13 Best Lightweight WordPress Themes for Elementor in 2021

Looking to find the fastest WordPress theme to combine with Elementor? Good idea! Elementor is one of the top WordPress page builders in the world, and when combined with one of the fastest WordPress themes, it makes for a powerful combination!

Lightweight themes with small file sizes and well-structured code produce faster websites with better performance in search engines.

Just by choosing the right WordPress theme, you can give your website an SEO boost, improve user experience and increase conversion rates.

And, since you’ll be using a powerful page builder like Elementor, you don’t have to worry about choosing a theme with a bunch of fancy features as you can add your own.

But which is the fastest WordPress theme for Elementor?

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the best lightweight themes you can find. They combine the speed you’re looking for alongside the ease of use we like, with full compatibility with Elementor.

First, let’s work through a bit of jargon.

What’s Special About the Fastest WordPress Themes?

WordPress themes are made of four main types of code.

These are:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) – Determines the structure of your theme
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – Used to apply styling to the various elements of your website
  • Javascript, – Used to create or modify the behaviour of visually dynamic elements, such as sliders
  • Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) – Controls the underlying dynamics of WordPress behavior

Not all websites use all four types of code but they can all affect the loading speed of your website.

Here’s what you should know about each one:

HTML

HTML is simple and typically easy to keep light. Properly coded WordPress themes use proper document structure, standards-complaint markup, indented code and other best practices to keep their HTML clean.

CSS

CSS is a different beast. Given that each element on a webpage can require lots of unique styling, CSS stylesheets (where your CSS is written and loaded from), can easily get bloated and weigh your website down.

There is also a challenge with the way that WordPress websites load CSS stylesheets.

The entire stylesheet for the website is loaded when a user clicks on your website the first time. Not just for the page you’re looking at but for the entire website.

That means that a lot of unnecessary CSS gets loaded at once, which increases perceived loading times.

Loading CSS doesn’t actually slow down the page itself, but it does delay the page being visible and usable. This creates the perception of slow loading, even when it isn’t.

This phenomenon is called render-blocking CSS. When the loading of the CSS file stops the browser rendering the page.

There isn’t much that even the best coded themes can do about CSS since it is needed, but you can minimize render blocking CSS following a few simple tips.

For example, the best lightweight themes make up for this by stripping out as much unnecessary styling as possible, allowing for a small CSS stylesheet, and a faster loading speed.

You can also defer loading CSS, minify it or inline critical CSS.

JavaScript

And then there’s JavaScript, which is where much more of the trouble with slow-loading themes comes from. JavaScript can be a complex coding language. To simplify its use, most WordPress developers rely on a JavaScript library called JQuery.

The problem with JQuery is that when a theme is reliant on it, the entire jQuery library must be loaded along with the other core files that make up your theme.

This can significantly prolong loading times. That’s why the fastest WordPress themes avoid using jQuery wherever possible..

Instead, the best practice is to write any JavaScript the old-fashioned way, without using JQuery. This is called Vanilla Javascript.

PHP

Finally, there’s PHP. PHP is the engine of every WordPress website and it cannot be avoided. It can, however, be coded properly to minimise the amount of PHP that must be initiated when users load a page on your website.

The best lightweight WordPress themes take all four areas into consideration in creating lean, highly efficient themes.

HTTP Requests

Other than applying the coding best practices we’ve just talked through, there is one more component of WordPress theme speed you should know about.

HTTP requests.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the primary way that browsers and servers communicatee – or process requests.

Each time a user clicks a link on your website, your browser passes a request to your web server with instructions on how to process this request. These requests let the server know which files to send.

There is a new version of HTTP called HTTP/2 which helps in speed optimization. It means the number of HTTP requests sent is not that much of an issue anymore.

Still, it is good practice to limit the number of HTTP requests required to load up the default data of a WordPress installation.

Top Lightweight and Fast WordPress Themes for Elementor

Now that you have some understanding of what’s happening under the hood of WordPress themes, let’s take a look at some of the fastest themes around right now.

While most themes claim to be lightweight, very few live up to these promises. More significantly, not all themes work well with all page builders.

So which are the best lightweight themes for WordPress that also play nice with Elementor?

