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Study: Analysis of the performance of the most popular WordPress themes

marzo 30, 2020


What you consider or think you should keep in mind when choosing the perfect WordPress theme for your website?

What you read will surely surprise you and change your consideration of this issue that leads many people head in search of the subject and the perfect template for your project or business.


because we have made a thorough study of the performance of the most popular WordPress themes. Those who have more sales. Those who are petando. Those who are supposedly better optimized. And we bring some conclusions and some data quite devastating.

To do this, have analyzed the 70 best-selling premium WordPress history themes. Topic that have been used to create over 1.5 million websites and online stores, blogs, news sites, etc., and have undergone several tests related to:

  • load speed desktop and mobile
  • optimizing images
  • Mala code optimization and dependence on shortcodes
  • Unit plugins and non-native WordPress functions
  • Misuse of goals
  • JavaScript errors
  • Lack of structured data

Read on and Find out what are the main problems that come standard WordPress themes, to what extent and how they can affect performance and SEO of a website.

Index [Show]

  • 1 How to choose the best WordPress theme
  • 2 Speed ​​of carga2.1 Desktop Mobile
  • 2.2 2.1 2.2 Mobile Desktop
  • 3 Optimizing images or thumbnails highlighted
  • 4 Poor optimization code
  • 5 Misuse of goals
  • 6 Generation of duplicate content and thin content
  • 7 Mistakes Javascript
  • 8 Lack of structured data
  • 9 Termination
  • 2.1 Desktop
  • 2.2 Mobile

How to choose the best WordPress theme

when choosing a theme, a large majority is in the design and price. Just so, because it is the first thing we see. But did you know that you look out exclusively may end up taking a heavy toll in terms of SEO, loading speed and experience of your users?

That’s right, because the reality is that the vast majority of issues beyond aesthetically whatever they were looking for and price, contain a number of native mistakes that can be fatal.

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yourself this question:

Just want a nice web or you are interested it is well optimized for SEO, do not be headaches that load fast and ensures excellent browsing experience to your users? I’ve That is the question!

Let’s now see the data resulting from the analysis of the most popular WordPress themes that demonstrate these performance problems are more common than you could believe.

loading rate

77% of the subjects suspended in loading speed on Desktop and up to 96% disapproves in Mobile

Many themes are not properly optimized to maintain speed load both your users and Google require either on your desktop version, but especially on mobile, where especially now must be more vigilant than ever. Every millisecond is crucial.

But many how many?

Well, neither more nor less than 77% of the most popular WordPress themes suspended in terms of upload speed, according to data obtained with the Google PageSpeed ​​tool.

This in its desktop version. In the mobile version, the suspended increase to 96%.

PageSpeed ​​tool to analyze both the desktop version and mobile and provides a list of errors found that in one way or another, are affecting the loading speed.

Obviously, not all of these errors or problems loading speed are related to the theme, and that this influence also problems associated with the server. Here we will focus on the issues that have to do with the themes.

To ensure that a theme has adequate performance before deciding, simply enter the URL and click «Scan». Within seconds, the tool will give you a diagnosis and recommendations.

But the data obtained we see more detail.


77% of the subjects suspended in loading speed computer. Some need improvement (38%) and others directly have described as «poor» (39%)

In conclusion, only 23% approve and thus even with some unfinished business optimization. Which does not fail and, as we have seen, affects 100% of the subjects analyzed is as follows:

«Delete blocking JavaScript and CSS visualization of the content of the upper half of the page».

This problem, which is recommended remedy, not only affects the speed at which loads the web but how the various elements are loaded, so you should have it well controlled.

Not all pages use the same time to load and are optimized equally. So we wanted to also analyze the specific performance of pages, such as a category and a blog.

Test on category pages

Desktop category pages After analyzing the issues, the conclusions are as follows:

Only 23% approve. 77% suspended. Specifically, 50% needs improvement and 27% have an optimization poor

Test in Blog Entries Desktop

The results of the analysis of blog entries or post reveal that here there are problems even greater as to the performance and loading speed:

to 86% does not pass the test PageSpeed. Only 14% approve. 52.5% «needs work» and 34.5% has a poor optimization

Let’s see now data analysis mobile versions.

Mobile Data regarding loading speed on mobile devices are even more devastating.

up to 96% of the issues discussed are not well optimized to maintain good load speed on mobile. Or, what it is the same, only a negligible 4% passes the test

Among the 96% of failures, 34% «needs work» and … 62% has poor optimization!

Now for the results obtained for category pages and blog entries on mobile.

Test Pages Categories in Mobile

From the analysis of the category pages in mobile version, we find the following:

Only 4% approve, while 96% is suspending, but in this case 43% «needs work» and 53% have an optimization «poor

Test Mobile Blog Entries

Here the problem becomes even worse.

100% of blog entries of the topics discussed suspended in mobile. 38.5% «needs work» and 61.5% have an optimization «poor

But this does not stop here. Now let’s look at more specific issues affecting performance.

