Top 10 fastest and best WordPress themes (2020)

There are so many WordPress themes out there and it can be very difficult finding the right one.

In this post, I am listing out the top 10 fastest and best WordPress themes on merit. I will reveal why the themes listed here are the best and I will test all of them.

What is a WordPress theme?

A WordPress theme is a template that determines how a WordPress website will look like on the front end. It controls the styling, colors, typography, basic SEO, Layout, images and more. Basically, a WordPress theme is the backbone of a WordPress website.

Because of how important a theme is, it is important to pick a theme that is good enough. A bad theme can ruin everything. A good theme can make it easy to grow.

A slow, bloated and badly coded theme might be hurting your SEO. You may put up good contents, build links but no growth. But a fast loading, lightweight and well coded theme can make it easier for search engines to rank your site and also help you retain users. Users love fast loading websites.

Important things to look for in a WordPress theme

Here are important things to look for in a WordPress theme:

  • Speed: Speed is very important for SEO and user engagement. Many visitors will abandon a website if it is slow to load.
  • Responsiveness: More and more people are using mobile to access the internet. Having a theme that is responsive and look good in all devices is very important. Google operates Mobile-first Indexing.
  • Compatibility with important plugins: You may rely on a few key plugins to make the best out of your site. You need a theme that is compatible with important WordPress plugins to avoid conflict.
  • SEO optimized: You need a theme that is SEO optimized. For example, making proper use of the acceptable heading tags and more.
  • Schema ready: Structure data is playing a big role in search engine results, having a theme optimized for it is a good thing.
  • Easy to customize: A theme that is easy to customize is important unless you want to spend hours trying to make a simple change. I personally love themes that make use of the WordPress customizer.
  • Security: A theme without any security vulnerability is important. This is why you should read reviews like this before buying a theme.
  • Browser compatibility: Ensure you have a theme that is compatible with all or most browsers not just Chrome and Firefox.
  • Updates and support: A theme that is regularly updated is key. Because they fix vulnerabilities and improve to meet new trends. Also they should have a good support when you need help.

How to know a good and fast loading theme

The best way to know a good and fast loading is to test it. Most themes have at least a demo, run a test with the demo and see how fast it is. Some themes also have free versions which the premium version is built on, run a test with it.

Web.dev is good for testing because it tells you about the Performance, Accessibility, SEO and Best practices standard of the theme. Web.dev is owned by Google.

GTMetrix can tell you how fast the theme is loading. There are other tools, but with this two, you are good to go.

I have put all this in practice to determine the best and fastest WordPress themes below.

The fastest loading and best WordPress themes

Here are the fastest and best WordPress themes:

1. GeneratePress

GeneratePress

GeneratePress is the fastest loading WordPress theme currently. The theme is lightweight but packs a lot of features which most heavy and bloated themes do not have. This theme also average 5 star rating from the hundreds of thousands of people using it.

This theme has a free version, but to unlock the power of this theme, the premium version is recommended. This is the theme that is powering BloggingTools.org. You can read my GeneratePress review.

GeneratePress is suitable for blogs, magazines, shops, WooCommerce, business, organization and almost any kind of website.

Features:

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Compatibility with major plugins and page builders
  • SEO optimized
  • Schema ready
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • Accessibility ready
  • Site library with many demo sites to build on
  • User friendly
  • Translation and RTL
  • Less than 30KB
  • Hooks and filters
  • WooCommerce ready
  • Sticky header
  • Mobile menu
  • No jQuery dependency (No render blocking)
  • Fully AMP compatible with help of Plugin by same author
  • Use premium versions for unlimited websites

Web.Dev result

GeneratePress Web.dev

From the test:

  • Performance: 99
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 100
  • SEO: 100
  • Speed Index: 1.8s

GTMetrix result

GTMetrix GeneratePress

From the test:

  • Fully Loaded time: 381ms
  • Requests: 11
  • Total page size: 84.1KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99%
  • Yslow score: 96%

2. Astra

Astra

Astra is a fast loading, lightweight WordPress theme. I consider this theme the direct alternative/competitor to GeneratePress. This theme has lots of features. And it is highly customizable.

This theme has a free version, but just like GeneratePress the pro version unlocks amazing features.