1. Astra

Astra Theme elementor page

If you’re looking for a lightweight theme that everyone, including a complete beginner, can easily use with Elementor, Astra is an excellent choice.

Astra has been used to build over 1.5 million websites and the theme has more than 5,000 five-star reviews.

One of the reasons why so many people trust this theme is its reputation for being lightning fast.

That speed is primarily down to two factors. The first is its clean HTML and very small size, and the second is its reliance on Vanilla JavaScript in place of jQuery.

In addition to its speed, Astra comes with a plugin called Starter Templates, which offers pre-built websites that make web design faster and more intuitive.

These starter websites are built to work with Elementor, Beaver Builder and Gutenberg, and provide some of the best free WordPress templates you can use.

It also easily integrates well with other major third-party plugins such as WooCommerce, LearnDash, Easy Digital Downloads, and Yoast.

The Astra theme is completely free with an impressive collection of features. There is also a Pro version that comes with even more functionality.

Features of Astra:

  • Requiring less than 50KB of resources, Astra is one of the lightest themes on the market.
  • With a loading speed of approximately 0.5 seconds with default WordPress data, it is also one of the fastest themes ever created.
  • With the use of the Starter Templates plugin, the theme offers a massive library of demo templates that can be imported with just a few clicks. While the Pro version has more options, the free version gives you access to a sizable collection.
  • Astra is highly customizable. There is a wide range of options in the native WordPress customizer, that allows you to make changes to your site’s design without having to manually alter its code or even use a page builder.
  • Astra is a fully extendable theme with the capacity to accommodate a wide range of hooks and filters which is great for more experienced developers.
  • It is an SEO-friendly theme that comes with the complementary Schema Pro plugin.

Astra Pricing

There is a free version of Astra that includes everything you need.. At the time of writing this article, there are three paid options: Astra Pro, the Essential Bundle, and the Growth Bundle, which cost $47, $169, and $249 respectively and are billed annually.

2. GeneratePress

GeneratePress demo site

GeneratePress has a reputation for being one of the most lightweight themes in the market. With its promise of 7.5kb page size, 2 HTTP request cap and zero dependencies, you can see why.

The theme also has up to 500 5-star ratings in the WordPress repository, so clearly, its developers are doing something right!

GeneratePress has a free and a premium version. While the free version is lightweight and has loads of great features, the premium version offers more features and customization options. These include access to additional modules for style and typography, WooCommerce compatibility, and much more.

Because of the modular approach of this theme, you can deactivate modules you don’t need to prevent them from slowing down your site.

Features of GeneratePress:

  • It is highly customizable with a wide range of color, style, and typography options along with several hooks and filters for extending functionality. .
  • Advanced blog options such as column controls, infinite scrolling, and image adjustment settings.
  • It’s a translation-ready theme with more than 20 language options.
  • The premium version gives you access to a library of ready-made demo sites you can easily import to start your website.
  • There is inbuilt support for schema markup that can help boost search engine rankings.

GeneratePress Pricing

There is a free version of GeneratePress. The premium theme costs $59 per year or $249 as a lifetime payment. It comes with one year of updates and support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. Zakra

ZAKRA theme homepage

Zakra is a theme with a lightweight framework known for its speed and versatility and allows you to create a wide range of websites easily. The theme offers over 10 pre-built templates you can use to kick-start your web design process.

There are two versions of this theme available. The free version offers impressive features that allow it to compete with some other premium themes. These include WooCommerce compatibility, page builder support, and a wide range of typography options.

The premium version offers even more functionality with additional typography options, advanced menu styling options and several blogging options.

There is a lot of documentation available on Zakra to help you understand it and deal with any issues. Plus, they have a great customer support team that is quick to respond to queries.

Features of Zakra:

  • Zakra comes with over 50 demos suitable for a wide range of niche sites including restaurant, wedding, and charity sites.
  • It works well with Elementor and other major page builders, as well as with the Gutenberg block editor.
  • Advanced blogging options such as masonry layouts, grid designs, and post pagination styles are available in the premium version.
  • The theme is extremely customizable with more than seven widget areas and a wide variety of header and footer options in addition to a good range of advanced menu styling options.

