Your WordPress theme is your site’s foundation, which means it plays a big role in how quickly your site loads. Sure, there are a ton of tactics that you can use to speed up your WordPress site after the fact. But your theme is always going to act as a bottleneck.
I was doing some testing on my portfolio site once, and I got an almost 50% reduction in page load times just by switching to one of the lightweight WordPress themes on this list (and that site was already decently optimized before the switch!).
So yeah, whenever possible, you always want to choose a lightweight WordPress theme. But — how do you find a theme that’s lightweight? I mean, no developer advertises their theme as “slow loading”, so how do you get beyond the marketing copy and pick something that’s going to load fast?
Blog Light is a simple, easy to use, modern and creative, user friendly WordPress theme. In addition Blog Light is responsive, cross browser compatible and child theme ready. Blog Light comes with added custom widgets for social and author, sticky sidebar options, footer widget, sidebar options, meta option, copyright option, search option etc.
To make that easier, we’ve put together this list of the best free lightweight WordPress themes. All of these themes will give you a quick-loading foundation without costing you a penny. And to prove it, I’ll install each one of these themes on my test site and show you the data when it comes to file size and HTTP requests.
The speed of your website has a significant influence on your search engine rankings and the experience of your visitors. This is why is essential to choose a lightweight WordPress theme for your blog.
Lightweight WordPress themes are perfect for bloggers who want to create a website in minutes. They are not only fast and easy to use but also offer many customization options.
One of the best things about these lightweight WordPress themes is that they come with all the features that you need – like a blog post editor, social media integration, etc.
The ideal theme will be coded to the highest standards, SEO-friendly, and lightweight.
We’ve compiled a list of the fastest loading WordPress themes available in the WordPress directory and third-party marketplaces to assist you in making this selection.
- File size on a fresh install: 47 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 7
You can use Sydney’s flexible Customizer options to easily set up your site from scratch. Or, if you want to save time, you can import one of Sydney’s 23+ professionally designed demo sites, which cover a range of niches.
The Sydney theme has a free version that works fine for simple sites. If you want more flexibility, there’s also a paid version starting at $69.
- File size on a fresh install: 45 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 8
Despite keeping things lightweight, Botiga is still packed with tons of WooCommerce-specific features, including multi-step checkout, product swatches, gallery styles, product wishlists, and more.
You can either design your store from scratch using the flexible Customizer options or import one of the pre-built WooCommerce demo sites.
Botiga comes in a free version as well as a Pro version that starts at $69.
- File size on a fresh install: 108.4 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 11
Right off the bat, you can see that GeneratePress sports some impressive numbers when it comes to “lightweightedness”. Its numbers are well below your average theme, which will give you a great foundation to build on.
While GeneratePress doesn’t look like much out of the box, the big perk of this theme is how customizable it is, which is why it’s a great multipurpose option.
Using the real-time WordPress Customizer, you can easily switch up your site’s header, typography, colors, etc.
If you’re a fan of WordPress page builders, GeneratePress is also very easy to pair with a page builder plugin because you get a meta box for each piece of content that lets you:
- Turn off the content title or other information
- Change width (e.g. create a full-width design with your page builder)
- Disable header/footer to use a page builder to design the entire page
If you’re willing to pay, GeneratePress Premium adds on a lot of new customization options, as well as tons of hooks that developers will love. All the new features are modular to preserve GeneratePress’ lightweight approach.
GeneratePress Premium also gets you access to a premade site library that you can import as needed.
It costs $59.
- File size on a fresh install: 96.8 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 10
Zakra manages to squeak in a tiny bit under GeneratePress, going sub-100 KB for the file size on a fresh WordPress install.
Like GeneratePress, it doesn’t offer a ton of styling out of the box, instead opting to give you lots of WordPress Customizer controls to set things up to your liking.
From the WordPress Customizer, you can control:
- Header layout
- Single layouts
Beyond those Customizer controls, you can also choose from 10+ free starter sites. And like GeneratePress, you also get those page-level controls that make Zakra really easy to pair with a page builder. You can:
- Change layouts
- Tweak sidebars
With that being said, it’s not quite as flexible as GeneratePress in terms of what you can disable on a per-post/page basis:
Zakra has a free version at WordPress.org. If you want all of the features, the premium version starts at $69.
- File size on a fresh install: 44 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 6
Blocksy is a modern lightweight WordPress theme that’s attracted a lot of attention with its flexible Customizer options and slick pre-built demo sites.
You can either build your site from scratch using the well-thought-out options in the Customizer, including a drag-and-drop header builder. Or, you can easily import one of the dozens of premade starter sites, all of which have clean, modern designs.
