Lighting Fast WordPress Themes ⚡

When building WordPress websites for customers, I feel the best approach is to do a custom designed and developed theme using something like Underscores as a starter theme combined with Advanced Custom Fields. There is just nothing like building up a website from scratch with just the features that the customer needs. No bloat and no need to cut out someone else’s code. The end result is something exceptional and very easy to use.

That said, it’s been a few years since I’ve been involved building WordPress websites for customers. Over the last few years the only websites I’ve built are sites for myself. When I’m the customer, I’m not that particular. I typically just want something quick and dirty to get the job done. For that I’ll turn to an already built WordPress theme and add my customization on top.

Performance focused WordPress themes are the new standard.

The WordPress theme ecosystem is quite crowded and largely filled with bloat. Some of the most popular themes in terms of revenue are also some of the worst themes to use. They sell you on the the “everything” idea, that this theme will work for everything website. One look under the hood and you’ll discover that’s because their code base is a gigantic behemoth. Some of these themes are larger then WordPress itself!

In a sea of “do everything themes,” the themes that standout are themes focused on performance and simplicity. Let’s look at five good options. These are all quality-built themes and ones I have personally used.

Top 5 performance focused themes.

OceanWP

CostFree and Paid
FocusFree, Multi-purpose
Highlights500,000+ active websites

Blocksy

CostFree
FocusBlazing fast and lightweight
Highlights2,000+ active websites

Go

CostFree
FocusFlexible, Gutenberg-first
Highlights9,000+ active websites, made by GoDaddy and the author of CoBlocks

GeneratePress

CostFree and Paid
FocusLightweight
Highlights200,000+ active websites

Astra

CostFree and Paid
FocusLightweight, Page Builder friendly
Highlights600,000+ active websites