Zakra Pricing

There is a free version in addition to four premium plans at the time of writing. These are the Personal plan, costing $59; Personal Plus, costing $67; Professional, costing $202; and Developer costing $209. All of the plans are also available for lifetime purchase.

4. Twenty Twenty-one

twenty twenty one theme page

Twenty Twenty-one is currently the default theme you get with a fresh install of WordPress. Created by the developers of WordPress themselves, it is a simple and lightweight theme that is highly optimized to work well with any properly coded page builder like Elementor.

A new version is released annually, and its predecessors – Twenty Twenty, Twenty Nineteen, and so on, are still available for download. They are all lightweight, minimalist, high-speed themes that are meant to integrate seamlessly with the WordPress Gutenberg editor.

Like the previous version, Twenty Twenty, the latest default theme is based on an existing theme from the WordPress community, Seedlet. It is highly customizable and can be used to build a wide variety of websites including portfolios, personal blogs, and business sites.

Despite its minimalist and subdued appearance, this theme comes packed with several noteworthy features:

  • It has a single-column layout and two menu locations: the primary navigation, located in the header section, and the footer navigation.
  • When links to social networks are added to the footer menu, they are spontaneously converted to SVG icons.
  • The theme supports up to nine post formats including status, gallery, chat, and video.
  • Twenty Twenty-one uses a native font stack which eliminates the need to download additional fonts from a remote web server. This contributes to improved speed and UX.
  • The theme offers a dark mode as an optional feature.
  • While it primarily supports the Gutenberg editor, it also works with major page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder.

Twenty Twenty-One Pricing

Like all versions before it, this theme is completely free to use.

5. Ocean WP

OceanWP WordPress Theme homepage

While OceanWP is definitely a lightweight theme, it is probably not the lightest on this list. It does have other qualities to make up for this, and compared to most other WordPress themes, it holds its own when it comes to speed.

OceanWP is also one of the most customizable lightweight themes you can use. In addition to the wide range of inherent customization options, there are eight free and 13 paid extensions you can use to access more features.

It also works well with Elementor.

Features of OceanWP:

  • It offers over 150 ready-to-use demo websites to help you kickstart your web design.
  • It’s a mobile-responsive theme that adjusts to various screen sizes automatically.
  • Seamless integration with WooCommerce that allows for several advanced options such as multi-step checkout and product page styling for free. Using paid extensions, you can further customize your store with features like the Woo Popup.
  • Along with Elementor, OceanWP works well with several major page builders including Beaver Builder, Elementor, Brizy, and King Composer.
  • The wide range of extensions allows you to add more advanced features like an Instagram feed, white labeling, modal windows, and post sliders to your site.

Ocean WP Pricing

There is a free version available for anyone to download. There are also three paid options starting at $39 per year; Personal, costing $39 annually, Business costing $79 per year and Agency costing $129 per year.

6. Page Builder Framework

Page Builder Framework elementor theme

Page Builder Framework is a minimalist, feather-light theme that was built with the aim of high speed and performance.

As the name implies, this theme was specially created to work with page builders, and with a file size less than 50KB, it provides a simple framework that page builders can extend easily.

It offers a lot of flexibility with various blog layout options, header styles, and sidebar configuration options. For enhanced functionality, there is a premium addon that gives you access to more than a dozen extra features.

One drawback of the Page Builder Framework theme is that it does not come with ready-made demo sites.

Features of Page Builder Framework:

  • The theme is WooCommerce compatible and has multiple customization options.
  • It offers an affordable addon that provides advanced options such as sticky headers, off-canvas menus, mega menus, hover effects, and advanced typography.
  • There are hooks within the theme that can be used to extend its functionality.
  • Page Builder Framework is translation-ready and fully compatible with multilanguage plugins such as Polylang and Weglot.
  • It offers loads of customization options accessible directly from the WordPress customizer.

Page Builder Pricing

The theme is available for free. However, for added functionality, a premium addon can be purchased at $58 yearly or $248 in a one-time purchase. An Agency Bundle, which has even more added features and can be used on unlimited sites, is available at $248 a year.

7. Neve

Neve WordPress theme

Neve is a lightweight WordPress theme designed to work well with Elementor and other page builders. It also integrates well with the Gutenberg editor.

