Further motif tests are ahead Astra, Kadence, Blocks, OceanWP i GeneratePress (You can find more about these themes in the article: The best free WordPress themes).

If you haven't seen the first part of the test, where we checked how efficient each theme is right after installation, take a look at the article: Which WordPress theme is the fastest. But now we will look at how the above themes perform when we enrich them with sample content. Will GeneratePress win this time too?

This time I conducted three tests.Watch the video or look at the description below.

Methodology

As in the first test, all themes are running on separate WP installations, but the same WP hosting account.

I imported the content using a plug-in for this purpose Quebly. I have not installed any builder like Elementora. The whole thing is based solely on Gutenberg, and presents itself as below for each page tested:

This is what the tested page looks like for each theme

I have not optimised the graphics and photos The images in the template have to be modified, which would certainly be necessary as some of the images weigh more than 1 MB. The effect can be seen below. The purple bars are the graphics. I did not touch them on any of the tested pages.

In today's first test (there were three in total), I did not use any caching solution either on the server side or WordPress itself. The next tests were basic optimization with the same WP Rocket plugin with the same settings.

image 24

I carried out the tests with the tool WebPageTest.org by selecting Frankfurt as the location from where the tests will be run. Chrome browser. This tool performs three tests in one go and shows the best result (you can also take a look at the weaker ones if you want).

In assessing motives, I took into account only the metrics Web Vitalis mainly LCP because this is where the differences were greatest.

The last test, due to the precise ordering of the winners and losers table, which was not entirely easy based on the WebPageTest, was carried out using Google Page Speed Insights.

WP versions and themes

Each page is WordPress 5.6.2and motifs in random order:

  • Astra 3.0.2
  • Blocks 1.7.71
  • GeneratePress 3.0.2 - did they somehow make an agreement with Astra ? 😉
  • Kadence 1.0.15
  • OceanWP 2.0.2

Let's take a look at all three tests I did and their results.

Results of test no. 1

The first test was conducted on pages / themes with imported Gutenberg editor templates. Nothing else was done although, which I did not mention in the video, in the case of GeneratePress I had to install the PRO version because with the free version I was not able to prepare an identical-looking page without digging around in the code.

To be honest, I was worried that this treatment might cause the GP to lose badly, but I decided to test and see if this was indeed the case.

OceanWP - first place

This is something I wasn't expecting. Looking at the tests from last week it's an interesting change 🙂 LCP 1.3 seconds, page load time 8.8 seconds. Keep in mind that the images aren't optimized and it's mainly to their credit that the times are what they are 🙂

image 25

GeneratePress - second place

One might have suspected that this theme would perform well. There is a slight difference with OceanWP LCP at close to 1.4, and the page load time is marginally longer. Note that OceanWP has the most requests with 49 while GeneratePress has 40 and still loses marginally.

image 26

Blocks - third place

We have a slightly weaker LCP result, at 1.5 seconds, while the page load time is basically unchanged from its predecessors and is practically at the same level.

image 27

Astra - fourth place

Minimal difference to Blocks both in terms of LCP and page load time, which is around 8.9 seconds.

image 28

Kadence - last place

I like the theme a lot, but it didn't handle the LCP test well, which was 3.8 seconds at best, and not infrequently over 4 seconds. Quite a difference from its predecessors.

image 29

Test 2 - active buffer and basic optimisation

I used the same cache plugin on each of the pages: WP Rocket. I configured it blindly, I only cared that each of the tested sites had exactly the same configuration. Did it change anything as far as themes ranking is concerned?

Blocks - first place

Something has changed. Blocksy took the new configuration best and cranked out an LCP score of 1.2 seconds (previously 1.5). Obviously, the number of requests dropped noticeably due to the use of CSS/JS file merging. In turn, the minification had a positive effect on the weight of the transferred data and the page load time. However, the graphics are still not optimised 🙂 .

image 30

OceanWP - second place

It bravely holds on to the top spot, but take a look at the LCP. It is at a level approaching 1.5, meanwhile the test without optimisation on this had a better result. As with any theme after fast optimisation it has better loading time and less weight.

image 31

Astra - third place

LCP at 1.5 seconds is not much different from the result in the first test. The upload weight, however, is the best, but if we consider the total page load time, it loses minimally to Blocksy.

image 32

GeneratePress - penultimate place

LCP over 2 secs, but whatever you look at, the page load time is the best. I did however take Web Vitalis as a ranking indicator hence the 4th position, but if I had only considered speed, GeneratePress would have been in first place in this test.

image 33

Kadence - last place

Unfortunately, despite the LCP improvement Kadence still lands on the last position. On the other hand, I'm glad to see that as far as page load speed is concerned, the time is almost the same as with GeneratePress. Not bad, but we leave Kadence at the grey end according to the adopted evaluation criterion.

image 34

Test 3 - Google Page Speed Insights

We could discuss which of the mentioned themes is on the first and which is on the last position by analysing all the factors and scoring them accordingly. However, we don't have to do this because Google in its tool for analysing the quality/performance of a website allocates points and this for both mobile devices and desktops.

I figured that with such similar Web Vitalis results or page load speed, it was hard to say unequivocally which theme won and which lost. So I asked Google for the final verdict. Here it is:

GeneratePress - first place

It turned out that in the case of the Google test, GeneratePress retains its crown and jumps into first position without question. One can only congratulate. If I had optimised the graphics and fonts on the tested pages, the results would certainly have been better. Nevertheless, GeneratePress is the best.

Cells

image 35

Computers

image 36

Kadence - second place

One point weaker than GeneratePress. A small difference that could change in favour of one or the other theme in each subsequent test. In any case, Google rated Kadence very similarly to GeneratePress.

Cells

image 37

Computers

image 38

Blocks - third place

And similarly one point less than Kadence, and two points less than winner GeneratePress.

Cells

image 39

Computers

image 40

Astra - fourth place

Although the scoring for desktops is similar to the Blocksy cases, the scoring for mobile devices clearly stands apart from its predecessors. The 9 points difference between GeneratePress and Astra is already a significant difference.

Cells

image 41

Computers

image 42

OceanWP - again at a loss

Last place, just like a week ago, goes to the OceanWP theme. In this case, Google's scoring is merciless when it comes to mobile testing. For desktops it is much better, but it is also the lowest scoring of the tested themes.

Cells

image 43

Computers

image 44

Summary

No matter how you look at it, we confirmed the result obtained on previous tests. First place GeneratePress last OceanWP, which by far the worst performer on mobile tests.

OceanWP not so long ago occupied a higher position in similar rankings, but the competing themes are not sleeping and are moving forward, which can be seen especially in the case of GeneratePress, which has made quite a leap in quality since version 3.0.

You can check the sites that participated "in the competition" at the addresses below. They should be operational for approximately one month from the date of publication of the test results. After this time they will be removed.

  1. GeneratePress: https://gp.uczymyjak.pl/
  2. Kadence: https://kadence.uczymyjak.pl/
  3. Blocks: https://blocksy.uczymyjak.pl/
  4. Astra: https://astra.uczymyjak.pl/
  5. OceanWP: https://oceanwp.uczymyjak.pl/
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