WordPress Themes that Kill Your Speed

Page speed is important for UX, SEO, and traffic.

Notes

– Actual conditions reported from real sites (no Themeforest demo sites). These are live sites with traffic, usually hosted on unregulated servers, most of them designed with page builders, which is the norm today, and bloated with plugins. Let’s check what’s going on with the Core Web Vitals and WordPress themes.

– Metrics run on Pagespeedinsights.

– FCP: First Content Paint as defined by Web.dev: the time from when the page starts loading to when any part of the page’s content is rendered on the screen (text, images, etc).

wp themes speed killers

ASTRA

Astra theme with Elementor on a fast 2ms server and 30+ plugins (Woocommerce, Slider Revolution, etc).

Main CF

📱 – Mobile original speed: 9%, 6.5 sec FCP.

📱 – Final speed: 33%, 2.3 sec FCP.

267% score increase and 65% faster load time.

💻 – Desktop original speed: 48%, 1.9 sec FCP.

💻 – Final speed: 81%, 0.6 sec FCP.

69% score increase and 68% faster load time.

Conclusion: Astra is not suited for 90+ mobile and desktop speed.

👎 Bad for score and speed.


HELLO ELEMENTOR

Hello Elementor on a 2ms fast server with Elementor as page builder and 10-20 plugins.

📱 – Mobile original speed: 52%, 4.6 sec FCP.

📱 – Final speed: 65%, 1.6 sec FCP.

A mere 25% score increase but a significant 65% faster load time.

💻 – Desktop original speed: 79%, 1.3 sec FCP.

💻 – Final speed: 87%, 0.6 sec FCP.

A mere 10% score increase but a significant 54% faster load time.

Conclusion: Hello Elementor can’t yield green-zone speeds (90+) but allows the actual/perceived speed to be increased*.

* Provided you don’t bloat the site with plugins.

👎 Bad for the score.
👍 Good for actual speed.


OHIO

Ohio theme with Elementor on a slow 9sec latency Godaddy server, Autooptimize, Humminbird, WP Rocket caching plugins, and 40 more plugins.

📱 – Mobile original speed: 8%, 7.2 sec FCP.

📱 – Final speed: 23%, 3.8 sec FCP (Changed hosting, removed Elementor).

267% score increase and 65% faster load time.

💻 – Desktop original speed: 53%, 1.4 sec FCP.

💻 – Final speed: 98%, 0.7 sec FCP (Changed hosting, removed Elementor).

85% score increase and 50% faster load time.

Conclusion: Ohio is not suited for mobile.

👎 Bad for mobile score and speed.


MASTERSTUDY

Masterstudy theme with WPBakery, on a very slow 162 ms Hostgator server with 10-20 plugins. And Hostgator is one of the worst servers throwing server timeouts and SQL errors.

📱 – Mobile original speed: 43%, 3.1 sec FCP.

📱 – Final speed: 51%, 1.6 sec FCP (WPBakery removed).

19% score increase and 48% faster load time.

💻 – Desktop original speed: 73%, 0.7 sec FCP.

💻 – Final speed: 84%, 0.4 sec FCP (WPBakery removed).

11% score increase and 43% faster load time.

Conclusion: Masterstudy is very bad for desktop and mobile scores even with the page builder removed.

👎 Bad for the score.

👍 Good for actual speed.


Decent Speed Themes

BELLEVEUX

Bellevuex theme with Elementor tested on 4 sites on a fast WPX server (sadly managed and the company doesn’t support this and that extension, posing limitations to what you can do with the server. Autooptimize and W3TC cache plugins couldn’t do anything as per the reports below.

📱 – Mobile original speed: 36%, 4.7 sec FCP.

📱 – Final speed: 79%, 2 sec FCP.

119% score increase and 57% faster load time.

💻 – Desktop original speed: 71%, 1.3 sec FCP.

💻 – Final speed: 98%, 0.6 sec FCP.

38% score increase and 54% faster load time.

Conclusion: Bellevue allows desktop speeds into the green (90+) and potentially mobile too if Elementor is replaced*.

Provided you don’t bloat the site with plugins.👍 Good for score and actual speed.

Main CF