Best light theme for wordpress

Light and dark themes are so popular these days. There is no shortage of them out there, but in this article, we’re going to be looking at the best light themes for WordPress,fastest wordpress theme 2022,Best lightweight theme for wordpress.

A dark or light WordPress theme makes it much easier to read content, or use your website. With a dark theme, users will find your content easier to read, as the color scheme is different than the background. Often times, a dark theme helps reduce eye strain when reading for long periods of time. Here’s my list of the best and most popular light themes for WordPress.

Best light theme for wordpress

What Makes a Theme “Lightweight”?

Unless you test a lot of WordPress themes yourself, I realize that “lightweight” doesn’t mean much without context. So before I show you the data for the best free lightweight WordPress themes, I’ll first give you a look at what an average theme looks like when it comes to file size and the number of requests.

To do that, I ran some tests for four random popular themes at WordPress.org (these are not the lightweight themes). I know — it’s not the most scientific of experiments. But it should give you a good baseline for what your “average” theme looks like:

  • Newsmag – 848.3 KB and 37 requests
  • Hueman – 582.9 KB and 21 requests
  • Ashe – 1.6MB and 24 requests (file size is extra large because it uses a background cover image by default)
  • Activello – 612.4 KB and 22 requests

You can kind of see a pattern there — the average WordPress theme is well over ~600 KB and has somewhere in the low 20s HTTP requests for just a blank site, and some can easily go beyond that.

For all the data in this post, I’m using a brand new WordPress install with just the default content and no plugins. Additionally, the file size numbers are for the entire WordPress site — not just the theme files. That’s why you might see a discrepancy between my numbers and the numbers that theme companies put in their marketing copy.

1. Sydney

  • File size on a fresh install: 47 KB
  • HTTP requests on a fresh install: 7

Sydney is our own lightweight multipurpose WordPress theme. While it’s always been fast, we’ve been working on making it even faster with improvements such as shifting to vanilla JavaScript and removing all jQuery dependencies.

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.

Sydney also works great with page builder plugins, including the popular Elementor page builder. Or, you can use it with the default WordPress block editor — it’s totally up to you!

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.

2. Botiga

  • File size on a fresh install:  45 KB
  • HTTP requests on a fresh install: 8

Botiga is our lightweight WooCommerce theme. It’s designed to help you create a beautiful store that also loads fast, which is essential for maximizing your store’s conversion rates.

To avoid bloat, we designed Botiga from the ground up to use the default WordPress editor. It also uses vanilla JavaScript to avoid slowing down your site with large libraries such as jQuery.

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.

3. GeneratePress

  • 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
Generatepress page controls

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.

4. Zakra

  • 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
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Etc.

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
  • Etc.

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 page controls

Zakra has a free version at WordPress.org. If you want all of the features, the premium version starts at $69.

5. Blocksy

  • 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.

6. Astra

  • 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 page controls

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.

7. OceanWP

  • 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:

OceanWP page controls

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:

  • Cookie notice
  • Popup login
  • Instagram feed
  • Modal window
  • Social sharing

You can get all the premium extensions and demos for $54.

8. Page Builder Framework

  • 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
  • Typography

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
PFB page controls

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.

9. Kadence

  • 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.

10. Neve

  • 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
Neve page controls

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).

Best lightweight theme for wordpress

1. Astra

Astra is a WordPress theme that gives developers and users an outstanding experience. Also, it offers super-fast performance, customizable options, and the largest library of pre-built websites.

Besides, Astra has seamless compatibility with Gutenberg blocks. It provides the ability to create custom layouts that will make your website stand out from the crowd!

Astra fastest WordPress theme

It has an amazing builder that allows you to take your website to the highest peak of performance. You can check out the full Astra theme reviews in this section.

