A store generating $30,000 a month could lose $25,000 a year in revenue due to a delay of just one second. For a store slower than that, the loss would be even greater.
One of the key components of a fast WooCommerce store is its theme.
Choosing the wrong theme could slow down your store and hurt your business by reducing conversions, negatively impacting user experience, and harming search engine rankings.
So to help you ensure that your theme isn’t preventing your website from loading as quickly as it could, we’ve compared the performance of 10 of the fastest WooCommerce themes available in 2022.
Some of them have been explicitly designed for WooCommerce stores, while others are general-purpose options that have good eCommerce templates and features. Most of these options claim to be the fastest WordPress theme for WooCommerce available, while others have been included as they’re very popular alternatives.
You can view the full results of the tests and find out exactly how the tests were run later on in this article; however, here’s a quick summary explaining which themes were the fastest.
For the tests, we used Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI) and Pingdom. Before running the tests, and after each theme had been activated, the website was refreshed to prepare the internal cache of each theme. Both PSI and Pingdom give an overall performance grade, scored out of 100, as well as more detailed information about the performance of a site.
PSI also measures how the themes performed on desktop and mobile devices. With Pingdom, it was just the desktop experience that was evaluated. The single product page and the shop homepage on each site were tested.
Based on the average PSI performance grade of the two pages (single product and shop homepage), the best-performing themes, according to PSI, were:
As you’ll see in this article, there’s more to the test results than just the performance grades; however, they do give a good overview of how fast a theme is.
One useful metric to look at in the results is Total Blocking Time (TBT). TBT gives a good indication of how long it takes for a page to become interactive, for example, actions are able to be performed when a user clicks on a button or other interactive page element. This plays a part in First Input Delay (FID) and how fast users perceive a page to be.
FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page to the time when the browser is actually able to begin processing the response to that interaction. Although FID can’t be measured in lab tests, the blocking time of a page, which is measured by PSI, correlates well with FID.
According to Google, if the blocking time of a task is longer than 50 ms, “it's likely that the user will notice the delay and perceive the page as sluggish or janky.” The TBT of a page is the sum of the blocking time for each long task that occurs between first content pain (FCP) and time to interactive (TTI).
Anything you can do to improve TBT should also improve FID, which in turn increases how fast users experience a page to be.
Nearly all of the themes tested had good TBT scores for desktop, but only GeneratePress, OceanWP, and Storefront did really well in the mobile TBT tests.
Looking at all of the results, and not just TBT, Shoptimizer was best overall, although its average PSI mobile performance grade (79) was slightly lower than some other themes. Due to this, you might be more interested in the GeneratePress theme as it scored well on both mobile and desktop (82.5 and 88.5, respectively) when averaging out the scores for both the single page and the shop homepage.
As worldwide mobile retail eCommerce sales continue to grow, jumping from $2.9 billion in 2020 to $3.5 billion in 2021, according to Statista, it’s vital that you choose a theme that’s fast for both desktop and mobile users. Based on this, GeneratePress, is the best option out of the box, according to the PSI tests.
Pingdom, which measured the page size, load time, and the number of requests, while also giving a performance grade, found Astra to have the fastest single product and shop pages, although Botiga and GeneratePress had slightly higher average performance grades.
As the themes were tested against a range of criteria from Pingdom and PSI, it’s not easy to pick a clear winner as to which is the best WooCommerce theme in 2023.
However, the themes that performed the best across all of the tests were Boitga, GeneratePress, and Shoptimizer.
You can view the full details of the test results below to help you find the fastest theme for your store.
Here are the details of the fastest loading WooCommerce themes, listed in alphabetical order.
Astra is available in free and paid versions and is a fully customizable WordPress theme.
There are lots of well-designed templates to choose from when setting up your store. Being able to edit the Astra templates with Beaver Builder, Brizy, Elementor, and the WordPress Block Editor gives you plenty of creative freedom.
Both the free and paid versions of Astra have useful WooCommerce-friendly features to enhance your store, although you get a lot more with the paid version.
Astra Test Results
Astra has some of the highest Pingdom performance grades. PSI gave Astra a very positive rating for desktop users but below average for mobile performance. Overall, it’s a fast loading WooCommerce theme, but there are faster options in this collection.
Botiga is another WooCommerce that’s available in free and paid versions.
Among the WooCommerce features, you’ll find multiple product listing styles, a selection of product gallery designs, and two different cart layouts. You can also use product filters and recommendations to promote your inventory. Premium features include wish lists, a sticky add-to-cart button, and additional header and footer layouts.
Botiga Test Results
Botiga was one of the fastest themes tested for this article. The desktop PSI scores were very good, although there were a few other themes with higher mobile PSI scores.
Divi is the flagship WordPress theme from Elegant Themes. It comes with a huge number of attractive website packs and individual templates, including many eCommerce options.
Divi also comes bundled with its own powerful page builder tool integrated into the theme. The Divi Builder gives you full control over the design of your website and is a strong rival to the best WordPress plugins of this type.
As Divi has an easy-to-use A/B testing feature, you can run experiments to optimize your store for higher conversion rates.
Divi Test Results
Divi has some of the biggest page sizes, second only to OceanWP, and this seemed to have a negative impact on some of its scores. While PSI found the desktop performance to be good, the mobile performance was among the worst.
Available in free and paid versions, GeneratePress claims to be the fastest WordPress theme available. Paying for the premium version gives you access to more templates and access to premium support channels.
To help you launch your store, GeneratePress comes with a number of eCommerce templates. As this theme has its own editor, you can customize all aspects of your website through a visual interface.
