Today, we’ll analyze another popular WordPress Theme:

  • PopularFX.

 

As always, we will see what it looks like, what it offers and, most important:

  • We’ll Test its Speed, and compare it to the Twenty-Twenty Theme.

 

This Theme offers different Templates that you can download after installing 2 Plugins (Pagelayer and PopularFX).

  • We’ll also Import one of their Templates and test it.

 

Let’s put this Theme to the Test!

 

In case you don’t know, in this section we talk about How we are building this Website: our SEO strategy, Plugins we use, our Traffic Results…

 

This Post will be divided into 5 different parts:

1. What does PopularFX offer?

2. How PopularFX affects Page Speed?

3. Are the Templates PopularFX offers worth it?

  • We Test their Page Speed.

4. Conclusion: Should you use PopularFX?

5. Our Google Analytics report for today: Users and Pageviews we have.

 

Let’s begin:

1. What does PopularFX offer?

 

PopularFX offers a multidisciplinary environment with a plain simple Theme where you can import lots of Templates (many of them are free, some of them, premium).

 

These Templates alter the appearance by adding Menus, Widgets, Columns…

  • They are like sub-Themes.

Depending on the purpose of your site, you can choose the Template that best suits it.

 

But, what does PopularFX look like?

 

Our Test Site uses the Twenty-Twety Theme and it looks like this:

 

After installing the PopularFX theme, the default layout of this same page is this:

 

A spacious layout with a “newspaper” look.

  • For a Visual Site (with Images, text of different sizes, etc) we like it.

This is what PopularFX looks like without any Template installed.

 

As we mentioned before, this Theme offers dozens of different Templates.

 

But, as you have to install 2 Plugins to do so, First, we wanted to measure the Speed of our Test Site before installing anything else.

  • The Speed of PopularFX alone.

 

2. How PopularFX affects Page Speed?

First of all, we have tested the Page Speed of our Test Site, with the Twenty-Twenty Theme Active.

We have no Plugins installed on this Site, just one Sample Post with:

  • 200 Paragraphs.
  • 1 Heavy Image.

 

Performance – Benchmark

* As we always mention, this Largest Contentful Paint (5.0 s) is due to the Large Image we use in the sample Post.

  • We wanted to have a representative Page to test.

 

Opportunities – Benchmark

If you see any difference between these results and the ones we showed in the past, keep in mind that we updated our WordPress to 5.5.3.

 

Then, we have installed the PopularFX Theme, and measured the Speed of that same Page again:

 

Performance with PopularFX

 

Opportunities with PopularFX

 

As you can see, without any Template installed, it is a very fast Theme.

  • The most notable change is a 1.4 seconds LCP reduction. That’s a lot.

 

But what if we install the 2 plugins they recommend and Import a Template?

  • Will it still be so fast?

 

Let’s check it out:

 

3. Are the Templates PopularFX offers worth it?

The process of Importing a Template is very easy.

  • If you have doubts, check the video they suggest in the WordPress dashboard.

 

Once we Installed Pagelayer and the PopularFX Plugin (this one, you have to install it manually) we Imported a Template:

  • The Financy Template.

 

The Template seems Ok.

  • We found nothing wrong on it.

 

Our Test Page looks like this:

 

As you can see, there is a Side Menu, the Layout has varied a little bit, etc.

  • But, there is nothing you can’t find in other Theme.

 

We don’t particularly like the concept of Importing Templates.

  • Our Theme (KLEO) offers it but we think it takes much more work to substitute everything than to create everything from scratch.

 

If you need to build a Site fast, it can be a good option.

 

What made us hesitate is:

  • Wouldn’t it be better to use a Theme that looks like the Template?

You wouldn’t need to install 2 Plugins (one of them is a Heavy Plugin) and your Site would be “Cleaner”.

 

There is one way to find out:  To test the Page Speed of this Template.

  • It is a good indicator of how light is your Site.

 

We Measured the Speed of the same Test Page with the Financy Template installed.

These are the results we obtained:

 

Performance with PopularFX and a Template

 

Opportunities with PopularFX and a Template

 

These results are much worse.

  • Remember: It is the same Test Page we tested Before.

 

If we compare them to the results we had with the Twenty-Twenty Them, we have:

  • First Contentful Paint: from 1.8 to 2.9 seconds: + 1.1 s.
  • Speed Index: From 1.8 to 6.1 seconds: + 4.3.
  • Largest Contentful Paint: From 5.0 to 4.2 seconds: – 0.8 s.
  • Time to Interactive: From 1.8 to 5.5 seconds: + 3.7 s.
  • Eliminate Render Blocking: From 0.84 to 1.98 seconds: + 1.14 s.

 

Except for the reduction in LCP, the rest of results are not good.

 

Keep in mind that these results have been obtained with:

  • A Site with just 2 Plugins, PopularFX and the Template.
    • Nothing else.

If you installed more Plugins the Speed would drop even more.

 

The Theme alone is Fast but, the Templates slow down the Site remarkably.

 

4. Conclusion: Should you use PopularFX?

Speed isn’t everything.

 

If you need a Site “right now”, do not want to hire anyone and do not want to “think too much”, the Templates may be a good alternative for you.

There are lots of them for free.

  • Which is to be appreciated.

 

On the other hand:

If you want to create a Site from scratch, learning everything on your own, we would recommend PopularFX without the Templates.

  • As we showed you, it is a Fast Theme.

 

Also, if you want a particular design that you liked in a Template, you can search for a theme that looks the same.

 

5. Our Google Analytics report for today: Users and Pageviews we have.

Our Site is 1 year and 6 months old, let’s see how it is doing:

 

Users:

As you can see in the Post’s top image, we still have 3,000 users per week (the same we had last week).

  • Which is good, but, as Christmas approaches, we are afraid the traffic will decrease.

 

Pageviews:

We currently receive 16,379 Page Views per month.

 

Our goal of reaching 20,000 Pageviews by the end of November seems almost impossible.

  • We’ll have to wait until January.

 

We hope this Post has been useful for you.

As always: Thanks for being there.

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