Key features:

  • Header Footer builder
  • Drag and Drop builder
  • Live editing
  • Seamless WooCommerce integration with variable products
  • Advanced styling options
  • Fastest, lightweight

PageSpeed Insights

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): 1.8 s
  • First Input Delay (FID): 14 ms
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 2.4 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  0

Pingdom 

  • Performance Grade: 69
  • Page Size: 1.7 MB
  • Load Time: 915 ms
  • Requests: 111 

GTmetrix

  • Performance Score: 100 %
  • Structure Score: 90%
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 619 ms
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): 50ms
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 0
  • Fully Loaded Time: 1.9s
  • Speed Index: 686ms

2. Hestia

Hestia focuses on performance mainly, also it’s easy to use for both developers and users. Also, it is a stylish one-page theme for WordPress based on modern design.

Hestia is amazing as it is integrated with WooCommerce and supports all popular page builders that allow you to create your desired design. In addition, it lets you fine-tune your website, and see the changes in real-time. 

Hestia is an excellent choice for online shops as it’s a user-friendly WooCommerce theme.

Key features:

  • Live customizer
  • SEO-optimized 
  • Quick update and fast supports
  • Easy to set up
  • Full control with popular page builders

PageSpeed Insights

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): 2.0 s
  • First Input Delay (FID): 32 ms
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 3.7 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  0.28

Pingdom 

  • Performance Grade: 74
  • Page Size: 3.5 MB
  • Load Time: 1.42 s
  • Requests: 152

GTmetrix

  • Performance Score: 93%
  • Structure Score: 87%
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 434ms
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): 153ms
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 0.11 
  • Fully Loaded Time: 4.1s
  • Speed Index: 1.4s

3. OnePress

OnePress is a highly creative and adaptable WordPress one-page theme. That’s why it’s ideal for a business website, portfolio, product display, and anybody else who is looking for an aesthetic design. Also, it’s a wonderful example of a Bootstrap 4 WordPress theme that is compatible with the most recent version of WooCommerce. 

onepress fastest WordPress theme

Key Feature:

  • Slideshow header
  • Fun facts area
  • Newsfeed
  • Contact form 
  • Newsletter signup

PageSpeed Insights

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): 1.5 s
  • First Input Delay (FID): 14 ms
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 2.4 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  0.05

Pingdom 

  • Performance Grade: 88 
  • Page Size: 2.6 MB
  • Load Time: 887 ms
  • Requests: 45

GTmetrix

  • Performance Score: 85%
  • Structure Score: 96%
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 995ms
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): 176ms
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 0
  • Fully Loaded Time: 1.6s
  • Speed Index: 4.3s
  • Largest Contentful Paint: 995ms

4. Flatsome 

Flatsome is one of the most used and trusted themes for any kind of WooCommerce website. For being updated, it always supports the latest WooCommerce versions. Also, it offers super responsive websites that are pretty fast comparing others. You can easily speed up the WooCommerce website with this theme.

It has the page builder option that allows building pages without coding. Moreover, If you want an aesthetic, responsive, fast, and dynamic WooCommerce theme, the Flatsome theme can be the best choice. 

flatsome fastest and lightweight WordPress theme

Key Feature:

  • Responsive design
  • Touch-optimized
  • Sharp retina-ready graphics
  • Unlimited color options
  • Quick and easy mobile navigation
  • Smart header
  • 500+ Built-in Google fonts
  • Beautiful cart and checkout design

PageSpeed Insights

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): 1.7 s
  • First Input Delay (FID): N/A
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 1.9 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  0

Pingdom 

  • Performance Grade: 83
  • Page Size: 904.4 KB
  • Load Time: 506 ms
  • Requests: 56

GTmetrix

  • Performance Score: 100%
  • Structure Score: 88%
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 607ms
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): 13ms
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 0
  • Fully Loaded Time: 702ms
  • Speed Index: 537ms
  • Largest Contentful Paint: 607ms

5. OceanWP

OceanWP theme is multipurpose, highly extendable, and one of the best free responsive themes WordPress. This theme is lightweight that provides a super-fast experience while browsing. It is suitable for any type of websites such as a blog, portfolio, and business.  

Fastest WordPress Theme OceanWP

OceanWP is WooCommere ready, allowing you to instantly turn your website into an eCommerce store. You can also compare OceanWP vs Flatsome theme and can get the idea of which theme is the best for you.

