Sanse: The Fastest Theme on Earth?

I like to experiment with new ideas for now and then. Especially free themes are good playground. With Sanse WordPress theme I wanted it to load fast. I mean really fast.

My goal was to get 100/100 in Google Page Speed Test. I got 97 out of 100. I’m disappointed but I guess silver medal in this race is good enough :).

Update: It’s now 100/100! But not without this little Sanse 100 plugin which places theme styles inline in the header.

Why Sanse theme loads fast?

Sanse theme loads fast

Well, there is nothing much to load. And my host WP-palvelu takes care of the rest. Here are more details.

Native system fonts

Sanse uses native system fonts just like WordPress admin from version 4.6. This means there is no Google fonts or any other font stacks to slow theme down. From the core article I like this quote:

System fonts load more quickly, have better language support, and make web apps look more like native apps.

I know system fonts might looks kind of silly in a theme but that’s part of the experiment. And there is child theme with Google fonts coming up.

SVG icons instead of font icons

I have entirely moved away from icon fonts and use SVG icons instead. In this article I have more details. This also means that I don’t have to load extra CSS file for icon font.

And I load SVG icons in the footer. Here is interesting speed comparison for SVG loading from excellent wd_s starter theme.

No extra files or images

By default there is no header, background, or feature images. This was also design decision but in the same time it means faster loading times.

For assets theme only loads style.css and navigation.js files. Actually those are also minified (style.min.css and navigation.min.js).

Note that you need to use stylesheet_uri filter to get style.min.css correctly in public theme. You can see it in action (code by Justin Tadlock) in functions.php file.

No extra plugins

In my demo site I don’t use any extra plugins. They could have new CSS or Javascript files on the front end which slows the site a little bit. So be careful when activating new plugins if speed is your priority.

Good host

Good host is important part of your site speed. On shared hosting your site could load slower. As I mentioned my demo is on Seravo hosting. I can highly recommend them. I have heard good things about Pagely also. But let’s leave host comparison for another post.


Like Some theme Sanse support one menu, SVG social menu, and three widget areas in the footer. Other than that it’s a super fast blogging theme.