Speed is essential for online stores, and at WooCart, the first hosting built exclusively for WooCommerce, we want to help store owners build the fastest store possible.
After hosting, the theme has the most significant impact on page speed. If you choose a slow theme, you’ll be wasting time and money from the very launch of your store.
We’ve created this WooCommerce theme benchmark test so that everyone can make an informed decision when they choose a theme. In the test, we tried to simulate a real online store while isolating the theme performance from everything else, like page builders and plugins.
The 2020/21 test was done in mid-December 2020.
- Which themes did we test and how?
- Which is the fastest WooCommerce theme tested?
- Analysis of the WooCommerce Theme Speed Test
- Speed Testing Methodology
- Which WooCommerce theme should you choose?
Which themes did we test and how?
We’ve tested 20 popular paid and free WooCommerce themes. We gave the test stores a basic homepage design. We’ve tested three pages (homepage, shop page, product page), each page ten times. The testing was done with GT Metrix. The results are for Page Load time, not Fully Loaded Time. This, in our opinion, gives the most realistic results.
Page builders, like Elementor or WP Bakery, slow down the site, and in this test, we wanted to focus on the theme performance so they were not installed. Check out our blog post for the fastest WooCommerce page builder.
To fully understand how we tested the themes, read the Testing Methodology section below the results.
Which is the fastest WooCommerce theme tested?
Let’s go to the results. In all cases the lowest number is the best.
Page Load Time – Overall
This is the average of the three tests.
Page Load Time – Single Pages
Each page was tested 10 times. The result is the median.
Analysis of the WooCommerce Theme Speed Test
Astra took first place from Suki this year and is the fastest theme we tested. Suki is in second place mostly due to a really fast Homepage load. It came in fourth on both Shop and Product page load times. Flatsome is third and performed well overall, though load time was average for the Product page (11th). Shoptimizer is fourth and consistently ranked in the top 5.
|Theme||Version||ZIP Size||Overall||Home||Shop Page||Product Page|
It’s surprising how poorly some themes load without any plugins or page builders. The difference between the fastest two and slowest two is more than 2x. If you consider that any additional images, plugins, and page builders add to the load time, the worst performers will have a hard time loading below 3 seconds on real stores.
Note: Most themes show 12 products per page on the Shop page. The exceptions are Divi (9), Enfold (15), Jupiter (9). You can reasonably conclude Enfold would be a bit faster while Divi and Jupiter would be slower with 12 products per page.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you with your store performance, take a look at our website. WooCart is the only hosting built exclusively for WooCommerce and we’re focused on making your store fast and easy to maintain.
Results for the WooCommerce Theme Speed Test 2019
These are the results from last year. The tests were run five times per each page (compared to this year’s ten times), and some themes had more plugins installed (Storefront, Woodmart, XStore). The time is Fully Loaded and not directly comparable to this year’s Page Load.
Speed Testing Methodology
To make sure the tests are reliable and consistent, we’ve set strict testing criteria.
WooCommerce Store Configuration
The stores have had the least amount of plugins installed. None of the stores had a page builder installed because the basic homepage design could be created with Gutenberg.
We created the homepage with a hero image, three images for categories, and eight featured products.
Stores are hosted on WooCart hosting on Google Cloud Platform in a datacenter in the Netherlands. There is no CDN running on the stores. Caching is enabled.
The versions are WordPress 5.6 and WooCommerce 4.8, both latest at the time of the test. All themes were running the latest version as well. Stores had some other plugins installed: WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, SendGrid, and Redis Object Cache.
Stores have been set up with the WooCart Turnkey store settings. This gives all stores 35 demo products, 81 images for the products and homepage, and subpages for contact, about, and legal.
Speed Testing Configuration
The speed testing service is GT Metrix, and we used the API. The test location is Frankfurt (Germany), and the browser is Chrome (desktop).
We run the tests ten times per each page: homepage, product page, and shop page. We calculate the median result of the page load times.
If you’re interested in the raw test data, take a look at the full spreadsheet.
We calculate the median because it is far better than regular average for the use case of page speed testing. This way, the outliers have less effect on the final result, making the test more reliable. You can read more about the topic of averages in this blog post.
Which WooCommerce theme should you choose?
The faster, the better. Any of the top three will do great as they’re really fast. We would strongly recommend you avoid any theme that requires more than a second to load, especially if you plan on adding a page builder that adds complexity.