Key features:

  • Elementor ready
  • E-Commerce ready
  • SEO optimized
  • RTL Translation supported

PageSpeed Insights

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): 2.2 s
  • First Input Delay (FID): N/A
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 3 s
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  N/A

Pingdom 

  • Performance Grade: 69
  • Page Size: 3.4 MB
  • Load Time: 1.90 s
  • Requests: 122

GTmetrix

  • Performance Score: 90%
  • Structure Score: 95%
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): 421ms
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): 203ms
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 0.15
  • Fully Loaded Time: 2.8s
  • Speed Index: 815ms
  • Largest Contentful Paint: 421ms

fastest wordpress theme 2022

Here’s a table that shows the performance data of the eight free fastest WordPress themes in 2021.

GT MetrixPageSpeed Insights
AstraPerformance: 98%
Fully loaded time: 1.4 seconds
Total page size: 43.6KB
HTTP Requests: 8
Overall score: 99
Speed index: 2.8 seconds
Time to interactivity: 1.5 seconds
NevePerformance: 98%
Fully loaded time: one second
Total page size: 32.4KB
HTTP Requests: 6
Overall score: 100
Speed index: 1.8 seconds
Time to interactivity: 1.1 seconds
OceanWPPerformance: 95%
Fully loaded time: 1.6 seconds
Total page size: 249KB
HTTP Requests: 18
Overall score: 87
Speed index: 4.2 seconds
Time to interactivity: 3.1 seconds
Twenty TwentyPerformance: 94%
Fully loaded time: 1.9 seconds
Total page size: 273KB
HTTP Requests: 8
Overall score: 79
Speed index: 3.4 seconds
Time to interactivity: 2.8 seconds
Hello ElementorPerformance: 99%
Fully loaded time: 0.9 seconds
Total page size: 21KB
HTTP Requests: 6
Overall score: 100
Speed index: 2.1 seconds
Time to interactivity: 1.2 seconds
SydneyPerformance: 97%
Fully loaded time: 1.1 seconds
Total page size: 90KB
HTTP Requests: 9
Overall score: 95
Speed index: 3.4 seconds
Time to interactivity: 2.3 seconds
WriteePerformance: 97%
Fully loaded time: 1.6 seconds
Total page size: 182KB
HTTP Requests: 16
Overall score: 89
Speed index: four seconds
Time to interactivity: 2.8 seconds
AiriPerformance: 97%
Fully loaded time: 1.6 seconds
Total page size: 300KB
HTTP Requests: 19
Overall score: 85
Speed index: 4.1 seconds
Time to interactivity: 3.3 seconds

Now, let’s take a look at each of the free fastest WordPress themes individually.

1. Astra 

Screenshot of Astra WordPress theme

Theme Stats:

  • Speed Test Result: 98% (GTMetrix), 99 (PageSpeed Insights)
  • Downloads: 1 million+
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Notable Features: various starter templates, WooCommerce-ready
  • Best Suited For: all kinds of websites
  • Price: freemium

Astra is one of the fastest WordPress themes you can get. It has over 1 million downloads and comes with a perfect 5 out of 5 rating.

When we tested Astra with GTMetrix, the test data showed that the site fully loaded in 1.4 seconds with a 98% performance score. The total page size is only 43.6KB with eight HTTP requests, explaining why the theme loads so fast.

This WordPress theme performed excellently on PageSpeed Insights for mobile pages, too, scoring 99 with a speed index of 2.8 seconds. This makes Astra a very fast-loading WordPress theme that is fully responsive to boot.

Astra offers lots of starter templates for all types of websites, such as online stores, freelance businesses, online courses, and more. This multipurpose WordPress theme is also WooCommerce-ready, so it’s a great option for building a fast-loading eCommerce site.

Customization-wise, Astra offers a significant number of typography options, including more than 700 Google Fonts. Plus, you get unlimited color options to choose from, making it easy to achieve the correct color and typography combination that will match your brand.

