Testing The7 Theme – How fast is it?

In this blog post we are going to cover another very popular WordPress Theme, The7. In previous reviews, we looked at Avada and TheX theme, and we shared our insights on those. We also tested their performance in relation to WP Rocket.

Our main goal with these posts is to show some general pros and cons of themes in the context of performance, as well as how they handle processes operated by WP Rocket.

The 7

The theme authors state:

People new to multipurpose WordPress themes will be delighted with The7 Design Wizard. It allows to choose basic settings like branding, colors, header layout, etc. and intelligently calculates all the rest. Voilà, your pro-grade site design is ready in mere minutes. Automatically!

Add a seamless integration with Visual Composer page builder, Slider Revolution, WooCommerce, WPML (as well as other most popular plugins), and you get the definitive web-development toolkit.

It’s true—this theme is indeed easy to install and configure.

Some of The7 theme’s features are:

  • Design Wizard – a tool that helps you calculate ideal values for your website’s design based on general settings you provide
  • Design Library – 25 ready-to-use templates that you can run and also update to fit your needs
  • Theme Options – over 630 options you can use to fit your needs
  • Visual Composer with Ultimate Add-ons and The7 Elements
  • A lot of other things such as specific Custom Post Types, Page Templates, WooCommerce ready, MegaMenu etc.

Setting up the Test

We use Pingdom Tools for speed testing in this example. Lucy, a member of the WP Rocket team, has written a great guide on how to correctly measure website page load time. Read that one if you haven’t yet, it’s really useful.

We speed-test pages and/or posts without WP Rocket installed at first. After that, we are going to activate  WP Rocket and figure out the best configuration.

We will work with the Compact Demo which is recommended by the theme author. However, there are more choices—Business, Creative, One Page, News, Shop, Photography, Conference, and Full Demo (which is not recommended).

Speed Test Results

Here are our speed test results when caching is turned off and on, as well as the gain we get with WP Rocket.

rocket-the7-speed

Page Speed Test – No Cache

Without cache we got pretty solid results for The7 theme.

home-rocket-off

Page Speed Test with WP Rocket activated

We  turned on the following options of WP Rocket:

  • LazyLoad
  • HTML Optimization
  • Google Fonts Optimization
  • CSS Minification
  • JS Minification
  • DNS Pre-fetching

home-rocket-on

There was only one issue we found. When CSS minification is activated, we had display issues – the layout was broken. In order to resolve this, we had to exclude a number of custom CSS files from being minified by WP Rocket:

/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/custom-old-ie-da2ef4bad9.css
/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/main-da2ef4bad9.css
/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/custom-da2ef4bad9.css
Note: You can use regex to exclude multiple files at once: 
/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/custom-old-ie-(.*).css
/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/main-(.*).css
/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/custom-(.*).css

By using regex you can control multiple files with one line of code. While I could place something like this:

/wp-content/uploads/wp-less/dt-the7/css/(.*)

I didn’t do it in this case, just to show what kind of files can appear in there. You can read more about excluding dynamic filenames from minification process in our Knowledge Base.

Please note that in real-life environments, you may or may not see other behaviors, depending on your additional plugins, server settings, or other reasons. In our test we were using a basic installation, with only recommended plugins activated.

Pros

Just like other multi-purpose WordPress themes, The7 has pretty much all the features that you can imagine. One may or may not like multipurpose themes, however, the 3 themes we tested so far gave us good results if there is no need for creating a completely custom solution. This theme would be the right choice for you in that case. You would be able to generate multiple different websites on the same framework. The real advantage in comparison to other themes I had a chance to use so far, is the Design Wizard which seems like one of features that would convince me to buy it.

Cons

Too many options can cause problems for beginners or intermediate users. You can get lost in possibilities and try to combine everything which can distract you from your initial plan, to create simple solution that will work. I must say this problem is not unique to The7 theme, but rather is a general issue for most themes of this category.

Personal Opinion

Although I am not big fan of multipurpose themes, I can say The7 can be considered as one of the best themes of that type available on the market.  All in all, these three themes we tested so far gave us very good results, and many users are happy with how they work with WP Rocket and what speed they gain.

Conclusion

After devoting some time to analyzing and testing this kind of theme, it looks like you can expect solid results as long as you use a good hosting provider, don’t add a lot of large images (Imagify can help you with this) and use well-written plugins.

Have you had experiences with The7 theme? What’s your take on multipurpose themes regarding performance? We’d love to hear your comments, so I encourage you to share your opinion as well as to recommend the next theme that should be included in this series.

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WordPress fan since 2008. with main focus on providing valuable customer support service. Early bird.

17 comments

Comment

Good article. I think Rocket is the best around and am happy with it. I switched from a slow loading top Themeforest theme to Jupiter almost two months ago. It is advertised as being built for speed. Page size dropped by 1.2 MB and page load dropped considerably with Rocket. How about doing a test with Jupiter?