Aside from being lightweight, partly due to its reliance on Vanilla Javascript, it also has a reputation for being a user-friendly theme that can be used to create any kind of website.

To help users kick start the process, it gives you access to several predesigned sites that you can import with just a few clicks. Site types include eCommerce, entertainment, travel, and many others.

While the free version offers several great features, the premium version offers advanced features such as mobile headers, custom layouts, and white labeling.

Features of Neve:

Built on quality code with lightweight elements, this theme has several outstanding benefits:

  • It is a mobile-first theme that emphasizes faster loading times, great interfaces, and high responsiveness for a better experience.
  • It pairs well with major page builders like Elementor, Brizy, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, and Divi Builder.
  • The paid version of the theme offers the possibility of custom design for the header and footer areas. Additionally, custom code can be added via hooks in the theme.
  • Site layout options include full-width and contained versions.
  • Paid versions give you access to extra features such as scroll to top, WooCommerce booster, header booster, and blog booster features.
  • It is a translation and RTL-ready theme.
  • It uses Vanilla JavaScript instead of jQuery to improve performance.

Neve Pricing

A free version is available for anyone to download with premium plans starting at $59 per year for the Personal plan, $99 per year for the Business plan, and $159 per year for the Agency plan.

8. Hello

Hello Elementor theme

Hello is Elementor’s own custom theme. It is extremely lightweight and lightning-fast, but is stripped bare of a lot of design features which are replaced by Elementor’s functionality. This makes the theme itself super lightweight and fast.

As the Hello Elementor theme was built for the Elementor page builder, it can help you make the most of the popular drag-and-drop tool without getting in the way. The minimalist nature of the theme combined with the customization powers offered by the builder gives you the freedom to build any kind of website.

Features of Hello:

In addition to being one of the fastest WordPress themes on the market, there are some features that make it a great choice:

  • It is 100% compatible with Elementor.
  • Excellent integration with major third-party plugins including WooCommerce and Yoast.
  • Highly responsive design for all screen sizes.

Hello Pricing

The Hello theme is completely free to use.

9. Sydney

aThemes Sydney demo site

Sydney is a lightweight theme designed for building business websites. It offers a block-based layout that makes it easy to set up a professional-looking homepage within minutes.

This theme is officially recommended by Elementor and is fully compatible with other popular page builders like Beaver Builder, SiteOrigin, and Visual Composer. It provides lots of customization options including complete Google Font support, multiple layout and color options, a full screen slider, and much more.

The free version of this theme offers an impressive range of features, but if you would like some added functionality, there is a Pro version available. Pro gives you access to additional demo sites, more customization options, premium support, and a year of updates.

Features of Sydney:

  • Sydney offers full WooCommerce support for businesses that would like to run an online store.
  • It comes with custom blocks for Elementor.
  • It includes a theme customizer that gives you loads of customization choices for your front page and blog layout.
  • It comes with a live customizer that lets you preview changes to your website as they happen.
  • It is compatible with multiple browsers.

Sydney Pricing

The Sydney theme is free to download. It also has a pro version which costs $69 for yearly use, $169 for lifetime use and $299 for the extended Lifetime Bundle. That bundle includes all themes from aThemes, the makers of the Sydney theme.

10. Customify

Customify WordPress theme

Customify is a multipurpose theme that is highly optimized for speed and works well with Elementor. It is suitable for building a wide variety of websites including corporate, portfolio, education, consulting, restaurant, hospital and many more.

To back up its bold claim of being “the most customizable WordPress theme on the market”, this theme comes with a lot of exclusive customization options. One of them is the WYSIWYG Header & Footer builder which allows you to create custom headers and footers for your site. It also allows you to create a unique header for each page and gives you unlimited typography options.

The pro version of the theme offers added features like advanced header and footer styling options, mega menu, infinity scroll and a scroll to top button.

Other Features:

  • The theme offers several pre-built sites that you can easily import.
  • In addition to Elementor, it is fully compatible with other major page builders.
  • It supports WooCommerce and other popular WordPress plugins like Yoast, BuddyPress, bbPress, and OrbitFox.
  • To help you improve UX on all platforms, it allows you to create a different header for mobile devices.

Customify Pricing

Customify is free to use. Pro versions cost $59 a year for the Personal Bundle (one site), $89 a year for the Business Bundle (three sites), and $129 a year for the Agency Bundle (unlimited sites).

