Table of Contents

Considering using the Avada theme to power your WordPress site?

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 re-writing this post in July 2021, it’s been purchased an astounding 704,447+ times. And over those hundreds of thousands of purchases, it’s maintained an impressive 4.77-star rating out of 5 on over 24,300 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 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:

  • Test several different pages from an Avada demo site using WebPageTest for both desktop and mobile.
  • Re-test those same pages after activating WP Rocket to see how things change with WP Rocket’s many performance optimization features, including the new Remove Unused CSS option.

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 the cheapest $5 DigitalOcean droplet, which we’re managing using RunCloud and an all Nginx-stack.

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

While the exact performance results will vary based on the specific demo site that you import, the Avada Accountant 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.

In addition to the Avada theme, we also installed only the bare minimum plugins required to power the demo site. These are:

  • Avada Core
  • Avada Builder
  • Contact Form 7

We also used Imagify to optimize the images in our demo site using “Aggressive” compression before running any tests to make sure unoptimized images in the demo content aren’t unduly swaying the results.

To gather the performance data for each page, we’ll use WebPageTest in two different configurations:

  • Desktop Test – we’re using the Chrome browser and throttling the speeds using a FIOS connection – 20/5 Mbps 4 ms RTT. This connection speed is roughly the average Internet speed for the US as a whole, though some locations will be faster.
  • Mobile Test – we’re using a mid-tier Moto G4 device and throttling the connection to mimic 4G – 9 Mbps, 170 ms RTT. Because of the slower connection and low-powered device, these tests will naturally be slower than the desktop tests.

We’ll collect the following data for each test:

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.), we’ll also enable some of the other options, including:

  • Code optimization for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • The new Remove Unused CSS feature. It’s currently still in beta when we’re running these tests, but it’s shown some great improvements in the tests that we’ve run.
  • Media optimization (Avada includes built-in lazy loading, but we disabled that for the second test to use WP Rocket’s instead).

Avada WordPress Theme Review: Performance Data

Let’s get to the data!

Test #1: No WP Rocket

In this first test, we’re testing just Avada by itself without any added performance optimizations. We are using Avada’s built-in optimization features, including lazy loading and file combination. We’re using whatever performance features Avada enables by default when you import a full demo site.

We’ll test five core pages from our Avada demo site to better understand user experience across the whole site.

Desktop:

PageLCPTTFBPage Size
Homepage0.773 s0.398 s384 KB
About Us0.869 s0.478 s430 KB
Services0.889 s0.489 s333 KB
Blog Page0.921 s0.520 s413 KB
Contact 1.219 s0.821 s335 KB

Mobile:

PageLCPTTFBPage Size
Homepage2.561 s1.130 s384 KB
About Us3.215 s1.083 s394 KB
Services2.513 s0.960 s333 KB
Blog Page2.351 s0.825 s413 KB
Contact 2.432 s0.887 335 KB

Overall, Avada performed quite well in the desktop tests, with speedy LCP times under one second on most pages. However, it didn’t fare quite as well in our mobile test, where it was a little bit slower than Google’s recommended 2.5-second LCP time for most of the pages.

As we mentioned above, a big part of Avada’s success here is the built-in optimization features that it enables when you import a demo site, such as its lazy loading and CSS and JavaScript compilers.

Some of these features overlap with some features in WP Rocket, so let’s see if WP Rocket can speed things up even further despite that.

Test #2: With WP Rocket 🚀

Now, we’ll re-run all the same tests after installing WP Rocket and configuring the features we mentioned above, including the Remove Unused CSS feature.

Desktop:

PageLCPTTFBPage Size
Homepage0.419 s0.040 s309 KB
About Us0.434 s0.072 s339 KB
Services0.353 s0.066 s255 KB
Blog Page0.311 s0.039 s337 KB
Contact 0.337 s0.044 s259 KB

Mobile:

PageLCPTTFBPage Size
Homepage1.846 s0.573 s309 KB
About Us1.808 s0.544 s302 KB
Services1.739 s0.538 s255 KB
Blog Page1.855 s0.541 s285 KB
Contact 1.765 s0.564 s259 KB

Overall, you can see that WP Rocket was able to cut the Largest Contentful Paint and TTFB times by almost half (or more on desktop). Additionally, WP Rocket was able to shave ~80-90 KB off the file size, thanks mainly to the Remove Unused CSS feature.

🚀 With WP Rocket, Avada is well under Google’s 2.5-second LCP recommendation for every single test and across all pages.