Blocksy also offers deep WooCommerce support, along with integrations with the WordPress block editor. Alternatively, you can use it with your favorite page builder plugin.
It has a free version as well as an affordable premium version that starts at just $49 for use on a single site.
- File size on a fresh install: 174.1 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 9
Astra is another lightweight WordPress theme that’s especially popular with people who use page builders.
One of my favorite things about Astra is that it comes with a big library of premade sites that you can import with just a few clicks. These sites are built with Elementor, Beaver Builder, or the WordPress block editor for easy customization. While paid users get access to all the premade sites, even free users can still install a solid number of them.
Beyond that, you also get a ton of detailed WordPress Customizer settings to control exactly how your site looks, as well as per-post/page options to:
- Change content width
- Disable title, header, featured image, or footer
- Change the number of sidebars
- Enable a transparent header
Astra also has special integrations for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and some LMS plugins that let you control the plugin’s looks via the WordPress Customizer. That’s a nice plus if you use one of those plugins.
If you need more functionality, there’s also a Pro version that adds a lot more modular options for $59.
- File size on a fresh install: 625.8KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 18
Along with GeneratePress and Astra, OceanWP is super popular with people who build WordPress sites with page builders. It’s the heaviest theme on this list, but it comes with a lot of customization options to make up for that.
It has a lot of similarities to those two themes in that:
- It includes detailed WordPress Customizer controls
- You get page-level controls to disable certain information if you want to use a page builder (as long as you install the free Ocean Extra companion plugin)
OceanWP’s post/page meta box is a little more detailed than the other themes, even letting you get into things such as breadcrumbs and a custom logo for specific content:
Where you’ll start seeing some of the bigger differences with OceanWP is in the premium version. Beyond adding a bunch of importable site designs, the premium version is also a little more focused on adding functionality than just pure customization like Astra and GeneratePress.
For example, the premium version includes features such as:
You can get all the premium extensions and demos for $54.
- File size on a fresh install: 206.8 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 12
As the name suggests, Page Builder Framework is specifically designed to pair with whatever your favorite page builder is.
As a result, it’s focused on giving you the basic controls you need and then getting out of the way so that you can use a page builder for everything else.
Using the WordPress Customizer, you can set up:
- Your header (the premium version adds a lot more flexibility here)
- Blog layouts, including archives and singles
You also get the aforementioned page-level controls that let you:
- Hide page titles
- Disable the header and/or footer
- Go full-width
- Change the sidebar configuration
If you need more functionality, there’s a premium add-on that gives more advanced header and menu options such as:
- Sticky header
- Transparent header
- Off-canvas menu
- Mega menu
You also get lots of other customization options, including more detailed Customizer controls.
The premium version costs $58.
- File size on a fresh install: 44 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 9
Kadence Theme is a lightweight multipurpose theme from Kadence WP, a company that was acquired by Liquid Web in April 2021.
Beyond its lightweight design, its claim to fame is its incredibly detailed Customizer options, which help you build literally any type of website.
It also comes with dozens of pre-designed importable demo sites, including a unique demo site import process that lets you easily change up fonts and colors to match your preferences.
While Kadence Theme does work well with any page builder plugin, it also pairs great with the Kadence Blocks plugin from the same developer. This combo lets you design everything using the WordPress block editor.
Kadence Theme has a free version as well as a premium version that starts at $79.
You can also get a bundle that includes Kadence Theme Pro and Kadence Blocks Pro, starting at $149.
- File size on a fresh install: 206.0 KB
- HTTP requests on a fresh install: 11
In terms of file size and requests, Neve clocks in almost equal to Page Builder Framework.
Like many of the other themes in this collection, Neve is built to pair with your page builder of choice and/or the default WordPress block editor.
As such, it comes with detailed WordPress Customizer controls for your site’s basic looks, including lots of different layouts for your blog archive pages (you can either go with a list or a grid, with several permutations on each).
You also get page-level controls where you can:
- Change the number of sidebars
- Change the width, including a unique option to specify a custom width percentage
- Disable the header, title, and footer
Beyond that, Neve also comes with its own sites library that lets you import any one of the pre-built sites (these are built with either Elementor or the block editor).
Neve has a free version. To unlock all features, the paid version costs $89 ($69 for the first year).
The Cenote is a free, lightweight theme with a modern and clean look that offers a lot of functionality.
The Cenote has the advantage of using standard colors and white space.
The theme comes with a one-click setup button and basic color choices to match your logos and branding.
The four widget regions are available in the sidebars, header, and footer.
The MagXp WordPress theme empowers even the most amateur blogger to build a unique website.
