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Would you consider downloading free versions of the most popular WordPress themes just to find which ones of those themes are the fastest WordPress themes?

I know, I won’t.

The ordinary WordPress user is just like that. No one has all the time in the world to check demos of hosting speeds, and theme performance results, while continuously checking the size of CSS and JavaScript on every part of their website.

That is the reason we have taken care of sharing 5 lightweight & fastest WordPress themes for you in 2022.

5 Lightweight & Fastest WordPress Themes of 2022

We consider the following themes to be lightweight and fast and offer a myriad of customization features without hurting website performance.

1. Blocksy
2. Kadence WP
3. Neve
4. GeneratePress
5. Astra

Note:- Page size and HTTP requests shown below are calculated after importing one of the starter sites provided by the WordPress theme vendor and then performing speed tests. They are not calculated after a fresh install of the theme.

Blocksy

Blocksy

Blocksy is a multi-purpose theme that is lightning fast, has fewer HTTP requests, and also avoids a lot of bloats.

Total Page Size: 118 KB
HTTP Requests: 25

It follows a freemium approach. This means there is a free and premium version of the Blocksy theme.

The free version offers limited features compared to Blocksy Pro.

Its clean code policy has not only resulted in thoughtfully written lines of code but also complemented lightning-fast speeds and SEO optimization.

Blocksy WordPress

These are Blocksy’s performance results, as shown on the homepage of their official website.

The creators of Blocksy have used the latest web technologies like React, Webpack, Babel, and PHP 7. 

Resulting in a fast-performing theme with lots of customization features like Header Builder, Footer Builder, Mega Menu, conditional sidebars, advanced layouts for posts, pages, product pages, and a lot more.

In case you are wondering about website performance on a live site. Below are the screenshots of a web page from one of our sites.

Google’s page speed insights; mobile performance

blocksy mobile performance

Google page speed insights; desktop performance

blocksy desktop performance

The results are amazing.

Keep in mind this test was done on a live site on shared hosting, a minimum of 2 to 3 required WordPress plugins on the site, and no speed plugin was involved.

Blocksy also comes with high-quality starter sites that are easy to install, and you can later customize them on your own.

Kadence WP

Kadence WordPress Theme

Just like our previous theme, Blocksy. Kadence WP is another blazing-fast WordPress theme. Both these themes have a lot in common, and there aren’t major differences between them, apart from code, style, and design.

In fact, you can check Kadence vs. Blocksy and come to a better conclusion before purchasing any one of them.

Kadence WP theme is a feature-rich multi-purpose WordPress theme. It comes in free and paid versions as well.

However, Kadence’s free version offers you some of their beautifully created starter sites with advanced global font and color control.

In fact, starter sites, Kadence Blocks, and header & footer builders are some of the few strengths of this wonderfully created super fast-performing WordPress theme.

Total Page Size: 111 KB
HTTP Requests: 23

Following are the screenshots of Google’s page speed insights for both mobile and desktop.

Google page speed insights; mobile performance

kadence google page speed mobile

Google page speed insights; desktop performance

kadence google page speed desktop

As you can see, there isn’t much difference between Blocksy and Kadence themes when comparing their speeds. 

The only difference the Kadence theme showed was there were fewer HTTP requests, the page size was smaller, and the mobile speed test score was 93.

The company Kadence WP is also very popular for providing Bundles

Bundles that offer you a premium theme, Kadence theme, and a premium blocks-based plugin, Kadence Blocks Pro.

Neve WordPress Theme

Neve WordPress Theme

Neve is a super fast, mobile-first approach, multi-purpose WordPress theme.

It also follows a freemium model, with a free version to test and Neve Pro for advanced customizations.

Created by Themeisle, the few strengths of the Neve theme are its Header & Footer Builder, integration with almost all popular WordPress plugins and page builder, and its huge collection of starter sites.

Total Page Size: 98 KB
HTTP Requests: 24

Google page speed insights; mobile performance

neve google page speed insights mobile

Google page speed insights; desktop performance

neve google page speed insights desktop

Due to added features built into the theme customizer, and fluid designs of most of Neve’s starter templates, the theme is a bit heavier on page size compared to Kadence, GeneratePress, and Astra and also requires a few more HTTP requests to load a page.

But that is nothing if you have installed an optimizing plugin.

