Screenshot of the Bento WordPress theme

Five Fast and Free WordPress Themes

TidyRepo just did a speed comparison of over 100 WordPress themes, focusing entirely on the free themes available on WordPress.org.

While speed often depends on what plugins you’re using as well as your hosting platform, a well-optimised theme can shave off vital seconds while still looking beautiful. And if it’s free, even better.

We looked at TidyRepo’s amazing table, and picked out five beautiful themes that also have a low load time.

Astra

Screenshot of a BBQ restaurant site made with the Astra theme

Clean and elegant, Astra is a fast-loading theme perfect for ecommerce or visual blogs. If you’re building an online shop using Woocommerce, or starting a cooking blog, Astra is lightweight and easy to use while still looking beautiful.

GeneratePress

Screenshot of an example affiliate/marketing blog site made with the GeneratePress theme

GeneratePress takes full advantage of the Gutenberg block editor to give you a detailed and responsive site that also loads quickly. It’d be perfect for design agencies, business consultants, or anyone who needs a professional-looking website filled with features.

Dara

Example of a business site made with the Dara theme

Dara is bright, bold, beautiful, and fast. If your business thrives on its visuals, Dara would be a fantastic addition to your site, especially with that big splash image on the home page. However, remember – page speed also depends on image size, so optimise those images!

Fotografie

Example of a photography site with the Fotografie theme

Another one where it’s important to remember image size, but if you optimise effectively, Fotografie is such a delicious photoblog theme that draws visitors in immediately. Whether you’re an artist, a graphic designer, or just want to show off your holiday snaps, Fotografie would give you a beautiful site quickly.

Bento

Example of a website made with the Bento theme

Do you want to wow people the second the page loads? Then you want Bento, which gives you plenty of possibilities for your website while keeping everything fast and lean. Just remember to keep your images and videos optimised and Bento will keep you running smoothly while looking good at the same time.

We’re throwing in one more that isn’t necessarily ideal for very visual businesses, but is so fantastically minimalist and beautiful.

Arke

Example of a plain text site made with the Arke theme

No sidebars, no widgets, no fancy settings. Just you and your content, out there for everyone to see.  If you’re a blogger or are looking for a theme that’ll show off your content without getting bogged down in extras, then Arke is a perfect choice.

Remember – these themes are only as fast as you can be. A WordPress site takes in a lot of different variables when it comes to page speed. Think about the following questions when you’re building your new site:

  • How optimised is my hosting package?
  • How many plugins have I added to the page?
  • Have I optimised my images?
  • How much am I putting on each page?
  • How many additional scripts am I adding?

All of these add to the loading speed of your site, and no matter how lean your theme is, it won’t matter if you have 50 plugins and 100MB PNG photos loading on the page.

But these themes will give you a great start and with a little bit of work, you’ll have a lean mean WordPress machine.