Astra is suitable for blogs, magazines, WooCommerce, business, organization and nearly all kinds of websites.

Features:

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • SEO optimized
  • Schema ready
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • Hooks and filters
  • No jQuery
  • Mega Menu
  • Sticky header
  • Mobile menu
  • WooCommerce
  • Hooks
  • Less than 50KB
  • Fully AMP compatible
  • White Label
  • Unlimited websites

Web.dev

Astra Web.dev

From the test:

  • Performance: 100
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 100
  • SEO: 100
  • Speed index: 2.1s

GTMetrix score

GTMetrix Astra

From the result above:

  • Fully loaded time: 450ms
  • Requests: 6
  • Total Page Size: 39.3KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 97

3. Neve

Neve

Neve is a super fast loading theme developed by ThemeIsle. This theme is developed with mobile in mind. Well optimized for mobile experience and it is fully AMP compatible. Neve adopts a mobile-first approach.

While this theme is ranked 3rd on this list, it has all it takes to give amazing performance especially if most of your visitors are from mobile. This theme has a free version, but the pro version is recommended.

Neve is suitable for blogs, magazines, WooCommerce, organization, business and most kind of websites

Features

  • Full AMP compatibility
  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • SEO optimized
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • User friendly
  • Translation and RTL
  • 80+ demos
  • WooCommerce support
  • Accessibility ready
  • White Label
  • Mobile header
  • Unlimited websites

Web.dev test

Neve Web.dev

From the above:

  • Performance: 100
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 100
  • SEO: 98
  • Speed index: 1.3s

GTMetrix test

Neve GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 398ms
  • Requests: 6
  • Total page size: 32.1KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 97

4. OceanWP

OceanWP

OceanWP is a very popular fast loading WordPress theme. It is outstanding for its WooCommerce support and features. It is lightweight and packs lots of features.

This theme has a free version but the pro version takes it to the next level.

OceanWP is most suitable for WooCommerce, shops and blogs.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • SEO optimized
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • Accessibility ready
  • User friendly
  • Translation and RTL
  • WooCommerce support
  • Popup login
  • White Label
  • Sticky header
  • Many demos to build on

Web.dev test

OceanWP Web.dev

From the above:

  • Performance: 98
  • Accessibility: 96
  • Best practices: 92
  • SEO: 95
  • Speed index: 2.1s

GTMetrix test

OceanWP GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 418ms
  • Requests: 7
  • Total page size: 166KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 97

5. Schema

Schema

Schema is a lightweight and fast loading WordPress theme developed by MyThemeShop. This theme is known for integrating many Schema.org markups which can boost search engine performance.

This theme has a free version, but most of the features are in the premium version.

Schema is most suitable for blogs and magazine websites

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Schema ready
  • Responsive
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • Accessibility ready
  • User friendly
  • 3 demo to choose from
  • Translation and RTL
  • WooCommerce support
  • Share buttons

Web.dev test

Schema Web.dev

From the above:

  • Performance: 98
  • Accessibility: 97
  • Best practices: 92
  • SEO: 96
  • Speed index: 2.1

GTMetrix test

Schema GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 421ms
  • Requests: 13
  • Total page size: 160KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 96

6. Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework by StudioPress is a powerful WordPress framework that enable users create amazing and fast websites. If you want to build a custom design on your own, then this is good for you.

To test this theme, I am using the demo. Unlike the first 5 themes which I tested from a site I control, this one I am testing the official Demo.

Genesis Framework is suitable for WooCommerce, business, organization, blogs and almost any kind of website.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • User friendly
  • AMP compatible

Web.dev test

Genesis Framework Web.Measure

From the above:

  • Performance: 61
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 85
  • SEO: 100
  • Speed index: 5.0s

GTMetrix test

Genesis Framework GTMetrix

From the test:

  • Fully loaded time: 1.9s
  • Requests: 37
  • Total page size: 454KB
  • PageSpeed score: 98
  • Ysow score: 93

7. Zakra

Zakra

Zakra is a fast SEO optimized theme that is fully AMP compatible. This theme is lightweight and is a good choice for people looking for good mobile performance.

Zakra has a free version, but the premium version offers the best performance and control.

