Avada WordPress Theme Performance

If you’re not familiar, Avada is by far the best-selling WordPress theme of all time at ThemeForest. At the time that we’re writing this post in December 2019, it’s been purchased an astounding 562,446 times. And over those hundreds of thousands of purchases, it’s maintained an impressive 4.77-star rating out of 5 on over 22,000 reviews.

That’s a lot of sites running Avada and a lot of happy customers, so the Avada WordPress theme obviously must be doing something right.

Avada comes with a huge array of demo sites, features, and options, but those aren’t the main focus of our Avada theme review.

Instead, while we will mention those features in passing, we’re mainly focused on Avada’s performance. Specifically, how fast does a website running the Avada theme load out of the box, and what might your page load times look like with a little optimization from WP Rocket?

To help you understand how Avada performs in both its default state and an optimized scenario, we will:

How We’re Testing Avada’s Performance

Before we show you the data, let’s get into how we’ll run the tests and what our test environment is.

First off, our test website is hosted on cheap shared hosting from Bluehost, so it doesn’t have the most powerful foundation out there.

To set up Avada itself, we imported a complete Avada demo site. Specifically, the Freelancer demo site

While the exact performance results will vary based on the specific demo site that you import, the Freelancer demo site is a good representation of the elements that the “average” Avada demo website includes so the basic ideas should be the same across all demo sites.

Beyond importing all of the Avada theme demo content for the Freelancer site, we also installed some, but not all, of the bundled/recommended plugins. The plugins that we installed are:

To gather the performance data for each page, we’ll use WebPageTest with the following configuration:

Note – this test configuration is naturally going to result in “slower” numbers than testing with something like Pingdom Tools which uses an unthrottled connection. However, this configuration is more representative of the page load times that your real human visitors will experience.

We will first test just the Avada demo content and the bundled plugins mentioned above.

Then, we’ll install WP Rocket and re-test all the same pages. Beyond WP Rocket’s default improvements (page caching, Gzip compression, browser caching, etc.), the only additional options we will enable in WP Rocket are HTML and Google Fonts file optimization, as well as lazy loading.
These options are unlikely to cause issues on an Avada website.

On a real WordPress website, you could go further and play around with CSS/JavaScript optimization and other features in WP Rocket.

Avada WordPress Theme Review: Performance Data

Ready to check out the data? Let’s dig in…

Here’s the first test scenario, which is with just the Avada demo site and no performance optimizations:

PageRequestsSizeLoad Time
Homepage452.366 MB5.967 s
Recent Work382.012 MB4.836 s
Blog Archive332.298 MB4.985 s
Blog Post312.041 MB4.572 s
Contact Page382.035 MB5.129 s

As you can see, page sizes are above 2 MB and load times are in the 4.5-6 second range, which is pretty slow and likely to cause a negative user experience for your visitors.

Now, here’s the test data after activating WP Rocket and enabling the HTML and Google Fonts files optimization features, as well as image lazy loading:

PageRequestsSizeLoad Time
Homepage372.093 MB4.539 s
Recent Work311.987 MB2.951 s
Blog Archive301.993 MB2.971 s
Blog Post291.881 MB2.573 s
Contact Page332.012 MB4.054 s

To make it easier to see the differences, let’s put the median page load times from each scenario together in a single table:


HomepageRecent WorkBlog ArchiveBlog PostContact Page
Just Avada5.967 s4.836 s4.985 s4.572 s5.129 s
With WP Rocket4.539 s2.951 s2.971 s2.573 s4.054 s

As you can see, if you’re using the Avada theme, enabling WP Rocket and configuring just a few settings can make a huge difference on your site’s load times.

While the default configuration had page load times in the 4.5-6 second range, WP Rocket was able to shave between 1-2 seconds off the page load times, depending on the page. 

WP Rocket also managed to get three of the test pages under the 3-second mark, which is going to offer a huge boost to user experience on your site.

It’s still not blazing fast, but ~3 seconds is much better and within the range of acceptable page speed numbers.

Pros & Cons of Using Avada

Of course, there’s probably more to your decision to use Avada than just performance, so let’s go over some of the other pros and cons of the Avada WordPress theme…

Pros

Cons

Final Thoughts

Avada’s numbers speak for themselves: a ton of people love this theme. Its multipurpose approach means that you can use it to build pretty much any type of WordPress website. And to help you do that without code, it comes with an ever-expanding list of pre-built demo sites and a visual, drag-and-drop builder.

However, while Avada is certainly great from a design perspective, it’s not the most lightweight theme out there. The demo site that we tested had page load times in the 5-second range, which is not ideal. 

To be fair, we were testing on cheap shared hosting, so you’ll likely have slightly better results with more powerful hosting. Still, we’ve tested lightweight themes on a similar configuration with much better results.

If you want to get the design benefits of Avada without sacrificing your website’s performance, the WP Rocket plugin and Avada make a great pair.

As you saw above, WP Rocket can shave 1-2 seconds off your Avada page load times, which got our test site to a much more respectable ~3-second range for a majority of the pages.

Have you had a chance to use Avada in combination with WP Rocket?  Or do you have additional questions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Author's avatar

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer who spends his days inside the WordPress dashboard. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.

28 comments

I'm sold. Will try WP Rocket on a few sites.

Great post and looking forward to the series.

Would be brilliant if you did, Divi / Thesis / Gensis, as well as themes on Themeforest.