11. Schema

Schema Theme demo site

Schema is a flexible theme that is lightweight and works well with Elementor. In addition to its lightweight nature and built-in speed optimization settings, this theme comes with a performance tab that allows you to further boost your site’s speed.

The tab allows you to enable lazy loading, disable parameters, optimize WooCommerce scripts, and much more.

Schema also has several customization possibilities. These include limitless color options, over 60 background options, multiple sidebars, ready-to-use icons and more.

Built with Google’s algorithms in mind and rich snippet support, it is one of the most SEO-friendly themes on the market.

Other Features:

  • The theme comes with an ad manager that helps you insert and track ads easily.
  • It has a review system that lets visitors review your posts in the comment section.
  • Schema offers custom CSS support, allowing developers to make further changes to the theme.
  • Built-in translation panel

Schema Pricing

While you can download Schema Lite for free, a pro version is available at $35 for one site, $59 for three sites, and $77 for unlimited use.

12. Blocksy

Blocksy theme homepage

Blocksy is a super lightweight WordPress theme that is great for building any kind of website. It is fully compatible with major page builders like Elementor, as well as the Gutenberg editor.

Blocksy gives you full control over every aspect of your website with several options for layout, headers, footers and sidebars. It is also compatible with WooCommerce and gives you customization options such as gallery styles and product quick view options that let you build your store according to your preferences.

The premium version gives you access to even more features including custom code snippets, additional WooCommerce customization options, mega menus and hooks to extend the theme’s functionality.

Features of Blocksy:

  • The theme allows live preview which lets you see any changes you make to your site in real-time.
  • It has an inbuilt lazy loading system which can be used to further enhance your site’s performance.
  • Blocksy has a dark mode option.
  • It comes with schema markup which helps to improve your site’s search rankings.
  • It has a large collection of starter sites that can be imported with a single click.

Blocksy Pricing

The free version is available for anyone to download. There are three pricing options available for premium starting at $49 per year for the Personal Plan, $69 per year for the Professional Plan, and $99 per year for the Agency plan.

13. Kadence

Kadence theme homepage

Kadence is a multipurpose WordPress theme built for speed, and is perfectly compatible with Elementor.

Another standout feature of this theme is its wide range of customization options. Kadence has a library of starter templates that are easy to install. From Yoga Studio to Law Firm and Online Course, these templates cover a wide range of website types.

The theme also provides a global color palette that lets you apply chosen colors across the entire site.

While the free version offers a whole lot, the pro add-on gives you access to more awesome features like header addons, advanced menu options, fixed banners, and WooCommerce customization.

Features of Kadence:

  • This theme has header and footer builders. They are both user-friendly drag and drop tools that allow you create custom designs.
  • It offers social icons that can be added to the header and footer of your site.
  • Kadence allows you to add a customizable scroll-to-top arrow to your website to improve UX.
  • For a performance boost, the theme offers a CSS preloading feature for your site’s header.

Kadence Pricing

The Kadence theme is free to download. There is a Kadence Pro Theme addon you can purchase at $59 per year, with the additional options of the Essential Bundle at $105 per year, and the Full Bundle at $154 per year.

So Which Is the Best Lightweight and Fastest WordPress Theme for Elementor?

Each of these themes can serve as a great foundation for creating an attractive and, more importantly, fast website. They all offer amazing customization options, integration with various plugins and page builders.

As they all have unique features, the best one for you will depend on your specific needs.

If we had to stick our necks out, we’d say the best lightweight theme for Elementor is probably the Astra theme. Not only is Astra extremely lightweight, it also comes with a comprehensive suite of features that make web design simple and intuitive.

Elementor’s Hello theme is another we would recommend if you’re looking purely for speed, while GeneratePress has some nice templates to complement its lightweight theme.

If you’ve used any of these themes, we’d love to know how well they worked for you and if you have any tips for our readers. Do share in the comments below!

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About the Author

The Ultimate Addons for Elementor editorial team is led by Sujay Pawar (co-founder of Brainstorm Force). We’re a collection of WordPress experts, enthusiasts, designers, and developers and love sharing our knowledge and our passion with all our readers.

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