50 Fast WordPress Themes You Need to Know About

Check out some of the fastest and best optimized WordPress themes on ThemeForest.

We invited WordPress designers and developers on Themeforest to share their fastest performing themes. We ran each theme through Pingdom, recorded all the results, and in the article below we’ve shared some of the best performing themes we discovered.

Speed & Optimization

With over nine thousand WordPress themes on ThemeForest, it can sometimes be daunting to find the perfect theme. Sure, customers can look at the number of sales and ratings of each item, or the reputation of each author, but other than looking purely at the aesthetics of each design, are there any other ways to determine which is the best theme to invest in? The answer is yes – how fast a theme performs.
An effectively optimized WordPress site can significantly help your website load faster.
Theme speed can be optimized in numerous ways such as selecting a solid hosting platform, the use of a good framework, optimizing images effectively and so forth. We may deep dive into these areas in a future blog post, but for the purposes of this article all we need to embrace is the fact that an effectively optimized WordPress site can significantly improve how fast your website loads, improve SEO ranking, and thus help retain users and customers on your site. Subjectivity Although WordPress performance can be subjective and therefore complex to make comparisons between themes with many variables at play, we wanted to help expose some of the better, well-configured WordPress themes that load quickly and perform well.
Our overall intention is to give some exposure to themes that have been built and optimized with speed in mind for the end user.
It’s important to note that our tests are not trying to be scientific in any way. We only recorded scores for themes voluntarily submitted by authors, for example, and have not included every theme on ThemeForest, or any free WordPress themes. Even within the sample of themes we ran tests on, there are still many variables out of our control that should be taken into consideration such as hosting, location, and time of day reports were run; that can all affect results. One of the biggest challenges in making comparisons is obviously the wide difference in page size and number of requests between themes, so it’s important to keep these issues and variances in mind. For the purpose of this article, however, we’ve given precedence to themes with an ‘A’-rated performance grade where 100 is the highest attainable score. The ranking also takes into consideration load time (where lower values are best) and the “faster than” metric (where higher values are best). Our overall intention is to give some exposure to themes that have been built, and optimized with speed in mind for the end user, and if in doubt, users can always run their own tests/reports for themes they are interested in purchasing. So, formalities over and done with, let’s jump in and take a look at all those juicy, optimized WordPress themes!

Foto – Photography WordPress Themes for Photographers by themesawesome

Foto has a simplistic, and clean design to allow images to take centre stage. This template is incredibly easy to implement, and equally as simple for the audience to navigate. The sleek design has been crafted specifically for the optimum display for photography, and includes fifteen different album options. The Foto WordPress template for photographers is easy to use, and allows you to customize the look and feel of your photography website. It also uses up to date, and best practice SEO techniques, and has been designed to be responsive across all devices.
→ Check out the full demo

Photography – Full Screen Photography Portfolio by Osetin

This photography theme is perfect not only for photographers but for all types of creative people. In the latest version, unique features include password protected galleries for clients, smart photo protection to minimize the chance of getting your work stolen, multiple layouts, an innovative media manager, appointment booking, downloadable image galleries and so much more!
Media management in motion:
Fully responsive layouts:
→ Check out the full demo

TopNews – News Magazine Newspaper Blog Viral & Buzz WordPress Theme by codexcoder 

If you’re looking for a news/magazine style theme, Top-News may be the theme you’ve been looking for! It’s feature-rich, yet user friendly, and has the advantage of being fast-loading, and very customizable. The flexible and powerful options allow you to customize the theme easily, and the drag & drop page builder makes it easy to create unique and creative homepages. TopNews is SEO-ready and provides a great platform to achieve super high search engine rankings for your website.  
→ Check out the full demo

Mango – Portfolio for Creatives by neuronthemes

Mango is high quality creative theme with unique style and clean code. It can be used for many types of creative portfolios from agencies to freelancers and beyond. The super clean and minimal design is powered by fast, smooth, and optimized pages. Even under the hood, code and CSS is clearly commented and easy to understand.
→ Check out the full demo

