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Improve Website Performance with Custom Developed Themes

November 1, 2023

In the world of website performance, every millisecond matters. Discover how premium WordPress themes, while convenient for quick website development, can introduce potential bottlenecks in your site’s speed and resource consumption.

Premium themes in WordPress offer a wide range of templates for various categories and genres, making them an excellent choice for those looking to kickstart their website. However, these themes come with a significant drawback: they are designed to work universally for all types of websites.

Premium themes often include customizable settings and options, allowing users to tailor their website’s appearance. But here’s the catch: each setting or option translates to a database query. Whether you enable or disable an option, WordPress must perform a database query every time a page loads to determine the user’s preference for that option. While WordPress caches most of these queries, not all of them get cached.

Consider a scenario where we analyzed a homepage designed using a premium theme. Even with a highly optimized setup and no additional plugins active on the homepage, the site still triggers ten database queries during each page load, all stemming from the premium theme.

Furthermore, premium themes often come bundled with numerous modules and widgets for effortless website design. This convenience is ideal for users with little coding knowledge, but it comes at a cost. Regardless of whether you use just a couple or a dozen widgets on a page, WordPress must load and process the entire theme to generate the page. This means that even if you don’t utilize all the widgets, they still consume system memory.

Optimized AKLetslearn
Screenshot: Optimized Premium Theme

As seen in the screenshot, our premium theme consumed 60.8 MB of RAM, which accounts for approximately 12% of server resources, taking 814.3 milliseconds to generate a single homepage.

Now, let’s compare this with MathYug, a website equipped with a custom-developed theme designed specifically for their needs. The screenshot of MathYug’s homepage reveals that RAM usage is a mere 8.8 MB, equivalent to less than 2% of server resources. Remarkably, MathYug’s homepage features additional elements and animations while taking only 68.2 milliseconds to generate.

On the other hand, MathYug has a theme that is custom developed especially for the MathYug website. The following screenshot of the website’s homepage shows that the RAM usage is just 8.8 MB, which is less than 2% of the server resources. MathYug’s homepage has additional features and animations, yet the page is generated in just 68.2 milliseconds.

Custom theme MathYug
Screenshot: Custom Developed Theme

In summary, the premium theme uses approximately seven times more server RAM than our custom-developed theme and is roughly 12 times slower in generating pages. Premium themes certainly have their merits, especially for newcomers or those in a hurry to launch a website. However, for serious business websites, particularly those with eCommerce and LMS functions where every millisecond is crucial, the unmatched performance of a custom-developed theme becomes evident. Boost your website’s speed and efficiency by considering a custom theme tailored to your unique requirements.