I have used wprocket and the7 theme. I was not happy about 1 thing, the7 has a cart that you can add in the menu top bar or header menu. With wprocket, the basket was cached, so users were complaining about that they see (1) item in the basket and when they go to homepage, to select another product, they see (0) in basket. Is it because the7 theme does not have ajax cart? Or why is that. I would like to know. I think this is also good for the the7 developer(s), if they even care. Or is this something that we can fix through wprocket? Because the woocommerce default cart, i have that enabled in sidebar widget, was not having this caching problem. Thank you

Please test Divi!

Divi must be a lot faster than X and 7
Fastest among “ultra multi purpose” themes.

Interesting article, as I’ve been fighting to get one of the websites I manage to be faster (www.media-leaders.ch. I modified one of the demo templates from The7 to create this site and found it quite slow. I then installed WPRocket which did improve things, but still not high-speed. Also used Maxcdn to make it faster in different locations.

I also used P3 profiler to see what was taking time, as the issue is with the site taking 4 seconds before the first byte is returned. The Wordfence plugin was taking most of the time, but I had disabled the “Live Traffic” feature which can be an issue.

So not sure really what the issue is and the hosting company IXWebHosting has not been very useful to help track down the issue (their position basically is that it’s a WordPress plugin/template issue).

Any ideas would be welcome.

We did a speed review of “The7” at http://pagepipe.com/reviewing-the7-theme-for-speed-improvements/ if you’d like to get another perspective about optimization of this theme.

Warren- Your site home-page loaded in 89 seconds using my browser timer (first visit). I’m in Pacific time zone USA. Go to http://www.PagePipe.com and ask for free speed advice.

There have been a few changes since I first made the comment. The issue was related to having the domain registered with one provider and hosted with another. Just moving the domain to the servers of the same company solved the problem. It was not therefore the “The7” theme which was causing these delays, but the hosting provider’s support (IXWebHosting) was unable to detect this.

Warren, good to know. Thanks for the feedback.

Im wondering what the best settings are for Jupiter theme, this because Jupiter has its own caching already.

Can you do a test with the jupiter theme ? I own this theme and I am fighting with the best settings for wp rocket. That would be great. Thanks Markus

Good article.

I think you should give a try to Newspaper theme.

I work with The7 theme exclusively – about 2 years now, and have found that with optimizing functions.php, as well as .htaccess, and using Autoptimize with WP Super Cache … I can achieve decent load times. ** Note: I haven’t used WP Rocket, but am going to.

When it comes to setting a site up with The7, I activate ‘required plugins’ and then deactivate nearly all.

WordPress is used as a CMS (for me) as opposed to a blog, and I have no need for galleries / can ‘argue against’ them with clients unless they’re a photographer or have lots of events and if so, they’d also use blogging features, but I digress … again I deactivate nearly all The7 plugins, as well as ‘Ultimate Addons for Visual Composer’. ** Note: It was a tough call because carousels can be ‘nifty,’ but honestly … why put content ‘behind arrows’ to click left-or-right to view all … and why make your visitors think. Just put the content on the page.

There are some issues with The7 and all multipurpose themes: they are bloated.

When it comes to The7, I cannot for the life of me get the theme working without Google’s jquery files … no matter what I do. ** Annoying.

In addition, I could really live without the fontello and jquery.mousewheel.min.js files. ** Can’t remove them, and I GREP as root to pinpoint file references. Annoying.

That said, I have The7 loading (and not looking ‘ugly’) in under 1 second without using a CDN as the majority of my clients are ‘small local SEO clients’ and a CDN is unnecessary. ** Page sizes are generally 500kb to 1mb.

Hey Chris,

(Chris 28 June 2017 à 10 h 58 min)

The7 Theme is driving me crazy it’s not as fast as other templates and I strip the website down to just it’s basic functions (ecommerce).
But still slow and it is driving me crazy lol. Anyways- do you have any tips on
which plugins to use to make this go faster?

by the way google page insights has me at poor 40/100 for mobile and 50/100 for desktops (I’m more interested in making the mobile 100/100 since a majority of our customers (90%) are all on mobile devices.

if anybody has any tips please let me know! not sure if I should just go with a new theme and take my losses…

-T

Hi, thanks for this informative article. I Tested some most popular themes on wordpress.org and based on the results I can say that caching plugin and CDN improves the overall speed performance of the website when settings made properly.

@Tony Web

Apologize for late response … was Googling for references to removing the ‘jquery.mousewheel.min.js file, and of course came upon my older post (above).

I deactivate most of The7 plugins, and use Autoptimize and WP Super Cache plugins – have chosen to test out CloudFlare as well.

** Before media – usually large header ‘hero images,’ I have The7 loading (their prebuild ‘Business’ template) at 0.8 – 1.0s.

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