Glossy – Fashion Blog Theme for Stylish Affiliation by Dahz

Glossy’s main selling point is its ability to embed affiliate links virtually anywhere in the theme in order to monetize your blog. Greatly influenced by fashion, and couture, the stylish design is modern, clean, and engaging. Seven total layouts and 12 shortcodes make this an eye-catching and quick performing theme.
→ Check out the full demo

Travelista – Travel Blog Theme by BloomPixel

Travelista is a blog theme designed and developed for travel bloggers. Due to its simplicity however, it can be used for any kind of blog. Supporting 9 post formats (Standard, Gallery, Link, Quote, Video, Image, Status Audio and Aside,) and 8 unique blog layouts, Travelista comes with an advanced admin panel providing an easy interface to customize and style each page. Retina and responsive has never performed so rapidly!
→ Check out the full demo

Marco – Modern Restaurant WordPress Theme by yosoftware

Marco is a modern, unique and highly functional WordPress theme suitable for any restaurant, cafe, winery, sushi bar, bistro, bar, pub, or other food-related business. With its professional and beautiful design, the theme offers all essential restaurant features, such as a menu, gallery, blog, contact, team and an online reservation system. With a top performance score of A-100, this theme gives a whole new meaning to “fast food”!
→ Check out the full demo

Blueberry – A Responsive WordPress Blog Theme by AwedooStudio

Blueberry is a lightweight & responsive WordPress Theme for personal blogs, with a lot of features. The clean, modern, and minimal design helps fans and readers focus on what really matters – your content, and every word you write.
→ Check out the full demo

Electro Electronics Store WooCommerce Theme by shaikrilwan

Electro is a robust, and flexible WordPress theme, helping you to make the most out of using WooCommerce to power your online store. The design is very well suited for electronics products, vendor based marketplaces, and affiliate websites. It comes bundled with most of the advanced features available in most popular eCommerce websites like Amazon, FlipKart, SnapDeal, WalMart, Alibaba, and so forth. The theme is built on top of the Underscores framework, and the code is lean, and extensible. This allows developers to easily add additional functionality via child theme, and/or custom plugin(s). With speed of product discovery and the checkout process being essential to online shopping, the optmized performance of Electro will satisfy both your business, and your customers.
→ Check out the full demo

Paperio – Responsive and Multipurpose WordPress Blog Theme by themezaa

Paperio is a visually appealing, clean and uncluttered, multi-purpose WordPress blog theme that is SEO, and speed optimized. Fully responsive and modern, the ability to customize this theme means that it has multi-use potential for industries such as interior and home decor, food and restaurants, art and photography, travel and adventure, fashion and lifestyle, news and magazine, and much more.. The polished design provides a sophisticated, user friendly, and easy-to-read blog style. This optimized theme has given special attention to ensuring highly visible search engine results, and lightning-fast page loading.
→ Check out the full demo

uDesign – Responsive WordPress Theme by AndonDesign

Firstly, it’s currently the 10th best selling theme of all time on ThemeForest, so, 45,000+ customers can’t be wrong. U-Design is a powerful, and user friendly theme. It can be used by both people with no programming experience, as well as advanced developers. Sites can be built quickly with confidence and with minimal effort. With such a powerful tool you can transform your site in seconds and have your project delivered on time. SEO has been made a priority in the development of U-Design, as shown by the performance scores above. In the code hierarchy, for example, the main content block is placed before the sidebar regardless of the sidebar position, so it is crawled first by search engines. Headings are also handled by the theme for better SEO.
→ Check out the full demo

NanoMag – Responsive WordPress Magazine Theme by jellywp

NanoMag is a colorful and engaging premium WordPress magazine theme with a clean and fully-responsive layout. The theme comes with a super useful drag and drop content builder, theme options, review system, custom sidebar and much more!
→ Check out the full demo

Ailsa – Personal Blog WordPress Theme by VictorThemes

Ailsa is a smart, and clean-looking WordPress theme for personal bloggers. The theme can accommodate great ideas by allowing you to customize as much as you need, and want. The design and typography has a calmness and softness to it which will provide an enjoyable experience for any user who visits. Ailsa is more than a theme, it’s an experience.
→ Check out the full demo

