Fast Loading WordPress Themes – How To Choose Them

Posted by Ranjitsinh Chauhan Saturday, April 9, 2011

There are several thousands of wordpress themes out there and many of them are attractive for sure. But not all of them may do good for what you want to accomplish. If you just make a search in Google for some high competitive terms, its more likely that you would find pages which look a lot simpler over complicated ones. Why?
Search engines loves pages which are simple and easy to comprehend and also pages with less complicated coding structure. So that’s where the importance of fast loading templates come in. You should also know that Google loves speedy webpages now, so the faster your page loads more chances are that your pages will rank higher over your competitors.

1. Themes With Less Images And More CSS

You should look for themes which utilizes less number of images in its structure and uses more CSS to give little details to layout. You can take the theme which I am using here for example, you could hardly find where I am making use of any images to give details to the layout. Like buttons on the navbar or read more links etc.. reason is less images means faster loading pages and its a great deal if you could trade images for speed.

2. Avoid Themes With Large Headers

Just the other day I was browsing through Matt Mullenweg’s personal blog which you can find here , who is one of the founder of wordpress. His blog is attractive no question about it, but it took me nearly 30 to 40 seconds for the homepage to load. And one of the main reason it took that much time is because of his header image which is awfully large. There are a lot themes in wordpress which comes with really attractive headers which will make you to choose that theme the instant you see it. Know that these themes can be attractive but your visitors don’t give much importance to your header, they come to your blog looking for information.

3. Stay Away From Flash

I am not an enemy of flash based sites but every time I visit a flash based site I get annoyed by looking at the loading screen. Also know that iphone doesn’t support flash yet, also there are several other mobile browsers which are not compatible with flash. As the mobile user base increased and keep increasing like never before you need to make sure they are happy visiting your blog. In my opinion flash is an enemy for speed and also search engines find it difficult to retrieve your contents embedded on flash.

4. Themes with Preloaded Widgets

I hate to use themes which comes with preloaded widgets and plugins. Main reason is the entire theme is useless if you disable any plugins which it uses and there is no way around it unless you are ready to spend couple of hundred bucks on it to pay for the coder. Other reason is more plugins means more codes and more codes means your server takes more time to execute the code which would potentially increase the site loading time. So don’t go for themes with preloaded widgets and plugins.
I have found some interesting fast loading wordpress themes on this blog called netchunks have a look at them to get an idea of how fast loading wordpress themes would look like.
There is some really useful tool pointed out by Jason in the comments section which I want to share here. http://gtmetrix.com/ this site helps you to analyze the speed of your site and also gives you effective solutions to make your blog faster.

You can use the tool to install the themes you got in mind and compare the effects it has on your loading time. Should be quite useful and also comes a lot handy.

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