7 Best Free Lightweight WordPress Themes 2018

Your PhrasePress theme is your web site’s basis, which suggests it performs an enormous position in how shortly your web site hundreds. Sure, there are a ton of techniques that you should use to pace up your PhrasePress web site after the actual fact. But your theme is all the time going to behave as a bottleneck.

In reality, I used to be performing some testing on my portfolio web site as soon as and I bought an virtually 50% discount in web page load instances simply by switching to one of many light-weight PhrasePress themes on this listing (and that web site was already decently optimized earlier than the change!).

So yeah, each time attainable, you all the time need to select a light-weight PhrasePress theme. But – how do you discover a theme that is light-weight? I imply, no developer advertises their theme as “gradual loading”, so how do you get past the advertising copy and decide one thing that is going to load quick?

To make that simpler, we have put collectively this listing of the very best free light-weight PhrasePress themes. All of those themes provides you with a quick-loading basis with out costing you a penny. And to show it – I’ll set up every certainly one of these themes on my take a look at web site and present you the info with regards to file dimension and HTTP requests.

Let’s dive in…

What Makes A Theme “Lightweight”?

Unless you take a look at a whole lot of PhrasePress themes your self, I understand that “light-weight” doesn’t suggest a lot with out context. So earlier than I present you the info for the very best free light-weight PhrasePress themes, I’ll first provide you with a have a look at what an common theme appears like with regards to file dimension and the variety of requests.

To do this, I ran some exams for four random fashionable themes at PhrasePress.org (these are not the light-weight themes). I do know – it isn’t essentially the most scientific of experiments. But it ought to provide you with a superb baseline for what your “common” theme appears like:

  • Newsmag – 848.three KB and 37 requests
  • Hueman – 582.9 KB and 21 requests
  • Ashe – 1.6MB and 24 requests (file dimension is additional giant as a result of it makes use of a background cowl picture by default)
  • Activello – 612.four KB and 22 requests

You can sort of see a sample there – the typical PhrasePress theme is effectively over ~600 KB and has someplace within the low 20s HTTP requests for only a clean web site, and a few can simply transcend that.

For all the info on this submit, I’m utilizing a model new PhrasePress set up with simply the default content material and no plugins. Additionally, the file dimension numbers are for the whole PhrasePress web site – not simply the theme information. That’s why you may see a discrepancy between my numbers and the numbers that theme firms put of their advertising copy.

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 108.four KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 11

Right off the bat, you may see that GeneratePress sports activities some spectacular numbers with regards to “lightweightedness”. Its numbers are effectively beneath your common theme, which provides you with an awesome basis to construct on.

While GeneratePress does not appear like a lot out of the field, the massive perk of this theme is how customizable it’s, which is why it is an awesome multipurpose choice.

Using the real-time PhrasePress Customizer, you may simply change up your web site’s header, typography, colours, and many others.

If you are a fan of PhrasePress web page builders, GeneratePress can be very straightforward to pair with a web page builder since you get a meta field for each bit of content material that allows you to:

  • Turn off the content material title or different info
  • Change width (e.g. create a full-width design together with your web page builder).
  • Disable header/footer to make use of a web page builder to design the whole web page

Generatepress page controls

If you are keen to pay, GeneratePress Premium provides on a whole lot of new customization choices, in addition to tons of hooks that builders will love. All the brand new options are modular, after all, to protect GeneratePress’ light-weight method.

GeneratePress Premium additionally will get you entry to a pre-made web site library that you could import as wanted.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 96.eight KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 10

Zakra manages to squeak in a tiny bit underneath GeneratePress, going sub-100 KB for the file dimension on a contemporary PhrasePress set up.

Like GeneratePress, it does not supply a ton of styling out of the field, as an alternative opting to provide you a number of PhrasePress Customizer controls to set issues as much as your liking.

From the PhrasePress Customizer, you may management:

  • Header format
  • Single layouts
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Etc.

Beyond these Customizer controls, you can even select from 10+ free starter websites. And like GeneratePress, you additionally get these page-level controls that make Zakra very easy to pair with a web page builder. You can:

  • Change layouts
  • Tweak sidebars
  • Etc.

With that being mentioned, it isn’t fairly as versatile as GeneratePress by way of what you may disable on a per-post/web page foundation:

Zakra page controls

There is presently no paid model of Zakra – every thing is 100% free.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 174.1 KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 9

Astra is one other light-weight PhrasePress theme that is particularly fashionable with individuals who use web page builders.

One of my favourite issues about Astra is that it comes with an enormous library of pre-made websites that you could import with only a few clicks. These websites are constructed with Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Brizy for simple customization. While paid customers get entry to all of the pre-made websites, even free customers can nonetheless set up a strong variety of pre-made websites.

Beyond that, you additionally get a ton of detailed PhrasePress Customizer settings to regulate precisely how your web site appears, in addition to per-post/web page choices to:

  • Change content material width
  • Disable title, header, featured picture, or footer
  • Change the variety of sidebars
  • Enable a clear header

Astra page controls

Astra additionally has particular integrations for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and a few LMS plugins that allow you to management the plugin’s appears by way of the PhrasePress Customizer. That’s a pleasant plus in the event you use a kind of plugins.