Folia | Agency & Freelance Portfolio WP Theme by DJMiMi

Folia is unique theme which allows the user to completely control portfolio layout and provides the ability to create a massive amount of different layouts. Each portfolio box can be styled separately. Folia has unique detail touches, so your blog and portfolio will really stand out among the others.
→ Check out the full demo

 Sport Center – Multipurpose Events & Education WordPress Theme by leafcolor

The Sport Center WordPress theme is perfect for fitness and sport services including gyms, cycling, and yoga classes. This ‘A’-rated theme handles everything from events, courses, training centers, education, business and shopping. The theme may be feature-rich but it is very easy to use.
→ Check out the full demo

TopSEO – SEO, Digital Marketing WordPress Theme by haintheme

TopSEO is a flexible WordPress theme that is well designed, and contains clean code under the hood. Very well suited to digital agencies, SEO agencies, social media, and any marketing business. All your favorite features are bundled in this theme including retina-ready visuals, a fully responsive layout, cross-browser compatibility, and a one-click demo install.
→ Check out the full demo

Aerious – Super Light Multipurpose WordPress Theme by TBS-CODERS

Aerious is a one-stop multipurpose theme that possesses the essential, and additional elements that a classic multipurpose theme normally has. What makes Aerious different to other themes, however, is its limitless options, speed, and easy-to-use user interface. The theme also comes bundled with 40+ readymade Sliders, coming soon pages, maintenance mode pages, multiple post formats, built-in SEO options, readymade portfolio templates, testimonials templates, client templates, and much, much more! The super light construction of the theme contributes to its high-scoring performance grade.
→ Check out the full demo

CorpusChristi – Modern Blog WordPress Theme by FastWP

This blog/magazine template is a responsive, and retina-ready HTML5 website with a tiled grid system layout. Fully optimized for mobile touch, and swipe, the combination of masonry images, and typography creates a delightful design that pulls the reader in.
→ Check out the full demo

Motor – Vehicles, Parts, Equipments and Accessories WooCommerce Store by Stockware

Motor is a professional WordPress WooCommerce Theme for dealers, retailers, shops and mechanics. Features include a unique design, a drag and drop page builder, full responsiveness, and being ready, out-of-the-box, for WooCommerce shop use.
→ Check out the full demo

Coolist | Infinite Scroll Magazine WordPress Theme by Themewaves

The main features of this highly customizable magazine theme are an easy-to-use post row builder, infinite scroll pagination, and horizontal AJAX category navigation similar to what is employed on the USA Today website. The demo below showcases how the theme can be completely customized for a specific niche (e.g. gaming) giving you the flexibility to control the look and feel at all times.
→ Check out the full demo

RT-Theme 19 | Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme by stmcan

RT-Theme 19 is a responsive premium WordPress theme with powerful CMS tools. It can be used for a wide-range of niches such as business, corporate, product catalogues, services or even portfolio websites. The product and portfolio tools provide multiple ways to present services such as tour itineraries, car rentals, real estate, hotel presentations, and much more. An online shop is made possible through the RT-Theme 19 with the WooCommerce plugin.
→ Check out the full demo

Hedmark | Clean & Minimal Responsive WordPress Blog Theme by khalilthemes

This fashionable theme employs great use of white space in a minimal offering with golden accents. Users will get a sense of style, class, luxury, and professionalism from the design, and layout. The personal blog and magazine theme is suited for many types of categories such as online marketing, blogging, publishing, traveling, lifestyle, and consultancy. Built on the Bootstrap, and Underscores frameworks, it’s guaranteed to perform extremely quickly as the performance results indicate.
→ Check out the full demo

Wanium – A Elegant Multi-Concept Theme by THEMELOGI

Wanium is an elegant multi-concept theme with great attention to detail. Despite the incredible features, no technical skills are required to build, and maintain it due to the choice of options, and ease of use. The live preview tool lets you review what you create as you build your site resulting in less time to put together your client’s site. The design is colorful, bright, and positive which will help create confidence in your product or business.
→ Check out the full demo