It comes with over ten ready-to-use homepage themes and a drag-and-drop page builder, allowing you to create a website quickly.
It also has over 630 Google fonts, endless color choices, sidebar options, and pre-defined layout options, among other features.
Writee is one of the quickest loading blogging themes, including a paid and free edition.
There are built-in scrolling options, social network sharing icons, and a related articles widget to make your site simpler to explore.
You may also personalize your logo and favicon, enable or disable hyperlinks, and select from various sidebar choices.
With Writee Pro, you’ll have access to even more features.
4. Gucherry Blog
For fashion, travel, and lifestyle bloggers, the GuCherry Blog theme is essential and elegant.
It includes a prominent slider at the top and several widgets that simplify adding content to your customizable sections and sidebar of your website.
This theme also has lots of ad space, allowing you to monetize your site using ad networks like Google AdSense effortlessly.
The GuCherry Blog theme offers different post types, allowing you to add audio, video, and writing material to your posts to make them more attractive.
5. Olsen Light
Olsen Light is a WordPress theme that looks like a fresh, crisp white shirt.
Olsen Light is a clean, full-width, and beautiful blog theme that draws your readers’ attention to your content.
Olsen Light is well-suited to various topics and is ideal for photography-related websites.
A full-width template or a proper sidebar layout are also options.
The new and enhanced WordPress Customizer makes it easy to customize this theme.
The Customizer features allow you to upload site banner logos, personalize and adjust pagination designs, etc.
You may also employ a visually attractive image slideshow on your first page if you like.
The Masonic WordPress theme is another excellent option for your blog.
This theme is perfect for any blog you want to write, but ideally for those with many photographs.
It employs a masonry layout (thus the name) that displays your most recent postings in a card-style format.
This is ideal for a food blog or other site to highlight a featured image and a brief description on the homepage.
The Hueman theme is one of the most common themes for bloggers.
It offers a modern look, is simple to use, and loads quickly.
It also provides many modification options to make the theme your own.
The theme comes with two sidebars, but you can easily remove one or select a no-sidebar style.
This theme is ideal for any blogger or website that consistently produces a large amount of information.
Additionally, you have the choice of picking from numerous blog styles.
- Analyze borrower’s documents to determine if they meet guidelines
- Perform diligent reviews of credit report to determine obligations paid by the borrower
- Review financial statements and tax returns of self-employed borrowers
- Examine borrower’s source of funds to ensure eligibility
- Accurately calculate income using documents such as paystubs, W2s and wards letters
- Follow AUS findings to decision loan or request additional documentation
- Update LOS with accurate and up to date information
- Keep up to date on agency/non-agency guidelines and internal policy and procedures
- Clearly communicate loan denials with loan processor and loan originator
- Review appraisals for completeness, acceptability and compliance to investor guidelines
- Review daily pipeline to ensure all loans are completed in a timely manner
8. Chic Lite
Chic Lite is a visually attractive, feminine, minimalist theme.
This is an excellent option if you want to start a lifestyle, fashion, or beauty blog.
This theme is convenient if you want to share a wide range of information.
There are areas for social network and email campaign integrations, for example, and post customization possibilities.
You may also customize your blog by using your company’s colors and fonts.
Another noteworthy feature is the 22 included widgets, an advertisement widget that allows you to carefully put advertisements throughout your content.
The Hemingway theme is a superb choice if you’re searching for something basic that appeals to the author in you.
It’s simple and straightforward and with good reason.
The goal of this theme is to bring your words to the forefront.
This is an excellent option for people who frequently write topical or essays items for their blogs.
It has a simple design that doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to express.
Instead, it serves as a stunning backdrop for your photographs and words.
This two-column, responsive theme was created with bloggers in mind, yet it doesn’t compromise on high-quality graphics capability.
Hestia is an excellent choice if you seek a basic theme for your blogging. It is one of the most popular lightweight WordPress themes because of its simplicity and good function.
The theme includes a trendy, material look and plenty of primary sites to help you get started quickly.
Since it’s a one-page theme, you can quickly get your website up and running.
It’s also compatible with popular page builder plugins, allowing you to create pages and alter the look of your blog posts without knowing how to code.
Author is a two-toned theme designed exclusively for readers and authors.
Author uses a dark sidebar with a light-toned main body section to provide enough visual contrast between the two parts to direct your visitor’s attention to your written and highlighted material.
This theme is built to be responsive, light, and quick, with uncertain loading and minified scripts and style sheets to help your site function and load well in any browser.
The theme is fast and has been developed with ease of access for viewers with impairments.
It has an adaptive layout that will improve and enhance your users’ experience on your website.