GeneratePress Test Results
GeneratePress was the best performing WooCommerce theme tested overall, thanks to its high scores in the PSI mobile and desktop performance grades. It also did well in the Pingdom tests.
Kadence is another free theme that can be enhanced by installing premium add-ons.
Kadence also comes with a large library of free and paid website demos, including a number of eCommerce designs. WooCommerce users can purchase the Kadence shop kit to add more eCommerce features to their store, including product image zoom, cart notices, advanced reviews, and more.
Kadence Test Results
Kadence did well in the Pingdom tests, with a very good performance grade for the shop homepage. However, the mobile performance scores in PSI weren’t as good as some of the competition.
Neve comes in a few different variations, including the premium Business package that includes many extra WooCommerce features.
There’s also a limited free version, so you can try it before buying. However, paying extra for the Business or Agency license gets you access to more shop layouts, a wish list feature, multiple checkout styles, and more.
Neve also has a mobile-first design that should make your WooCommerce store very easy to browse on smaller screen devices. Compatibility with the leading WordPress page builder plugins means you can edit your website with your tool of choice or simply use the default WordPress block editor.
Neve Test Results
Neve was one of the faster themes tested. However, it just came slightly behind on some of the PSI mobile tests, compared to the fastest themes in this comparison.
OceanWP is a multipurpose theme with lots of eCommerce store demos available in the paid version. The free version comes with a few eCommerce demos, but upgrading to the paid version unlocks more demos and additional features.
Depending on which demo you choose, you could be able to edit your entire site, including the header and footer, using the Elementor page builder plugin. The paid version of OceanWP includes a selection of custom-built Elementor modules that give you more creative freedom.
OceanWP Test Results
OceanWP had the largest page sizes and most requests according to Pingdom, and due to this had some of the slowest load times. The PSI mobile scores were some of the worst, too. Desktop performance in PSI was OK, though.
Shoptimizer is a WooCommerce-focused theme that has been built with speed and conversions in mind.
To help speed up your store, Shoptimizer has minified, and critical CSS enabled out of the box. Conversion-focused features that could generate more sales at your store include a distraction-free checkout experience, the ability to display a shipping and returns information on the product page, and trust badges to reassure your customers.
Shoptimizer Test Results
Shoptimizer had the best average PSI desktop performance grade as well as a high mobile performance grade. The Pingdom results were impressive, too.
Storefront is the official WooCommerce theme, and it’s free to use.
The free version of Storefront has just about enough to get started and make a few tweaks to its design. However, if you really want to create a personalized store, you’ll need to purchase the Storefront Extensions Bundle or some of the individual extensions.
Storefront Test Results
Storefront has a very good average desktop performance score in PSI but was let down by a relatively low mobile score. The Pingdom results were good, but not quite the best.
Woostify is another free WooCommerce template that can be enhanced with paid add-ons.
The core version of Woostify has been designed to be as lightweight as possible, with the goal of improving load times. As extra features can be added via extensions, you can avoid unnecessarily weighing down your site by only installing the add-ons you need. All of the add-ons and starter sites are available for one price rather than on a per add-on basis.
Woostify Test Results
Woostify had some of the worst scores in this comparison, especially when it came to mobile performance.
For the tests, a fresh installation was created on a WordPress website hosted by SiteGround. WooCommerce was installed on the site, and the sample store data for the plugin was imported.
The performance of the single product page and shop homepage was then tested in Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights. The same testing location, which was the location closest to where the site was hosted, was chosen in Pingdom.
For each test, a different theme was activated and used in its default state. None of the theme demos were imported, and neither were any additional plugins installed. As no performance tools were used, you could get even better results by enabling caching, using a CDN, optimizing images, and deploying minification. One tool that can help you do all of that is NitroPack.
Core Web Vitals (CWV) is a collection of tests that Google uses to give a page an overall performance score. Pages can be scored good, needs improvement, and poor. For a page to pass the CWV test and achieve a good rating, the performance score must be in the 90 to 100 range.
The CWV score is based on the results of the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) tests. In order to pass the CWV test, a page will need to score good for all three components.
Generally speaking, these tests look at not just the speed of a page but also how responsive and visually stable it is.
In this article, you can find the LCP and CLS scores for the themes tested. As mentioned, FID isn’t available through the PSI lab test, but TBT is closely related to FID.
A good CWV score can help deliver a positive user experience and also contribute to improved search engine rankings.
As you can see from the results above, in the desktop tests, three of the themes scored a performance grade of 90 or above for the single product page, and eight of the themes scored above 90 in the shop homepage test. None of the themes achieved a passing performance grade of 90 or higher for the mobile tests. However, GeneratePress, Kadence, and Shoptimizer came the closest to scoring 90.
As you can see, your choice in theme does impact the speed of your store, especially when it comes to the mobile experience.
Most of these themes performed well, with good performance grades and other scores. However, there were a few that stood out from the competition, with Botiga, GeneratePress, Neve, and Shoptimizer performing particularly well.
Divi, OceanWP, and Woostify appeared to struggle the most, mainly when it came to the PSI mobile results.
As we covered earlier, mobile online shopping is continuing to grow in popularity, so it’s important to choose a theme that loads quickly for this audience. Otherwise, you might be facing issues with a bloated site code and challenging warnings like "Avoid an excessive DOM size."
Regardless of which theme you choose, be sure to optimize your site rather than just using the default settings of WordPress, your host, and your theme. Tools like NitroPack, which is compatible with all of the above themes, can quickly enhance the performance of your site in a number of ways, including how fast it loads on mobile devices.
Joe is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in writing about technology, web design, and online marketing.