Pillar – Multipurpose Multi-Concept Responsive WordPress Theme by tommusrhodus

Pillar is a 5-star rated WordPress theme, not only because of its performance speed, but because if its design, and versatility. It includes over 110 out-of-the-box demo pages and over 160 sections for multi-page or one page WordPress websites and landing pages. Its SEO-friendly markup can help to easily convert visitors into customers. Based on the Bootstrap framework, users will feel comfortable using a familiar grid structure to create everything from responsive corporate sites, and business landing pages, to personal resume, and masonry portfolio sites with buttery-smooth parallax effects.
→ Check out the full demo

Modesto – Portfolio, Photography, Agency Powerful WordPress Theme by Crumina

Modesto is a minimal and creative WordPress theme very well suited to agencies, creative portfolios, and photographers. The design is modern, unique, and very well organized. Beneath the simple layout options are smooth animated effects, and transitions that reduce scrolling, and help keep the user focused on the imagery and content.
→ Check out the full demo

Aven – Feature Packed Multiuse WordPress Theme by zozothemes

Aven is a very flexible theme that saves time and is very user-friendly. It’s 5-star rated, and features everything you need to build your website, including one-click installation, an intuitive options panel, a drag-and-drop page builder, and full management of skins, headers, and footers.
→ Check out the full demo

Adama – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme by GalacticaThemes

Adama is a multipurpose theme that can be used for a variety of websites, including eCommerce stores. The SEO optimized theme is responsive, WooCommerce compatible, includes LayerSlider, and iLightBox plugins. Practical, robust, and helpful when wanting to build the website your clients are looking for, quickly. adama
→ Check out the full demo

Alpha-blog – Clean WordPress Blog Theme by Real-themes

Alpha-Blog is beautifully crafted, with great attention to detail. Timeless design, and an intuitive layout makes it a great theme for personal, or corporate use. The theme is a bloat-free, yet easy to customize WordPress GPL theme. It is coded with great attention paid to WordPress standards, and the code is easy to understand, and modify. If you’re a developer, the theme will make a clean starter for your creation. If you’re a blogger, you’ll get a fast, responsive and SEO ready theme out of the box.
→ Check out the full demo

Azoom | Multi-Purpose Theme with Animation Builder by XanderRock

Azoom features a multi-purpose design allowing users to build unique wordpress theme demos. The drag-and-drop Rock Page builder is faster than ever. This ultra responsive WordPress theme has a grid layout, featuring Curvy Slider V2, intended to make your website look fantastic on all screen sizes, and devices.
→ Check out the full demo

Monument Valley – Accessible WooCommerce & Business Masterpiece by webmandesign

Monument Valley is a 100% GPL licensed WordPress theme, suitable for any business portfolio, or online store. The theme allows you to create a website accessible to the widest audience possible. With drag and drop support for any page builder, you can create beautiful page layouts with no coding. It contains uniquely styled pages, so you don’t have to start from scratch. The theme has been carefully designed to compel your visitors into reading, and interacting with your website and, in the case of online stores, convert visitors into customers.
→ Check out the full demo

Basel – Responsive eCommerce Theme by xtemos

Basel is a professional, minimalist, AJAX responsive theme, built to create modern, powerful e-commerce websites. It features a popular drag and drop page builder, a lot of theme settings and options, premium sliders, and WooCommerce integration. You will be able to create a store that looks perfect on any screen resolution. The theme is suitable for any kind of shop, such as clothing, electronics, furniture, accessories, flowers and so forth.
→ Check out the full demo

Adviso – Finance, Consulting, Business WordPress Theme by TheMazine

Adviso is a premium finance, consulting, and broker WordPress theme, tailored to your needs, and to the expectations of your clients.  Using Adviso, you can easily create a modern website for any service providing business with authentic content. Easily edit the real content, and compose the page layout with the drag and drop page builder. Based on in-depth research into the field of business, finance, and consulting, this beautiful, and ergonomic finance WordPress theme can deliver everything you’re looking for from a website.
→ Check out the full demo

Abacus – Responsive Blog & Shop Theme by codecookies

Abacus is a trendy and unique WordPress Blog and WooCommerce theme aimed at individual sellers and small enterprises. It is based on careful web-design, and WordPress code quality standards, which give it a refreshing look, while keeping up with the latest industry design trends. Abacus comes packed with useful features, custom post-formats, easy-to-use theme options using the customizer, WooCommerce support, and much more. The theme comes with the free CC Essentials plugin that immeasurably enhances the feature set of your theme.
→ Check out the full demo