The Bard theme promotes itself as a lovely theme.
Your blog will be a joy to read thanks to stunning pictures, a simple and clean design, and attractive font.
This theme has a grid-based style that allows you to publish your most current news and add lots of widgets to the sidebar so that your visitors can learn more about you.
A social widget, email, author profile, social media feeds, and other features are included.
Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and SiteOrigin are just a few of the popular drag-and-drop page builders that Bard is compatible with.
If you wish to add an online store to your blog, it’s WooCommerce compatible as well.
Furthermore, you can monetize the theme through advertisements since it has three ad boxes that can use show banner advertising.
13. Everly Lite
Everly Lite is the free version of the Premium Everly WordPress theme.
In Everly Lite, you’ll find various Customizer choices for personalizing your blog.
You can upload a favicon (also known as a “browser icon”) and crop it to your satisfaction for use in mobile and tabs browsers.
You may also add and customize widgets for various top corner displays, sidebar, and footer.
The theme also has its “Theme Options” portion in your WordPress Dashboard’s menu.
There are font color, faces, and size choices for every main text-based component, from body text to subheadings, and simple access to several Google Web Fonts.
You can also use your files to replace the “Everly’s Blog” ribbon logo.
The majority of the free blog themes in this selection use minimalist, light color schemes.
Period is slightly different because it uses a darker palette, but it still has the same clean and legible look as the lighter-toned themes on our list.
The theme’s dark tones make it ideal for professional services and business blogs and blogs in conservative categories like banking and law.
Full-width, two-column, and one-column designs are available as options in the theme.
For improved user experience, SEO, and navigation, you may add optional text description blocks to author pages, galleries, categories, and tags.
Period is WooCommerce-compatible, so you can easily add an online store to your blog.
Period gets high marks from users for its dedication to built-in SEO, accessibility, and seamless connection with caching plugins.
Another fantastic choice for your blogging site is Radiate.
This WordPress theme has a lightweight, eye-catching, and straightforward theme.
This means it will load rapidly, encouraging visitors to stay longer.
This theme is ideal for a photo-focused website or blog, such as travel, fashion, or photography.
Thanks to the grid layout, the top posts may be featured on your site with a picture and a “Read More” button.
It also includes a full-width banner across the top that you can modify to fit your business or brand, a custom menu, and social network icons to connect your site to all of your social media accounts.
Zakra is a lightweight WordPress theme that can create any site on any budget.
Zakrais is like GeneratePress.
It has a free and paid version.
It works with the majority of popular WordPress plugins, allowing you to expand the functionality of your site.
Zakra is another good option for your blog, with outstanding functionality and performance, especially if you prefer to keep things visually simple.
One sight tells you all you need to know: Kale is a WordPress blog theme that redefines the minimalist, clean approach. It is one of the most popular lightweight WordPress themes for food bloggers.
Kale’s unique home page design is captivating and eye-catching, encouraging users to keep browsing and digging deeper into your content.
Kale is designed for food bloggers, but it may also be used in various consumer-oriented sectors, including fitness, health, lifestyle, and almost any creative or artistic work.
Kale is an excellent option for any blogger who also needs an integrated eCommerce portion on their site, thanks to its native WooCommerce integration.
Neve might be the best choice for you to construct a blog with a basic style.
It has an extensive library of ready-to-import beginning sites and some free options developed exclusively for blogs.
This freemium theme is light and fast, making it a perfect choice for any blog with many materials to post.
It’s also simple to set up and operate, and it’s compatible with major page builders like Divi and Elementor themes.
You’ll also have access to customization options like custom footers and headers and layout.
19. Anariel Lite
Anariel Lite is an excellent theme with a simple look and a modern design.
The clean design draws visitors’ attention to your content and eliminates unnecessary features to reduce distractions.
Anariel has a beautiful retina-ready design and is ideal for lifestyle and fashion blogs.
The theme aims at making your writing and photos appear attractive by providing simple access to and deployment of content-friendly widgets like a gallery display, Instagram feed, recent posts display, and video.
OceanWP is a famous multipurpose theme ideal for creating a distinctive blog with many customization possibilities. It undoubtedly popular among lightweight WordPress themes.
This user-friendly theme has a vast number of demos and one-click import functionality.
It also works with page builder plugins like Beaver Builder and Elementor, making it simple to create the blog of your dreams in no time.
OceanWP is simple and intuitive, with a few important design features like mobile menu designs and a different header.
In addition, there are a few visually appealing blog-specific layouts to pick from, including those that are free.
OceanWP is highly adjustable and a flexible WordPress theme worth checking out if you’re searching for a theme for your blog.