Swift Basic WordPress Theme Test Drive

Swift Basic WordPress Theme screenshotOK, so, this theme (Swift Basic WordPress Theme) is supposed to be the fastest WordPress Theme in the world (or something like that). And of course, everyone knows about how Google is penalizing slow sites. So, I decided to try it and see how it performs. I have previously tested the ExRay WordPress Theme, and it did better than my previous theme. But I am still looking for something faster. I’m going to try this on one of my other sites (NameLeak.com), and document everything I do. Before I even begin, I’ll do a quick speed test on Name Leak and see where it stands using its current theme (ExRay). Then, I will run the speed tests using the Swift Basic Theme. Plus, I will take a look at basic customization options, and everything else the theme does, and see how it compares to some other WordPress themes I have used.

First, the speed test results using its current theme:

* According to Google Developer Tools PageSpeed Insights, it score a 55 out of 100 for mobile. And for desktop, it score a 67 out of 100. Google recommends eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content, and enable compression.
* According to GTMetrix.com it has a speed grade D of 62%, and a y-slow grade C of 74%. With recommendations to enable GZip compression, leverage browser caching, add expiration dates to headers, and use a content delivery network (CDN).

On with the test drive…
The first thing I notice is there are a lot of customization options! A good first-impression. I chose two sidebars (both on right, there was no option for one on each side, although there was an option for both on left.) There are a ton of color options. You can really make this theme look different very easily. So far, just on simplicity and options, I love it!

Now for the 2nd speed test. Let’s see if it got any faster:

Google scores it a 54 out of 100 for mobile (one percentage point lower, meaning it got a tad slower!) And for desktop, 64 out of 100, which is 3-points slower! Not good!
GTMetrix scores it 68% (a little better!) And 74% for y-slow grade (the same).

Now for a 3rd speed test:
I decided maybe the slider was using some energy to slow the site down. My old theme (ExRay) didn’t have a slider, so to be fair, I tried the speed tests without the slider activated.
Google scores it 57 out of 100 for mobile (a speed savings of 2 points). And for desktop- exactly the same.
GTMetrix scores it 67%, a D grade, which is actually slower without the slider. Can this be true? I doubt it. Sorry GTMetrix, but I think you’re wrong.

The end result is, it didn’t really make my site any faster. But that could be a credit to the ExRay theme more than it is a dis-credit to the Swift theme. In fact, I like it so much, I’m going to leave it on there for now.

I’ll add this- these speed tests can vary by how busy my server is too. So maybe a few more tests are in order, to get an average speed result. Anyway, I’m just doing my homework, trying to make my sites faster. Next, I’m going to have to learn how to compress code!

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