Discover – Travel & Lifestyle MultiConcept Blog Theme by real-web

Discover is a responsive WordPress blog theme with RTL support perfect for all blogging, creative, portfolio, or personal websites. The clean design is fully optimized for mobile. Discover makes use of rich functionality, multiple layout options, and its main focus is readability. The theme is simple to use, but at the same time is very versatile and powerful. With an elegant, intuitive design, it’s easy to create and customize a personal blog website.
→ Check out the full demo

Fintech WP – Financial Technology and Services WordPress Theme by MNKY

Fintech is a powerful tool for creating stunning financial services websites. Packed with awesome features, it’s simple to use, built with SEO in mind, and amazingly fast. Created specifically for financial technology, and services websites, it is perfect for financing, insurance, payments, investments, advisory and other financial service businesses.
→ Check out the full demo

Candidates – Political and Activism WordPress Theme by rayoflightt

Clean, responsive, and unique, the Candidates WordPress theme is ideal for political, events, and activism websites. Whether you’re looking to promote a specific party, candidate, movement, or campaign, it can also be used for a general business website that needs to promote events or conferences. Includes a multi-scrolling landing page, and is compatible with event calendar plugins.
→ Check out the full demo

SNEWS | Eye-catching Magazine, Reviews & Newspaper WordPress Theme by djwd

SNEWS is a highly optimized magazine theme with an ‘A’ rated performance grade. It features light and dark versions and arranges content in an engaging way that will retain users on your site longer. Features 8 pre-built homepage grid layouts and adjustable column widths to create endless layout possibilities. Contains useful widgets for reviews, tags, images, and social media.
→ Check out the full demo

Marketing Pro – SEO, Landing, Marketing WordPress Theme by gfxbucket

Marketing Pro is an all-purpose marketing WordPress theme, designed specifically for digital/online marketers, SEO experts, and business owners. It is focused on building websites in the marketing, SEO, landing page, and small/big business niches. The best thing about this WordPress theme is that it has 9+ beautifully designed and high converting ready-made templates. The theme comes pre-packaged with a drag and drop page builder (Visual Composer,) to ensure you can create your website quickly, and easily without any coding knowledge.
→ Check out the full demo

Ichiban – A Theme for Photographers by nagaemas

Ichiban is a WordPress theme built especially for professional photographers who want to bring their presence online in a sleek, and elegant way. Featuring a clean design, and typography, Ichiban is guaranteed to bring a pleasant visual, and reading experience to all visitors.
→ Check out the full demo

Law Plus – Law Responsive WordPress Theme by swlabs

The Law Plus Responsive WordPress Theme is a clean and modern WordPress theme for law firms, attorneys, business, justice, law, lawyer, lawyers, legal office, politicians, and many other relevant businesses that provide advocate services in various fields. Deep research was undertaken to ensure every feature of this theme appeals to lawyers, and associates. It is an ideal solution for a private attorney/lawyer website as well as for larger law office websites or even a court. Built using the Unyson, and Bootstrap frameworks, the theme is fully responsive across all devices. swlabs
→ Check out the full demo

Mira – A Photo Stories Blog WordPress Theme by matchthemes

Mira is an elegant photo stories WordPress theme for writers, bloggers, designers, photographers, and travelers. It’s clean, simple, easy to use, and fully responsive. Mira offers a great user-friendly experience with more than 15+ article layouts to choose from. Take full control of your ideas with the live customizer. Add your own logo, change the colors, typography, and add social media links. The theme has all the features you need for an amazing blog.  
→ Check out the full demo

Melbourne – Responsive Minimal Portfolio Theme by fox-themes

Melbourne is a unique portfolio WordPress theme, focused on minimalism, elegance and simplicity. It’s created around a “content first” concept, and an amazing portfolio grid. It’s also packed with a lot of useful features, options and shortcodes to offer the best solution for any type of website you’d like to create. All the options are available through a Visual Composer-friendly drag-and-drop interface. Create anything you want without any coding knowledge to produce a modern, clean, and beautiful website.
→ Check out the full demo

