15 Best Lightweight WordPress Themes of 2023

Finding lightweight WordPress themes may appear to be an impossible task. Is it necessary to test each theme in question and compare the differences in millisecond load times to determine the most lightweight WordPress theme?

How do you account for variations in hosting speeds caused by developers and online demos? What if the testing tools yield contradictory results?

It's unrealistic to expect the average WordPress user to regularly test desired themes for performance. It's challenging to eliminate external factors, and there are far too many WordPress themes to consider.

That is why we completed the work for you.

We narrowed down the fastest WordPress themes to a shortlist by a new installation for each theme, using four different speed tests and the same server for each theme's speed testing.

Furthermore, we compared the best of the best to see who performs well in different situations and has the highest performance scores and fastest speeds.

Let's get started!

Best Lightweight WordPress Themes

The themes described below can assist you in creating a lightweight and customized WordPress website, regardless of your technical experience, budget, or business goals.

It should be noted that each theme includes load time data. This information was gathered by running each theme's demo site through the WebPageTest, GTmetrix, and Pingdom tools. For each tool, the values listed are the fully-loaded results. Each theme's HTTP requests are also listed. GTmetrix was used to measure these.


Generate Press Lightweight WordPress Theme

GeneratePress is a WordPress theme that prioritizes speed and user experience. It comes in both free and premium versions, as seen on its homepage above.

GeneratePress is built with the most recent WordPress coding standards, including the replacement of jQuery with vanilla JavaScript. First and foremost, it is compatible with the vast majority of WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce. It is also extremely light. A standard installation of this theme is less than 30KB. It also works well with other tools in your tech stack.

HTTP Requests: 14

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 1.435 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 658ms

Pingom Load Time: 407ms


Writee Lightweight WordPress Theme

Writee, which is available in both a free and premium version, is one of the fastest-loading blogging themes. Writee loads quickly because it is lightweight, defers JavaScript loading, and has a cacheable favicon, among other things.

There are built-in pagination options, social media sharing icons, and a related posts widget to make your site easier to navigate. You can also upload and customize a favicon and logo, enable or disable breadcrumbs, and select from various sidebar options. With Writee Pro, you get even more features.

HTTP Requests: 19

WebpageTest Load Time: 1.876 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.1 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 837ms


Zakra Lightweight WordPress Theme

Zakra is a lightweight WordPress theme that can be used to create any type of website — on any budget. Zakra, like GeneratePress, has a free and premium version.

Zakra loads quickly on desktop and mobile devices because it is built on a lightweight framework that adheres to the coding standards established by AMP technology. It also delays JavaScript loading, reduces the number of elements on the page, and makes fewer HTTP requests.

It also includes over 65 pre-designed demos for various niches, such as blogs, businesses, eCommerce, and nonprofits.

HTTP Requests: 24

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 2.403 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.2 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 716ms


Social Now Lightweight WordPress Theme

SocialNow is a perfect theme for blogs and online magazines. It loads quickly due to the reduced number of DOM elements on the page, deferred JavaScript loading, and cacheable favicon.

This theme is optimized not only for speed but also for search engines and social media sites, which will help you increase traffic.

Social Now includes a few ready-to-use demos that can be imported with a single click. It has three unique slider options, an author profile, related posts, a discussion page, and two stunning layouts.

You can customize your site with unlimited sidebar and background options, unlimited color options, Google Fonts, off-canvas mobile menus, Icon Fonts, fluid responsive designs, mega menu compatibility, and a parallax scrolling feature using its advanced theme options panel.

HTTP Requests: 51

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 2.638 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.6 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 747ms


Mesmerize Lightweight WordPress Theme

Mesmerize is a WordPress theme that prioritizes speed and flexibility. It delays the loading of JavaScript and has few elements on the page, but it is heavy due to unoptimized images. However, you can replace these demo images to reduce page weight and speed up your site.

Thanks to its responsive and mobile-friendly design, this theme looks and loads excellent on any device. It's also very customizable, thanks to the WordPress Customizer. You can import any of the 18 pre-designed demo sites (including the Pet demo shown above). Then, in the Customizer, click any element — whether text, a button, an image, or an icon — and edit its properties. You can also add and edit pre-styled content sections for teams, testimonials, contact forms, and projects.

Mesmerize has a premium version as well as a limited free version.

HTTP Requests: 49

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 3.060 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 5.5 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 903ms

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Brando Lightweight WordPress Theme

Brando is a lightweight multipurpose WordPress theme perfect for creative portfolios and business websites.

Brando is built on the Bootstrap framework and coded in HTML5 and CSS3 to make your site lightweight and fast loading. It makes fewer HTTP requests, has fewer elements on the page to reduce the number of bytes to download, and delays the loading of JavaScript. It could be faster if GZIP compression were used.

You'll also receive ready-to-use demo designs and the premium drag-and-drop Visual Composer plugin.

HTTP Requests: 24

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 3.400 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.9 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 578ms


Money Flow Lightweight WordPress Theme

MoneyFlow is fast loading because it defers JavaScript loading, has a cacheable favicon, makes few HTTP requests, and has fewer elements on the page.

