaver Builder, SiteOrigin, Elementor, and WPBakery. The real-time preview of your customizations with the WordPress Customizer makes the process even more friendly.

The plugin compatibility of Sydney makes it so that you can do anything with different extensions. Unlike other themes in this list, the free version of Sydney isn’t compatible with WooCommerce. All your pages will be fully responsive on all devices. The theme also supports all modern browsers, including Opera and Chrome.

Sydney gives you the option to customize the elements you have on your site, including headers, footers, sliders, colors, typography, and background images. With this theme comes over 600+ Google Fonts and 12 custom widgets. Sydney lets you download a child theme so as to save all versions of your template customizations.

The speed of Sydney is close to Astra, but its 72kb size means that it is 40% larger than Astra. Its score on GTmetrix is 100%, 97 on Pingdom, 99 on PageSpeed Insights, and 100 on desktops. The time it takes to load the first byte is 52 milliseconds.

The support for the theme is available on the knowledge base of dedicated forums. Priority email support is only available for premium subscribers.

Top Features of Sydney

  • Excellent SEO
  • Fully translatable and multiple language support
  • Multiple page builder compatibility
  • WooCommerce compatibility
  • Fully responsive
  • Highly customizable

Neve

Neve

Neve is the fastest loading WordPress theme that ThemeIsle has created, with more than 300,000 active websites. It works with most WordPress plugins, so you can install some popular caching and minification plugins; this boosts your site speed significantly.

Neve works seamlessly with most page builders, from the default WordPress block builder Gutenberg to other popular builders, like Elementor. It is compatible with WooCommerce and has support for breadcrumbs. Neve works seamlessly with WooCommerce and has the simplest user navigation.

The responsiveness of Neve makes it easy to access your site. Its compatibility with AMP for WordPress means that your pages will load much faster and your mobile experience will be well optimized. Neve is SEO friendly; it also supports popular SEO plugins, including Rank Math, Yoast SEO, Breadcrumb NavXT, and SEOPress.

You will have many color and typography options so that you can brand your site extensively. Neve lets you customize its buttons so that they match the rest of your site. You also get more than 50 ready-to-import templates to start you off. Since Neve is child theme friendly, you can download one to make it easy to customize.

For support, you can utilize the knowledgebase Neve offers with 200+ video tutorials and 300+ documentation. Email and live chat support are available for premium plans.

The PageSpeed score of this fastest loading WordPress theme is 99% (A) and 93% (A) on YSlow. Neve is faster than GeneratePress, loading fully in 0.9 seconds despite it being larger in size at 57.6kb.

Neve Key Features

  • Plugin compatible
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • Highly responsive
  • Highly customizable
  • SEO optimized
  • Child theme friendly
  • Multilingual support
  • RTL support

Zakra

Zakra - free fast loading WordPress theme

Zakra is a multipurpose lightweight WordPress theme that is really adorable. It has many style options to work with and lets you use different page builders. Zakra is SEO optimized so that your pages will be easy to find on Google. The theme has over 10+ free starter templates so that you don’t have to create any from scratch.

Since this lightweight WordPress theme is fully WooCommerce compatible, you can use it to create a site with a shop page. Zakra will still allow you to create portfolios and blog websites. You can have custom backgrounds for your website and even have custom colors on all elements of your site.

Zakra allows you to use sidebars to display any additional content that you don’t want on your pages. You can opt to go with the full-width template too. All these options are easy to control with the powerful theme options that Zakra affords you.

On GTmetrix, Zakra has a 100% performance score and a fully loaded time of 661 milliseconds. It garners a 96 on Pingdom and 519 milliseconds and PageSpeed Insights’ score of 99.

Top Features of Zakra

  • Fully customizable
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • SEO optimized
  • Sidebar support
  • Custom background
  • Highly responsive

Hestia

Hestia

Hestia is specifically crafted for professionals and suits creative businesses and startups most. It has more than 100,000 active websites. This theme works great on all device types and is highly responsive.

Hestia works with all top page builders, including SiteOrigin, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Brizy, and Gutenberg. This theme is compatible with all well-coded WordPress plugins. You get to utilize the top caching and minification plugins, which would add to the speed of your site.

Only the premium version comes with enhanced WooCommerce customization options such as infinite scrolling and the cart icon. The free version is also compatible with the plugin. Hestia has inbuilt SEO optimization, which results in better indexing and better Google search rankings.

Hestia gives you full control over the structure and design of the menus. You get a fully responsive Mega Menu, which makes it easy to customize and edit your submenu content. You can download a child theme with this lightweight WordPress theme for more customization freedom.

The support that you get with this theme is a knowledge base, composed of 200+video tutorials and 300+ documentations. The premium version means access to priority support through email. Upon installation, Hestia gives you a fully loaded time of 413 milliseconds. However, the total size is larger than most themes in this list, at 286kb.

Top Features of Hestia

  • Multilingual support
  • Child theme support
  • Highly customizable
  • Highly responsive
  • WooCommerce ready
  • Highly extensible

Conclusion:

If you’re going for the best WordPress theme for fast and well-optimized websites that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you will be pretty safe going with Astra. It is one of the fastest of them, it’s easy to customize, and comes with readymade templates. It has free and premium versions.

With OceanWP, Hello Elementor, and the other themes in this catalog, you will also get high speed and excellent optimization. Throughout the testing, Astra and Kadence went toe to toe. They had slightly more styling options too. The rest of the scores are evident in the body of our piece.

However, you still have to choose one theme to go with for your website. The best thing is for you to choose the one you fancy most, all the while being sure that you won’t go wrong with any theme on this list. All the best as you create the site of your dreams!

Editorial Staff at RadiusTheme is a team of WordPress experts led by Mamunur Rashid. We have been developing WordPress Themes and Plugins from 2016, Also creating various WordPress tutorials.