15Zine – HD Magazine / Newspaper WordPress Theme by codetipi

15Zine is a cutting edge WordPress magazine theme that’s very versatile. It comes out-of-the-box with an integrated review system with unlimited criteria/pros/cons making it a powerful review theme. For the homepage, users can use 15zine’s exclusive and powerful homepage drag-and-drop builder to create compelling, modern layouts. Posts can become beautiful stories, by using 15Zine’s powerful, and featured image style system with multiple feature image styles, including smooth parallax effects. This is a highly polished, professional, and thorough theme using a modern and contemporary design.
→ Check out the full demo

Lambda – Multi Purpose Responsive Bootstrap Theme by oxygenna

Lambda is a hugely popular multi-purpose Bootstrap theme which can be used to make any kind of site. It comes with 53 stunning unique demo sites to install using a super-easy one click installer. It’s 5-star rated from 3,500+ happy customers and is backed-up with full SEO optimization and an ‘A’ rated performance grade.
→ Check out the full demo

Mallow – Lifestyle Blog & Magazine WordPress Theme by thebasicstudio

Mallow is a minimalist and polished WordPress theme designed and built for lifestyle bloggers and magazines. It has an incredible number of features that make audiences want to read more content on your blog or magazine. A smooth, optimized reading experience with a clutter-free contemporary design awaits future visitors, subscribers, fans, and potential new customers.
→ Check out the full demo

LEVELUP – Responsive Creative Multipurpose WordPress Theme by GrafAS

LEVELUP is a carefully crafted WordPress theme tailored for creative people. By focusing on attention-to-detail and harnessing the very latest design trends, the creators of the theme have produced a fully responsive and fluid theme for WordPress perfect for creating amazing websites. With 60 fully assembled, pre-built templates for a plethora of creative uses, you can be up-and-running with a slick new website in no time. Not a single line of coding required.
→ Check out the full demo

Publisher – Magazine, Blog, Newspaper and Review WordPress Theme by Better_Studio

Publisher is a super-useful and powerful WordPress magazine theme with great attention to detail, incredible features, an intuitive user interface, and everything else you need to create outstanding websites. Publisher offers limitless customization options, layouts, and headers with an easy-to-use admin panel. Publisher is the perfect combination of beautiful and professional design with tons of powerful features, and a fast, bulletproof code base.
→ Check out the full demo

Okab – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme by PixelDima

Okab is a huge, multipurpose WordPress theme with an outstanding performance score of ‘A’-95. Fully responsive, clean, creative, user friendly, and fast-loading, the theme is easy to customize and very flexible. Its modern design makes it extremely suitable for any type of website. It comes pre-packaged with an advanced visual builder allowing you to build a website with no coding skills. The theme has more than 275 stylish elements and lots of awesome features.
→ Check out the full demo

OHMY | Business Theme by Little-Neko

OHMy! is an advanced WordPress Business theme that features a super bright, clean, and positive design. The fresh and aesthetically tasteful design makes the theme suitable for any type of website. It is easy to use, and comes with a quick demo content installer. Not only does OHMy! WordPress Business Theme include multiple home page layouts, it also has a powerful admin panel with great customization abilities. You can change the color scheme, typography, choose from boxed or wide layouts, and much, much more.
→ Check out the full demo

Zupper web – multipurpose responsive WooCommerce WordPress theme by th3ph4r4oh

Zupper is a multipurpose, responsive theme that can be re-imagined for any type of website you can think of. Featuring 18 page templates, premium plugins and over 200 additional options, there’s something for everyone. It’s even WooCommerce compatible. It’s bright, colorful, and can be easily customized.
→ Check out the full demo

For more WordPress inspiration

Discover even more of the fastest, most optimized WordPress themes in our forums as recommended by the authors who create them. Be sure to also check out some of our related articles to help uncover additional WordPress gems across the Envato network:
Feature image: Spiral Motion Of Lines Backgrounds



About the Author Scott

Scott eats, sleeps, breathes Envato Market. Has been representing the best interests of the Envato community since 2006.