Comparison between Thesis Genesis and Swift based on load time

Wordpress Themes Comparison

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 ??

Posted by

I like using and tweaking WordPress. Understrap, Tailwind, Bootstrap are a few words I would add to my Tech Profile. Besides that, I constantly observe my website's technical and SEO performance.


  1. very coool i can have clear view between shift,genesis,thesis..awesome one bro

  2. This is something which i have been looking for since long time. By the way, is the swift theme free?

  3. that’s a nice comparison, although thesis and genesis are premium theme and offer a good support and swift is free theme useful for new bloggers

  4. Hey Mani, great work here! I’d really appreciate if you would talk more about the difference between a framework and a theme. I honestly thought Genesis was a framework but now I’m confused.

    Also, how are you comparing the SEO features of Thesis versus the others?

    Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Thesis is a great theme. Not surprising that it wins your heart!

  6. Many bloggers prefer genesis now a days.

  7. hey mani what about hybrid framework.which one is better hybrid or genesis..which one do u suggest..btw which framework do u use in dialyblogging

  8. Thesis and Genesis both are very good them,es for wordpress

  9. Did you use caching plugin during tests?

    SWIFT works best with a proper caching plugin as its better optmized for the end user

    here is another comparison

    1. Thats a cool link Satish

  10. I think you are not aware of NicheWP theme, its one of the fastest wordpress theme ever created.

    You can get it @

  11. Thesis WordPress Themes is Best, But Swift Designing Very Easy Compare with Thesis , Genesis

  12. Nice comparison. In my opinion Thesis is the best WordPress theme available and the support is great. I would like to see how Headway and Thematic would cope against Thesis. Any chance of doing a comparison between these?

    1. Thank you John for the comment. I’ll try and manage a comparison between Thematic, Headway and Thesis.

  13. Great post! Both themes are great and I love that you point out the “Responsive” web design now integrated into many Genesis themes.My friend designed my site using Thesis and designed one of her previous sites using Thesis. This was pre-”skins” being available. The SEO bump she got on her site was enormous and she was even outranking the company she sold products for at the time :)Fast forward a few years and she has been developing some sites on Genesis and really likes the framework. The benefit is that customers get the SEO flexibility and can get some “out of the box” designs that look great. Obviously customized sites can be created as well using their “blank” canvases as starting point.Anyway… she has a developer license for both and is using Genesis exclusively these days…One downside of Frameworks though relates to people new to WordPress. For newbies some of these “frameworks” confuse the heck out of people due to SO MANY options 🙂 Some just want the ability to (1) choose a color via a pinwheel (2) upload their header image (3) set up their social profiles and (4) set-up an email list via a widget somehow.

  14. Genesis is the best theme i think in terms of SEO. My every new post gets indexed within 1 minute

  15. I am using Thesis on my blog. Its best for load time and others

  16. I’ve been designing my own themes with Artisteer, but I’ve read a lot about how slow Artisteer themes are, so I got worried.

    So the search was on for a faster theme for my new site. I haven’t tried Genesis or Thesis because of the cost, but I did try Swift – and I was very disappointed. Right out of the box, it was faster than any of my Artisteer themes – however, once I added my plugins back in, it as actually SLOWER than any of my Artisteer themes!

    I found this great post about the complex menus in most paid themes making them bloated and slow to load. I won’t make the link live so this comment doesn’t end up as spam!
    The link is (http://)

  17. Mani,

    thanks for the speed links and the fair-minded comparisons of these three WordPress themes or frameworks.

    I am a huge Thesis Theme advocate (with over 75 Free Video Tutorials on Thesis and WordPress) and was glad to hear that it did so well in terms of speed and built in SEO features.

    All three themes have their advantages, but since I am good with xhtml and CSS, Thesis has worked for me just fine.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

  18. i have always had great load times with thesis.

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