As many webmasters know, website speed is critical for any WordPress site. Having a fast-loading site is not only one of the keys to strong search rankings, but also key with your users. Having a WordPress website is not enough to keep up, which is why it’s important to have a fast WordPress theme. Searching for the fastest WordPress themes is a challenge, especially with thousands of themes to choose from. It’s best to find a lightweight WordPress theme that is also flexible. Not only will this keep your site lightning fast, but it will continue to grow and evolve over time as you update the site.
To make things easier, our WordPress experts came together to create WP SitePlan’s Fastest WordPress Theme guide, complete with pros and cons of each theme. Not only are these some of the themes we recommend to our clients, but ones we use for our own personal sites.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that we may earn a commission if you use the provided link to purchase your theme. That said, we only recommend products we fully believe in, and we always strive for balanced, honest reviews.
Fast WordPress Themes
Avada boasts more than 450,000 satisfied customers and the title “#1 selling theme of all time” thanks to its continued popularity on ThemeForest. All that acclaim is due at least in part to the theme’s extensive list of features, but that list can feel a bit bloated. Newbies may feel overwhelmed having access to 45 pre-made websites, more than 275 pre-made web page designs, thousands of customization options, fusion builder elements, GDPR tools, mobile sidebar ordering and all the rest of Avada’s dynamic offerings, but WP experts will love the opportunity to go all out with site customization. We particularly love the inclusion of free future updates available to all licensees, and customer support is top-notch too. Avada is also compatible with WordPress plugins. You can say that it is worth the money compared to free themes and other paid themes out there.
The Genesis framework allows you to quickly and easily build a basic site with a simplistic design and interface. You can then build your dream site by adding any of the StudioPress “child themes” for tons of plug-and-play functionality. All this combined with the driving force of WordPress creates a well-oiled machine that works for amateurs and professional designers alike.
That said, Genesis has a few notable drawbacks. For starters, Genesis only includes one child theme; extras are available for purchase and typically cost $100 or less. These child themes are also frequently intended to be used as-is, limiting options for customization, especially if you’re not familiar with coding. Those who are experienced coders, however, may like buying a solid foundation and then adding their own bells and whistles down the road.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google project that juices the speed for your WordPress pages, boosting overall functionality and creating a better experience for mobile guests. The AMP for WordPress plugin automatically adds that functionality to your site while also delivering affordable themes you can customize regardless of your ability to code. As an added bonus, AMP users have access to extensions ranging from AdSense support to email opt-in forms.
The major drawback for any AMP page is that the plugin strips back some of the content in order to focus on speed. You may see changes in how effective your SEO is, you may see stylistic changes and you may even lose ads, so if ad revenue and branding is more important than speed, do more research on AMP for WordPress before fully committing.
Still not sure which theme is best for your site? Consult with one of our WordPress theme experts to help find the right one for you. Aside from themes, we can also help you with your WordPress site running slow. Contact us today!