The company follows a mobile-first approach, coding the theme with AMP support that keeps your LCP and TBT score pretty low so that your website can easily pass Google’s Core Web Vitals.

GeneratePress

Another lightweight and blazingly fast WordPress theme are GeneratePress.

In fact, this theme is popular in the WordPress eco-space due to its performance.

GeneratePress

The versatility, stable code, flexibility, and modular approach of this theme has made it a go-to theme for bloggers, hobbyists, and freelancers.

Total Page Size: 90 KB
HTTP Requests: 15

Google page speed insights; mobile performance

generatepress google page speed mobile

Google page speed insights; desktop performance

generatepress google page speed insight desktop

A score of 100 is what GeneratePress can give your website.

Although, GeneratePress free version comes with very limited options, and you are highly dependent on coding.

However, GeneratePress premium, also known as GP Premium, comes with lots of options for color, typography, primary and secondary navigation, multiple sidebars on a single page/post, and a lot more.

The theme is mobile-friendly, SEO-ready, and supports RTL and translation as well.

Plus, premium users get the privilege of importing all of their professionally created starter sites.

GeneratePress integrates very well with popular page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi and also offers basic controls after installing WooCommerce on your site.

Apart from all the features mentioned above, the few main strengths of GeneratePress are Performance, Documentation, and Support.

GeneratePress community forums are the best place to get an answer to any query related to the theme.

Astra

Astra WordPress Theme

Finally, we come to our last fastest WordPress theme, Astra. Astra is also known as WP Astra in the WordPress theme industry.

Astra is a lightweight WordPress theme that is super popular among business website owners, web shops, bloggers, affiliate marketers, freelancers, and even agencies.

In fact, this is one of the most installed WordPress themes, touching 1 million plus active installations.

Total Page Size: 98 KB
HTTP Requests: 18

Google page speed insights; mobile performance

astra google page speed insights mobile

Google page speed insights; desktop performance

astra google page speed insights desktop

Astra is a bit heavier than GeneratePress, due to the features it offers. 

Astra comes with a header builder with 27 header elements, a separate mobile header builder, a footer builder with 15 footer elements, an additional sidebar manager for custom sidebars, multiple layouts, related posts, an author bio, and a lot more.

GeneratePress, on the other hand, does not come in-built with so many features. However, one can easily create them using Elements.

Another strength of WP Astra is its HUGE collection of starter sites. Astra-free users get a choice to choose from 200 starter templates, and Astra premium users get the privilege of downloading from 250 pro starter sites.

Most of their pro-starter sites are either created using Elementor or Beaver Builder.

It is lightweight and follows a modular approach. You can enable or disable modules as per your requirement, further aiding you in website performance.

What Factors To Consider While Choosing A Fast WordPress Theme?

We have understood that a well-optimized WordPress theme contributes to responsiveness, SEO, and performance.

Here are the 5 basic things to consider when choosing a fast WordPress theme.

1. Lightweight & Bloatfree
2.
Fewer HTTP Requests
3. Responsive & further customizable
4. Smaller page size (CSS & JavaScript)
5. SEO ready

The above points hold good until considering the speed and performance of a WordPress theme.

Note:- There are other factors to know when choosing a WordPress theme based on design, customization, and features.

Lightweight & Bloatfree

When talking about the fastest WordPress themes, always remember to go for a lightweight and bloat-free theme.

Check its page size by importing one of the theme’s starter sites, and check the page size by testing its blog post or any of the other web pages.

Plus, the theme should not come with unnecessary add-ons.

Fewer HTTP Requests

While checking the theme’s page size, also keep in mind the number of HTTP requests required to load a fully-fledged web page that contains an image with normal text content.

Never go for a theme that needs more than 50 HTTP requests to load a single webpage.

Responsive & Further Customizable

The code of the WordPress theme should be mobile-friendly, as nowadays, themes with a mobile-first approach get higher priority compared to the ones that increase your site’s LCP score.

The theme customizer should have enough features for you to make certain changes in spacing and other parameters that are important to give a better user experience on mobile devices.

Smaller Page Size

Keep in mind the more you customize using CSS and JavaScript, the more time your website will take to load.

Try keeping CSS and JavaScript after the fold; that will reduce your site’s LCP score.

SEO Ready

Always choose a theme that is SEO-friendly and already supports schema within the code.

In general, a well-coded WordPress theme will always be stable, light in weight, have fewer HTTP requests, and will be responsive for all types of devices.

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