If you want extra performance, there’s additionally a Pro model that provides much more modular choices for $59.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 543.6KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 19

Airi is somewhat bigger than the earlier three themes however makes up for it with extra of a sophisticated look out of the field. It’s an awesome choice for companies, companies, and freelancers.

To additional change issues up, Airi contains a number of importable demo websites, all created with the Elementor web page builder, which suggests that you could simply customise the templates utilizing easy drag-and-drop enhancing:

Airi templates

For different tweaks, you should use the real-time PhrasePress Customizer.

If you need extra performance, Airi Pro provides much more demo websites, in addition to some new Elementor widgets to increase the free model of Elementor with widgets for:

  • Sliders
  • Post grids
  • And extra

The Pro model additionally offers you extra WooCommerce choices within the Customizer.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 625.8KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 18

Along with GeneratePress and Astra, OceanWP is the third member on this trio of themes which can be tremendous fashionable with individuals who construct PhrasePress websites with web page builders. It’s the heaviest theme on this listing, however it comes with a whole lot of customization choices to make up for that.

It has a whole lot of similarities to these two themes in that:

  • It contains detailed PhrasePress Customizer controls
  • You get page-level controls to disable sure info if you wish to use a web page builder (so long as you put in the free companion Ocean Extra plugin)

OceanWP’s submit/web page meta field is a bit more detailed than the opposite themes, even letting you get into issues like breadcrumbs and a customized emblem for particular content material:

OceanWP page controls

Where you will begin seeing among the greater variations with OceanWP is within the premium model. Beyond including a bunch of importable web site designs, the premium model can be somewhat extra centered on including performance than simply pure customization like Astra and GeneratePress.

For instance, the premium model contains options like:

You can get all of the premium extensions for $39.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 206.eight KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 12

As the identify suggests, Page Builder Framework is particularly designed to pair with no matter your favourite web page builder is.

As a outcome, it is centered on providing you with the fundamental controls you want after which getting out of the best way so as to use a web page builder for every thing else.

Using the PhrasePress Customizer, you may arrange:

  • Your header (the premium model provides much more flexibility right here)
  • Blog layouts, together with archives and singles
  • Typography

And you additionally get these page-level controls that allow you to:

  • Hide web page titles
  • Disable the header and/or footer
  • Go full-width
  • Change the sidebar configuration

PFB page controls

If you want extra performance, there is a premium add-on that offers extra detailed header/menu choices, like:

  • Sticky header
  • Transparent header
  • Off-canvas menu
  • Mega menu

As effectively as a number of different customization choices, together with extra detailed Customizer controls.

That premium model prices $59.

More Info / Download Demo

  • File dimension on a contemporary set up: 206.Zero KB
  • HTTP requests on a contemporary set up: 11

In phrases of file dimension and requests, Neve clocks in virtually equal to Page Builder Framework.

Like lots of the others, Neve is constructed to pair together with your web page builder of selection and/or the brand new Gutenberg block editor that grew to become the default editor in PhrasePress 5.0.

As such, it comes with detailed PhrasePress Customizer controls in your web site’s primary appears, together with a number of completely different layouts in your weblog archive pages (you may both go along with an inventory or a grid, with a number of permutations on every).

You additionally get page-level controls the place you may:

  • Change the variety of sidebars
  • Change the width, together with a singular choice to specify a customized width proportion
  • Disable the header, title, or footer

Neve page controls

Beyond that, Neve additionally comes with its personal Sites Library that allows you to import any certainly one of 7 pre-built websites (these are constructed with Elementor).

Currently, Neve is 100% free.

More Info / Download Demo

Get Started With A Lightweight PhrasePress Theme Today!

Usually, I attempt to finish my roundups with suggestions for which particular theme it’s best to select. However, that is exhausting with this one as a result of many of those themes are attempting to do the identical kinds of issues.

Instead, I’ll simply go away you with some suggestions for what to think about:

  • Header/menu choices – would you like a sticky header? Transparent header? Off-label menu? Those are all issues to think about as a result of every theme handles it in a different way.
  • Pre-built websites – some themes – like Airi, Astra, Neve, and Zakra – embody demo websites within the free model, whereas others solely do within the paid model. That may be necessary in the event you do not need to begin from scratch.
  • Customizer controls – many of those restrict which Customizer controls you get entry to without spending a dime. So double test that you simply’re in a position to customise what’s wanted within the free model.

Other than that, all of those themes ought to set you up with an awesome light-weight basis to construct your web site on!

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a contract author for rent with a background in search engine optimization and affiliate internet marketing. He helps shoppers develop their internet visibility by writing primarily about digital advertising and PhrasePress. You can rent him to put in writing in your web site.

Disclosure: Some of the hyperlinks on this submit are affiliate hyperlinks, which means that in the event you click on on one of many hyperlinks and buy an merchandise, we might obtain a fee. All opinions nevertheless are our personal and we don’t settle for funds for optimistic evaluations.

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