Comparison between Thesis Genesis and Swift based on load time

Written by: Muninder

Updated: January, 13, 2011

A Few days back I gave a thought to redesign DailyBlogging. At first I decided to take up the Default WordPress theme (Twenty Ten) and design it from scratch.
Then on second thoughts I selected some 5-6 popular themes, but finally only 3 Themes viz – Thesis, Genesis & Swift came up for the comparison.
My main intension with the redesign of DailyBlogging was to reduce the load time as it’s pretty high currently.
So the main factor I considered during the Comparison of the three themes were the load time & SEO. Though Load time certainly is not a small factor to consider, because many things such as HTTP Requests, Use of a CDN, No. of JS, CSS, External Scripts & whether those scripts are compressed & minified or not; contribute to the total load time of a site.

During this comparison I used Y!Slow & iWebtool’s Speed test engine. So lets start the comparison. I won’t be going into much detail & will limit the comparison to some core factors. The site I tested all the three Themes had no widgets installed. It was a completely new installation.

Thesis v/s Genesis v/s Swift


#1 Thesis

Lets start with Thesis first. With Thesis I found that it’s the fastest among the other themes taken for Comparison. Though Swift and Genesis have an upper hand over Thesis when it comes to the Design section.
You will notice that Thesis comes with a pretty ordinary design, since it’s a Framework & not a core theme. Though it has Child themes to make up for that. SEO wise it’s kinda hard to decide between Genesis and Thesis, because both of them have a pretty good on-site SEO.

  • Y!Slow – 88/100 | Grade B | 2.56 s
  • iWebtools – 4.76 KB | 0.15 s

#2 Genesis

Genesis has a far better Default Design when you compare it with thesis. Though even Genesis can’t be just used as a theme on any blog without proper design changes. As I said in the earlier paragraph, it’s hard to compare Genesis with Thesis when it comes to the SEO factor.
Genesis maybe due to it’s extra design hand over Thesis lags behind when it comes to the load time. Due to a bit of heavy coding, Genesis is a point or two behind Thesis.

  • Y!Slow – 86/100 | Grade B | 6.04 s
  • iWebtools – 4.76 KB | 0.17 s

#3 Swift

Design wise Swift is such a theme which can be directly used on any blog without much Design customizations. It comes with a nice little design by default. It has the Author box, Social Media share buttons. But because of it’s in-built features it lags behind when it comes to the load time.
I was still amazed to see it’s high load time. Agreed that it comes with such fantastic in-built features, but certainly the load time is quite high considering that it isn’t tweaked for Design yet. Make no mistake, Swift still is the best free WordPress theme out in the themes market.

  • Y!Slow – 82/100 | Grade B | 2.74 s
  • iWebtools –  7KB  | 0.64 s

So I’m going with Thesis for now. But I will still recommend Swift for newbie bloggers till the time they earn some money to buy the Thesis Framework.
Do you think any other Theme/Framework could have been included in this comparison ??


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