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The Top 3 Fastest Loading WordPress Themes (2023)

Why Does Website Speed Matter?

Having a fast loading website is crucial nowadays for several reasons. First off, Google has recently stated that website speed (and as a result, page speed) is now a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop.

Page speed is also important to user experience. Studies show that at least 47% of people expect a website to load in under 2 seconds and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes 3 or more seconds to load.

Websites with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.

For these reasons, it’s very important to have a fast loading WordPress theme. Every step that you can take to increase the speed of your website will increase your traffic, increase user engagement with your content, and increase conversions.

Spoiler: GeneratePress Premium is our go-to theme. It is incredibly fast. And, by stepping up to premium (for only $49.95) you can create an unlimited number of Premium sites for yourself or for clients! Here’s the full feature list:

  • All premium modules
  • Full access to the Site Library
  • Unlimited websites
  • 1 year of updates & support
  • 40% renewal discount
  • 30 day money back guarantee

This site is built with GeneratePress Premium (read our GeneratePress Review), and it is our #1 recommended theme!

How Did I Find the Fastest WordPress Themes?

I ran hundreds of the most popular WordPress themes through PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix. All of the themes were tested out of the box with no extra plugins or modifications. After sorting through the results there were 3 clear winners:

  1. GeneratePress
  2. Astra
  3. OceanWp

All 3 of these themes have a free version so there is no risk in giving them a try for yourself. If you are considering switching themes, I would download and test these themes performance against your own. You can do this by running it through the tools mentioned above.

#1 GeneratePress WordPress Theme

  • Website: https://generatepress.com
  • Price: $49.95 Unlimited Websites
  • Author: Tom Usborne
  • WordPress.org Score:
  • Free Version Available: Yes
  • GTmetrix Speed Score: A (99)
  • Pingdom Speed Score: A (99)
  • PageSpeed Insights Score: A (100)

GeneratePress WordPress Theme

Speed

Score: 5/5

Price

$49.95 Unlimited Websites

About the GeneratePress Theme

Is GeneratePress the fastest WordPress theme? Probably. That’s why it’s at the top of this list. Hardly anything comes close to its incredibly small size of 30kb!

GeneratePress uses vanilla JS and does not rely on any external sources like jQuery so it gets rid of all render blocking issues. All CSS and JS come minified out of the box. GeneratePress also uses a module system which allows you to turn on and off features based on if you need them or not. This can speed things up a lot because you are not loading unneeded scripts.

GeneratePress has both free and premium versions. The free version of the theme is awesome and comes with lots of features. However, some of the things that make this theme so great cannot be accessed without purchasing the premium version.

The premium version of GenertatePress will run you $49.95. A small price to pay for the quality and performance of this theme. Not to mention, you can use it for unlimited websites.

So how fast is the GeneratePress WordPress Theme? Below we tested the basic theme with no extra upgrades or plugins, and the results were amazing.

Pingdom Speed Test (GeneratePress)

GeneratePress Pingdom
~ GeneratePress scored a 99 on the Pingdom Speed Test.

GTmetrix Speed Test (GeneratePress)

GeneratePress GTmetrix
~ GeneratePress scored a 99 on the GTmetrix speed test.

Page Insights Speed Test (GeneratePress)

GeneratePress Page Insights
~ GeneratePress scored a 100 on the Page Insights speed test.

My Thoughts About GeneratePress

These scores are very impressive. If you would like to run the test yourself you can use the URL speedtest.generatepress.com. They have the basic theme with no upgrades hosted here.

Tom hit a home run with this one. GeneratePress makes it very easy to create a modern looking website. It is probably the fastest WordPress theme out of the box. It’s compatible with all major plugins. Their support is unmatched. All of this is what makes me love GeneratePress so much, and I would highly recommend this theme to anyone.

If you would like to learn more about this theme, read our review of GeneratePress.

#2 Astra WordPress Theme

  • Website: https://wpastra.com
  • Price: $59 Unlimited Websites
  • Author: Brain Storm Force
  • WordPress.org Score:
  • Free Version Available: Yes
  • GTmetrix Speed Score: A (100)
  • Pingdom Speed Score: B (90)
  • PageSpeed Insights Score: A (100)

Astra WordPress Theme

Speed

Score: 4.9/5

Price

$59 Unlimited Websites

Demo

Astra Demo

Download

Download Astra

About the Astra Theme

Astra is a super fast loading WordPress theme that was created by Brainstorm Force a team of passionate hackers, designers, writers, marketers, artists, and creators.

This theme was built for performance and speed, but without sacrificing features and customization. Out of the box Astra loads in under half a second.

Just like GeneratePress, Astra uses Vanilla JS and does not rely on any external sources like jQuery so it gets rid of all render blocking issues that normal WordPress themes experience.