Astra’s premium version costs $47/year or $249/lifetime license and comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

2. Neve

Screenshot of Neve WordPress theme

Theme Stats:

  • Speed Test Result: 98% (GTMetrix), 100 (PageSpeed Insights)
  • Downloads: 200,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable Features: compatibility with page builders, mobile-optimized
  • Best Suited For: all kinds of websites
  • Price: freemium

Neve is a lightweight and multipurpose theme for WordPress. Its score was 98% on the GTMetrix performance test, and it fully loaded the site in just one second. With a total page size of 32.4KB, this is a light theme. 

On the PageSpeed test, this theme got a perfect mark of 100 with a speed index of 1.8 seconds, making it the fastest WordPress theme on this list. 

Neve offers more than 30 ready-to-import starter templates to help you get started quickly. Customizing the theme is easy as it’s compatible with Gutenberg block editor and five popular page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi.

The premium version starts from $59/year or $189/lifetime license and comes with custom layouts and headers, as well as a booster module for Elementor and blogging functionality. You can also go for the Business plan that costs $99/year or $159/lifetime license and get a WooCommerce booster module and priority support for your site.

3. OceanWP

Screenshot of OceanWP WordPress theme

Theme Stats:

  • Speed Test Result: 95% (GTMetrix), 87 (PageSpeed Insights)
  • Downloads: 700,000+
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Notable Features: WooCommerce integration, cart pop-up, floating add-to-cart bar, quick view functionality
  • Best Suited For: eCommerce websites
  • Price: freemium

OceanWP is a fast-loading multipurpose free WordPress theme that’s optimized for speed and includes WooCommerce compatibility.

The GTMetrix test data displays a loading time of 1.6 seconds and a 95% overall performance score. It’s a good result, considering the total page size is over 200KB.

However, the mobile performance is a bit compromised, clocking at 4.2 seconds for the speed index and scoring 87 overall. 

Still, OceanWP should definitely be considered when building an eCommerce store, even if it’s not the fastest WordPress theme on the market.

The theme comes with WooCommerce integration. Features like native cart pop-up and floating add-to-cart bar can help to increase the conversion rate. Plus, you get a quick view function, so users don’t have to go to a new page to access product information.

If you wish to have more advanced features, you can get various extensions individually or purchase them as a bundle in a premium version of the theme. The premium OceanWP theme starts from $39/year and comes with more than 100 premium starter sites.

4. Twenty Twenty

Screenshot of Twenty Twenty WordPress theme

Theme Stats: 

  • Speed Test Result: 94% (GTMetrix), 79 (PageSpeed Insights)
  • Downloads: 1 million+
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Notable Features: integrated with WordPress installation
  • Best Suited For: personal blogs, simple websites
  • Price: free

Twenty Twenty is one of the default themes you get when you install WordPress. While it’s not the most impressive, it’s one of the fastest WordPress themes currently on the market.

The GTMetrix test shows good results, scoring 94% on the overall performance and clocking 1.9 seconds in full loading speed, despite the total page size of 273KB.

This WordPress theme is compatible with the block editor for customization, so you can create dynamic landing pages and feature a custom site design. 

While Twenty Twenty doesn’t pack tons of features and comes with a larger page size, it’s convenient to have a fast WordPress theme already included as a default part of your WordPress account. If you aim to create a simple site or a blog, you don’t need to search far for a suitable theme.

5. Hello Elementor

Screenshot of Hello Elementor WordPress theme

Theme Stats:

  • Speed Test Result: 99% (GTMetrix), 100 (PageSpeed Insights)
  • Downloads: 500,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5 
  • Notable Features: perfect compatibility with Elementor and WooCommerce
  • Best Suited For: building a WordPress site with Elementor
  • Price: free

Hello Elementor is one of the fastest WordPress themes out there. It’s very lightweight with a total page size of 21KB, and it’s fully optimized for the Elementor page builder. 

The theme displays a fully loaded time of just 0.9 seconds and a 99% GTMetrix performance score. The mobile version doesn’t disappoint either, scoring a perfect score in PageSpeed Insights with a speed index of 2.1 seconds. 

Hello Elementor is an excellent option for the WordPress site owners that prefer to use the Elementor page builder. Combined with its WooCommerce compatibility and stunning speed and performance, this WordPress theme is a great option for building a successful eCommerce store as well.

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