Ca c'est une riche idée, vraiment ! Merci...
Sinon j'ai l'impressions que comment-reply.min.js pose des problèmes partout car Jonathan me l'avait retiré pour le thème Enfold (riche idée de le passer également à votre moulinette aussi : http://themeforest.net/item/enfold-responsive-multipurpose-theme/4519990 avec ses presque 60 000 ventes...)
Merci

i am using Avada with wp-rocket
and my Pingdom score is 98/100
and also google PageSpeed score is desktop/95 and mobile/85
the only thing is holding me back is single file above-the-fold

Please also test Boss from BuddyBoss as it is a great BuddyPress theme and I am also interested how WP-Rocket will handle BuddyPress and what configuration options are needed. I think most useful will be Lazy Load.

My big concern about the cache mechanism is the ability to detect smartphone, tablet, and desktop.. on w3totalcache i ended up with registering the user agent one by one... wondering if wp-rocket has mechanism to make it easier for developer to optimize their multi-screen site

@Doxadigital Team
There is a checkbox to cache for mobile caching :)
No need to add all the user agent

Do you seperate between smartphone and tablet ?

It’s much more important to focus on your page loading time and not on your performance grade

I'd go so far as to say that you should ignore the grade entirely.

I'd also recommend trying out these tests with webpagetest.org. You'll get a much better picture of what is going on with page loads, with better control options.

Amazing plugin. Just installed it on a very heavy photo website running on Avada http://www.worldtattooevents.com/. The homepage is 5.5MB and the load time speed went down from 2.8s/3.5s to 807ms. All other caching plugins didn't even come close to it. Hence: AMAZING!!!

@Alex: Awesome! We are glad to hear that :)

Hi Jonathan, Please review my absolute favourite thee as well. I am pretty sure it will perform great. Thrivethemes.com

Sounds very good!
We are using Avada on Siteground in Europe. Now looking in to using WP Rocket as well!
I would love to see a another WP theme measure, particularly "Karma" from TrueThemes.
Thanks and please do continue. :)

I've been using your plugin since the day it came out and love it - but this is a great post!
thanks

Hi.

Really good article.

Would you add some popular theme from the market here as comparison ( Ex. Salient / Jupiter / Enfold )

Thank you!

My experience with Avada Theme on a monopage site before and after installing wp rocket on a basic hosting (30,00 €/year)
Never spent my money better. :-)
===============================
gtmetrix.com
PageSpeed Score: from 59% to 95%
YSlow Score: from 69% to 85%
Page load Time: from 3.8s to 2.0s
Total Page Size: from 2.70MB to 1.18MB
Requests: from 61 to 52
===============================
webpagetest.org
First Byte Time grade: from F to A
Compress Transfer grade: from F to A
Cache static content grade: from F to B
===============================
PageSpeed Insights
Mobile Speed: from 31/100 to 73/100
Desktop: from 39/100 to 88/100
===============================

I am using avada on my webiste and currently using W3Total cache, and now i am sold here to buy the WP-Rocket Plugin. Fingers crossed to get good performance out of it.

Hey guys, This is awesome. I was running AVADA on GoDaddy and my loadtime was varying btwn 15 - 25 secs. Have been fighting it out for more than a month with the server support team that the site is slow. Read this article, bought the plugin and in less 5 minutes, my loadtime is down to 4.8 secs !!! :). Happy Customer, for now :)

Hello,

I also use WP Rocket with Avada, but I have still some question.

Which settings I have to add to the Avada "Theme Options/Advanced/Dynamic CSS"?
1. CSS Compiler - YES / NO
2. Database Caching for Dynamic CSS - YES / NO
3. Cache Server IP - FreeText

And when I use a child theme with Avada should I add the child theme CSS styles in the style.css or better in the Avada "Theme Options/Custom CSS"?

Thanks in advanced.

Regards Marc

Marc T. his questions are very good ones. Could you provide an answer?

Hi, great comparison. I like a lot that you point on the load speed not the performance grade! This is the true way to go when checking the performance of a website.

Do you have a similar comparison with Enfold theme?

I am very curious about the results there.

Thanks.

Great post! I'm using Avada and looking into caching plugins and I think I might be sold ;)

Hi Marko, great post on the Avada speed and performance! I have just published a post on how Avada compares to modern themes that have hit the market in the past 6 months. I think it will be a great addition to your data on Avada - https://sixtymarketing.com/avada-wordpress-theme-review/

I also think about buying WPRocket and use it in combination with Avada/Siteground Hosting.. Could you please answer the questions requested by Marc T. and Martin:

Which settings I have to add to the Avada “Theme Options/Advanced/Dynamic CSS”?

1. CSS Compiler – YES / NO

2. Database Caching for Dynamic CSS – YES / NO

3. Cache Server IP – FreeText

And when I use a child theme with Avada should I add the child theme CSS styles in the style.css or better in the Avada “Theme Options/Custom CSS”?

Thank you!

Currently I am using Newspaper theme by Themeforest on my Blog and the site is not loading fast..... I hope avada theme will help me to speed up my site..... Thanks alot

Does WP Rocket conflict with Avadas own CSS and JS compilers?

    @Chris: We don't have any negative feedbacks about that. So, yes WP Rocket will work with the Avada compiler.

Using WP Rocket (love it) with Avada. I am also using the plugin Perfmattters to selective turn off javascript files from loading on a page by page basis. While this is a lot of extra work, it really helps with Avada.

Using Kinsta, Cloudflare, WP Rocket, Shortpixel and Perfrmatters my poorly designed site (I built it) is at 98/89 for the homepage. Google PageSpeed scores could be much better for mobile.

What theme do you guys recommend? Thanks!!

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