Astra is also very lightweight. It needs less than 50 KB of resources whereas most of the other WordPress themes require at least 300 KBs.

This theme has a free and premium version. The premium version is full of awesome features and gives you access to their pre-made templates. These can speed the build process up if you can find one that suits your needs.

The premium version will run you $59 annually and $249 for a lifetime license. This is all backed by a 14 day 100% Money Back Guarantee (no questions asked) so there is no risk.

So how fast is the Astra WordPress theme? Below are the results from Pingdom, GTmetrix and Page Insights. This theme is a very close second to GeneratePress.

Pingdom Speed Test (Astra)

Astra Pingdom
~ Astra scored a 90 on the Pingdom Speed Test.

GTmetrix Speed Test (Astra)

Astra GTmetrix
~ Astra scored a 100 on the GTmetrix speed test.

Page Insights Speed Test (Astra)

Astra Page Insights
~ Astra scored a 100 on the Page Insights speed test.

My Thoughts About Astra

Astra is a great all around theme. Although it’s not quite as fast as GeneratePress, Astra makes up for it with more features and better usability.

Because Astra is a multipurpose theme, you can create any type of website you want. It works great with popular page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder and Visual Composer. So, it’s easy to create a fast loading modern website.

Whether a beginner or a developer, you will love this theme.

#3 OceanWP WordPress Theme

  • Website: https://oceanwp.org
  • Price: $39 One Website
  • Author: Nicolas Lecocq
  • WordPress.org Score:
  • Free Version Available: Yes
  • GTmetrix Speed Score: A (98)
  • Pingdom Speed Score: B (82)
  • PageSpeed Insights Score: B (87)

OceanWP WordPress Theme

Speed

Score: 4.7/5

Price

$39 One Website

Download

Download OceanWP

About the OceanWP Theme

OceanWP was created in 2016 by Nicolas Lecocq. It’s currently rated 5 out of 5 in the WordPress theme repository with more than 100k active installations.

OceanWP is very lightweight and highly extendable. This theme will enable you to create almost any type of website such as a blog, portfolio, business website and WooCommerce storefront with a beautiful & professional design.

Unlike the other themes on this list, OceanWP comes with most of its features in the free version. You only have to pay for premium extensions if you want to add specific functionality to the theme.

The extension bundle will run you $39 for a single website and for $129 you can use the extensions and demo templates on unlimited websites.

So how fast is the OceanWP WordPress theme? OceanWP came in third place. One of the reasons for this is probably because most of the features are already included with the free version.

Pingdom Speed Test (OceanWP)

OceanWP Pingdom
~ OceanWP scored a 82 on the Pingdom Speed Test.

GTmetrix Speed Test (OceanWP)

OceanWP GTmetrix
~ OceanWP scored a 98 on the GTmetrix speed test.

Page Insights Speed Test (OceanWP)

OceanWP Page Insights
~ OceanWP scored a 87 on the Page Insights speed test.

My Thoughts About OceanWP

OceanWp is not as fast as GeneratePress or Astra but it’s still faster than 99% of the other WordPress themes.

My favorite thing about OceanWP is that most of the features are available in the free version. So, if you are trying to build a website on a budget, this is the theme for you.

OceanWP was definitely built with performance in mind. It allows you to enable and disable pretty much everything and is very easy to use. A beginner should have no problem creating a great website.

Conclusion

I wanted to create this list because there is so much misinformation out there. For example, saying Avada is a fast theme is a complete lie. Avada is one of the slower themes that I ran in my test. It’s a great theme but definitely not one of the fastest.

There are a lot of things you can do to speed up your WordPress website and starting out with a fast loading theme is a huge step in the right direction. Not only are all the themes listed on this page super fast, but they can also be downloaded for free. So, don’t take my word for it, try them out yourself.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this article. If you have questions about any of the themes on this list, please let me know in the comments below.

Amy Green

My name is Amy and I am the co-author here at Zuziko. I am a freelance writer, front-end web developer and entrepreneur. When I am not writing about WordPress, I am busy being a full-time mom.

2 thoughts on “The Top 3 Fastest Loading WordPress Themes (2023)”

  1. Bill

    Hi Amy,

    I used GP premium for a while but decided to change to the free version of Ocean WP. I get 100% scores with WP-Optimize when I enable page caching. However, it corrupts my site shortly after. Apparently it’s the flush PHP file that is enabled. I have tried many other combinations but it corrupts it on the phone or laptop, so I don’t know what to use. What do you use for your site?

    Thanks,
    Bill

    • Amy Green

      Hi Bill,

      Here at Zuziko we use GP premium and WP Fastest Cache Premium.

      I have also heard good things about Autoptimize.

      I hope that helps!

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