Optimizing images prominent or thumbnails

96% of the topics discussed are issues related to the optimization of images, which directly affects the performance of the web and loading speed

¿ this what happens?

Many themes incorporated into the sidebar or in different sections related entries links to web pages and these links are accompanied by images or thumbnails.

The problem more often than the actual size of these images is much greater than actually shown and weigh too much, which causes the charging time automatically resent the website totally unnecessary.

This also can check with the PageSpeed ​​tool we’ve seen before:

Mala code optimization

75% of WP themes analyzed do not take advantage of the native functionality of WordPress, which are many , and instead have a high dependence on additional features, shortcodes and mandatory plugins to function properly, which directly affects the performance and load time

the basic problem here is poor or inadequate optimization of the code.

unnecessary functions and non-native WordPress

Many themes have no code optimization best and, instead, rely on additional functionality, resent greatly the loading time of the web, as the HTML that is generated by these external programs is not optimized and is adding unnecessary layers in the code.

Thus, rather than take advantage of the many native WordPress functionality, incorporate new ones are added to the first and the web causing heavier and more.

A clear example of this are programs like Visual Composer, TagDivi or Page Builder, which incorporate a large majority of themes to offer greater customization of the design but at the same time, add extra functionality to WordPress that have an impact on the loading rate.

Remember: The design is fine. We must take care of it. But is not everything, especially if what is at stake is the performance of your website and your users’ experience. Keep it simple!

Unit shortcodes

Similarly, many issues have to run correctly excessive reliance on shortcodes to give access to unnecessary functions or could provide good code optimization.

external plugins required

Many themes require the installation of certain external plugins to access features and basic configuration. If not installed, the web will not work properly.

Yes, plugins can greatly facilitate our lives, but also cause our web weighs more because of the blue and the charging time will suffer. At the end everything adds up.

In many cases, these mandatory plugins really are unnecessary and could be solved with programming code in the theme for no more lugging our web.

Conclusion: When choosing a theme, look good on the purchase page if, to function properly as promised, the subject needs this kind of elements and functions outside that can directly affect the weight of your website and, therefore its charging speed. From there, it appreciates what most deserves your money’s worth and what most interests you sacrifice.

Misuse of goals

There are thousands of native errors related to goals that can be found on many issues, but one of the most important and frequently is associated with H1 tags, H2, H3, etc.

70% of WordPress themes analyzed have problems associated with the misuse of targets, resulting in poor optimization SEO

For example, many themes have H1, forcing H2 to replace them. Also, another common problem is that many H2 are directly automated and not optimized for SEO

Is this how you can affect?

it can take a toll on your SEO because, to begin with, the H1 is an important factor for Google, since you can easily identify what is the content of each page of your website to, from there, to position.

This can prove with analysis tools such as Woorank

Or like Screaming Frog.

generation duplicate content and thin content

55% of the themes analyzed are associated with the generation of duplicate content and thin content

Another problem found in many WP themes is generating problems duplicate content and thin content to automatically add the URLs to play blocks or elements of a web page to page.

what extent this problem that can affect the SEO happens?

For it is quite common that given greater or lesser extent, by 55% of WordPress themes we’ve discussed.

To check this, you can do a «site» of the theme on Google and look out if the generated topic such subfolders:

JavaScript errors

46% of WordPress themes analyzed have errors native Javascript


this type of errors in a theme also obey the code is not completely well optimized and is something that, in this case, directly affects the user experience.

not to be a serious problem, but it can affect your user experience, better not to gamble and prevent, right? Especially if you choose a subject with well optimized code.

To check if a theme has Javascript errors, enter the URL in your browser, click the right button on your mouse, select «Inspect».

Then the pop-up window that will appear select the «Console» tab.

Lack of structured data

structured data helps Google understand what a website is to position it.

His absence is not to penalize, but also will help improve your SEO. You know, it all adds up.

85% of WordPress themes analyzed lacks or has very limited use of structured data. Ie, they have the best possible SEO

This can check with the free tool Structured Data Testing Tool for Google Search Console.


you think that, after searching and rummaging, have given the most wonderful theme of the world to your website. That finally he has dazzled you because it fits with what you had in mind.

You love, you do not have to touch code and customization options are endless design!

But the reality can be different:

As we have seen, a large majority of the themes of WordPress are not well optimized that could level performance, speed loading and SEO

The 77% suspended in upload speed! The 96% if we talk about loading speed on mobile!

upload speed, image optimization outstanding, poor code optimization, high dependence on shortcodes, no native functionality of WordPress and plugins, misuse of goals, lack of structured data, generation of duplicate content, Javascript errors, …

are factors you should take into account when choosing the perfect WordPress theme.

Because if not load fast and affects the SEO and experience of your users, not perfect.

What is your experience with WordPress themes? Have you had fixed these problems?