This theme is good for blogs, magazine, business, organization and most kind of websites.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Full AMP compatibility
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • SEO optimized
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • User friendly
  • Accessibility ready
  • No jQuery
  • WooCommerce support
  • Translation and RTL
  • Many demos

Web.dev test

Zakra Web.dev

From the above:

  • Performance: 100
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 92
  • SEO: 92
  • Speed index: 1.3s

GTMetrix test

Zakra GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 348ms
  • Requests: 7
  • Total page size: 38.6KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 97

8. Soledad

Soledad

Soledad is a powerful multi-concept blog and magazine WordPress theme. This theme is fully AMP compatible and comes with over 6000 demo to pick from.

Soledad does not have a free version. I am testing the demo site here. The demo contains lots of images which is heavier than any other tested above.

This theme is most suitable for blogs, magazine and news websites.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Full AMP compatibility
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • SEO optimized
  • Schema ready
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • Over 6000 demo
  • User friendly
  • Translation and RTL
  • White Label
  • WooCommerce comaptible
  • Category mega menu
  • Easy to customize
  • Sticky Sidebar

Web.dev test

Soledad Web.measure

From the result above:

  • Performance: 67
  • Accessibility: 92
  • Best practices: 69
  • SEO: 90
  • Speed index: 3.9

GTMetrix test

Soledad GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 1.1s
  • Requests: 52
  • Total page size: 2.5MB
  • PageSpeed score: 65
  • Yslow score: 81

9. Newspaper

Newspaper

Newspaper is one of the most popular WordPress blog/magazine themes ever. This theme is used by the United Nations, Rackspace, Uber and others. It is fully compatible with AMP and comes with many options to optimize the mobile look.

Newspaper does not have a free theme. I am testing with the demo which contains too many images. The most heavy test on this list. Surprisingly, with the images, it seems to load fast as you will see.

This theme is most suitable for News, blog and magazine websites.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • AMP compatible
  • Responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • Schema ready
  • Secure
  • Regular updates and good support
  • User friendly
  • 90+ demos
  • Optimized for mobile
  • Includes a pre-built child theme
  • JavaScript files are automatically combined and minified
  • Compatibility with major plugins
  • Built-in Translation Panel with 90+ language translations
  • Unlimited sidebars

Web.dev test

Newspaper Web.measure

From the above

  • Performance: 66
  • Accessibility: 76
  • Best practices: 92
  • SEO: 79
  • Speed index: 3.9

GTMetrix test

Newspaper GTMetrix

From the above

  • Fully loaded time: 2.0s
  • Requests: 75
  • Total page size: 1.64MB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 83

10. Twenty Twenty

Twenty Twenty is WordPress’s default theme for 2020. It is fast, stable and secure. For those who want simplicity and ease, then this is a good choice. And it is free. For the price and simplicity, it definitely deserves to be among the best WordPress themes.

This theme is 100% free.

Twenty Twenty is most suitable for blogs and magazine websites.

Features

  • Fast loading
  • Responsive
  • Secure
  • SEO optimized
  • Easy to customize (makes use of WordPress customizer)
  • Regular updates and good support
  • User friendly
  • 100% free
  • Compatibility with major plugins

Web.dev test

Twenty Twenty Web.measure

From the above:

  • Performance: 99
  • Accessibility: 100
  • Best practices: 100
  • SEO: 100
  • Speed index: 2.0s

GTMetrix test

Twenty Twenty GTMetrix

From the above:

  • Fully loaded time: 0.7s
  • Requests: 7
  • Total page size: 263KB
  • PageSpeed score: 99
  • Yslow score: 97

Conclusion

For the tests done above, I used Cloudways, which is the best WordPress hosting I have ever seen. Varnish and Breeze plugin was automatically set up by Cloudways. That might make test faster. For Genesis Framework, Soledad and Newspaper, I tested the demo, so they did not benefit from the speed of Cloudways for this test.

The themes listed here are the fastest and best WordPress themes. I use GeneratePress for most of my sites.

Mfon Abel Ekene

Mfon is passionate blogger, digital marketer and affiliate marketer with many years of exposure to every part of internet entrepreneurship. You can follow his guide on how to start a blog and also learn how to make money blogging.

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