MoneyFlow is ideal for bloggers who want to make money from their blogs. MoneyFlow is a beautiful and fully customizable theme with a featured posts section and multiple homepage designs that you can set up in seconds.

To keep users engaged with your content, you can enable or disable the slider attribute in the options panel and use the parallax scrolling function with the MoneyFlow theme. There is also an off-canvas mobile menu, Font Icons, Google Fonts, unlimited color backgrounds, and sidebar options.

Once you're happy with the design, you can use AdSense and WooCommerce to monetize your blog with ads and an online store.

HTTP Requests: 59

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 3.618 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.1 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 599ms

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Avada Lightweight WordPress Theme

Avada includes a powerful drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to create a completely customized site without writing any code.

The Avada theme also includes a variety of ready-to-use designs, unlimited color, and design options, and a built-in mega menu option that you can customize with the theme's powerful theme options panel. Avada also includes several free premium plugins that you can use to customize your site further.

AvadaSEO, as shown above, is just one of the hundreds of demo sites available. Deferred JavaScript loading speeds up this demo site.

HTTP Requests: 54

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 3.865 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 2.3 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 1.36 seconds


Thegem Lightweight WordPress Theme

TheGem is an excellent choice for a powerful, multipurpose WordPress theme that loads quickly. This is a popular multipurpose WordPress theme that can be used to build any type of website.

This theme gives you access to over 400 design templates. You can import any of these designs with just a single click. You get the Visual Composer plugin built-in, over 150 modern page design options, and over 250 stunning styling elements to customize them. That means you won't need to know how to code to create a truly unique website.

This fully responsive and retina-ready WordPress theme will make your site look great from any device. The theme loads quickly and is built with clean SEO-friendly code, giving your content advantage over your competitors.

It could be faster if GZIP compression was used and fewer HTTP requests were made.

HTTP Requests: 99

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 4.010 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 2.7 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 1.55 seconds




Schema Lightweight WordPress Theme

Schema is well-known for its fast loading time. Schema is a clean and professional WordPress design that makes few HTTP requests, defers loading JavaScript, and has few elements on the page. It was designed to be "the" fastest loading WordPress theme.

It includes a fully responsive layout, so your site will look great even on small screen devices. A related posts widget, ready-to-use icon fonts, Google Fonts, social media integration, and other features are among its highlights.

The default Schema demo, shown above, demonstrates many of the features mentioned.

HTTP Requests: 38

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 1.534 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 5.7 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 472ms


Blocksy Lightweight WordPress Theme

Blocksy is a theme with a minimalist look that is lighter and faster than most WordPress themes. Blocksy, in addition to having a clean codebase, has other features to speed up its load time, such as code splitting. (This means that the theme only loads JavaScript when required.)

Blocky comes with seven starter sites customized to different niches, including product review sites, apps, eCommerce stores, and blogs, and offering lightning-fast speed. Each starter site has a simple yet highly customizable design.

HTTP Requests: 48

WebpageTest Load Time: 1.699 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.5 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 1.27 seconds

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Parallax Pro

Parallax Pro Lightweight WordPress Theme

Parallax Pro is a stunning collection of templates designed specifically for the Genesis framework.

As the name suggests, Parallax Pro includes a stunning parallax effect to add depth to your website. The layout also clearly divides the page into sections, making it possible to organize large amounts of content. This vertical layout encourages readers to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the call-to-action button.

Parallax Pro is lightning fast because it compresses images and other components with GZIP and delays loading JavaScript. As a result, it is lightweight and requires few HTTP requests.

HTTP Requests: 36

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 1.537 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 3.9 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 512ms

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Check out "Best WordPress Themes For Blogs"— find what suits your style, and is perfect for your niche.

Genesis Framework Package

Genesis Framework Package Lightweight WordPress Theme

Genesis is a popular WordPress theme framework among business owners and bloggers. Try this framework to build a fast and SEO-optimized child theme on a secure framework. You can also use one of the dozens of free Genesis child themes already available.

Genesis loads quickly due to its small page size, but it could be better optimized for speed to make fewer HTTP requests. GZIP compression would also be beneficial.

HTTP Requests: 37

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 1.925 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 1.2 seconds

Pingom Load Time: 567ms


SEO WP Lightweight WordPress Theme

SEOWP, which adheres to the most recent WordPress code standards, delays the loading of JavaScript and minimizes the number of elements on the page. As a result, it's a light and SEO-friendly option for any company. It is ideal for digital marketing agencies, freelancers, and consultants.

SEOWP includes 32-page templates and a robust set of design options such as a feature-rich mega menu, unlimited header styles, a drag-and-drop footer builder, advanced social sharing options, and over 90 premium illustrations. Aside from these design tools and features, there's also a form builder for quickly adding estimation forms to your site and pricing proposals, discount coupons, and more.

HTTP Requests: 93

WebpageTest Fully Loaded Time: 2.984 seconds

GTmetrix Load Time: 4.2 seconds

Pingom Load Time:  1.27 seconds

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The Bottomline

A fast-loading WordPress theme can assist you in creating a fast website that delights your visitors and improves your ranking. You'll set yourself up for success if you start with a clean codebase and only use the elements you need.


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Last Updated on February 9, 2023