To make it easier to see the differences, here are the before/after Largest Contentful Paint times and file sizes for desktop and mobile:

Desktop:

HomepageAbout UsServicesBlog PageContact
Theme LCP0.773 s0.869 s0.889 s0.921 s1.219 s
WP Rocket LCP 🚀0.419 s0.434 s0.353 s0.311 s0.337 s
Theme Size384 KB430 KB333 KB413 KB335 KB
WP Rocket Size 🚀309 KB339 KB255 KB337 KB259 KB

Mobile:

HomepageAbout UsServicesBlog PageContact
Theme LCP2.561 s3.215 s2.513 s2.351 s2.432 s
WP Rocket LCP 🚀1.846 s1.808 s1.739 s1.855 s1.765
Theme Size384 KB394 KB333 KB413 KB335 KB
WP Rocket Size 🚀309 KB302 KB255 KB285 KB259 KB

Testing the Size of the Basic Avada Theme

In addition to the test data above, we also collected the “weight” of just the default Avada theme before installing any of the bundled plugins or importing any demo sites. We didn’t even install the Avada Core or Avada Builder plugins for these tests.

This is not a realistic scenario for a live site, but it does give us a chance to compare Avada vs the other themes in our fastest free WordPress themes post.

It’s important to note that this test does not include Avada’s built-in optimizations (lazy loading and file combination), as these aren’t enabled until you go through the full onboarding process and import an Avada demo site. We only include this data so that you can see how the Avada theme alone compares to some other popular themes. 

We think this is still fair because you could also add those optimizations to other themes. You’d just need the help of a plugin (like WP Rocket).

Here are Avada’s page size and HTTP requests for this basic scenario:

  • 475 KB page size
  • 17 HTTP requests

For comparison, here are some of the top performers from our fastest WordPress themes list:

  • GeneratePress – 26 KB and 7 HTTP requests.
  • Astra – 44 KB and 9 HTTP requests.
  • Neve – 32 KB and 8 HTTP requests.
  • Kadence – 40 KB and 10 HTTP requests.

Overall, you can see that, even before installing the Avada Core and Avada Builder, Avada is still a good bit heavier than those other themes – about 450 KB heavier, to be exact (with almost double the HTTP requests). 

Of course, those themes are the best of the best, so we’re comparing Avada against stiff competition. Against an “average” WordPress theme, the differences wouldn’t be as stark.

Avada Performance Conclusions

Overall, Avada is not the lightest theme out of the box. But with Avada’s built-in performance optimizations, it was still able to achieve great desktop load times by itself. However, its mobile load times struggled a bit and couldn’t consistently get under Google’s 2.5-second target for Largest Contentful Paint.

When you add WP Rocket to the mix, though, you can reduce Avada’s load times by ~50% or more and also shrink its page size by removing unused CSS from each page. After activating WP Rocket, Avada was well under Google’s recommended LCP times for both desktop and mobile.

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

  • You get access to a ton of great-looking demo sites, which makes it easy to get started with a complete site. All you need to do is go in and tweak things to match your site and branding.
  • The Avada Builder makes it easy to customize those designs using drag-and-drop or build your own designs from scratch.
  • You get access to a number of premium plugins for free, like Advanced Custom Fields Pro, Slider Revolution, Layer Slider, and more.
  • Avada is one of the most popular WordPress themes globally, so it’s easy to find support, and you can be confident that the developer will continue to maintain and improve the theme.

Cons

  • Avada is heavier than more performance-focused themes like GeneratePress or Astra, especially in its out-of-the-box configuration from a performance perspective. WP Rocket can help fix some of these issues, but you still won’t achieve the page load times with a more lightweight theme.
  • If you just want a simple blog or portfolio website, Avada and its many options might be overkill. Both in terms of feature “bloat” and having so many features make things a little more complicated than a simpler theme.

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.

If you take advantage of Avada’s built-in performance optimization features, it offers respectable out-of-the-box load times, though it might be a little slow for mobile visitors.

With WP Rocket, you can fix that weak point and speed up Avada for both desktop and mobile visitors, with across-the-board Largest Contentful Paint times under two seconds (even on mobile).

WP Rocket will even automatically integrate with some of Avada’s built-in optimization features, such as its built-in lazy loading. This makes it easy to get up and running with both Avada and WP Rocket.

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.


Add a comment
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required. Comment policy: We love comments and appreciate the time that readers spend to share ideas and give feedback. However, all comments are manually moderated and those deemed to be spam or solely promotional will be deleted.
Comments (30)

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?

Superb explanation! I found everything I was looking for. Thanks for being such a great resource!

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!!

For Desktop, the Avada theme delivers different HTML code depending on the browser, Edge, Chrome, etc. If Edge code is cached, the page will not display properly in Chrome or Firefox. The comment above about multiple user agents is absolutely correct. Differentiating desktop vs. mobile is not sufficient. Is it possible to cache based on browser type without having to enter individual user agent strings?


Latest Articles of Themes & Plugins
Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in the loop with the latest WordPress and web performance updates.
Straight to your inbox every two weeks.

Get a Faster Website
in a Few Clicks

Setup Takes 3 Minutes Flat
Get WP Rocket Now
{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}