These are my favorite and most used lightweight themes, which I use as a basis to build custom child themes for my clients.
As I’m building a lot of WooCommerce shops, this is probably my most used theme to build custom child themes from.
Especially regarding pagespeed I seem to get the best results with this approach.
Active installs: 200,000+
Except for shops, I use Astra for every king of website. Simple landingpage as well as big multilingual corporate websites.
I really like how ease it is to customize and build child-themes from.
Active installs: 1+ million
Just like Astra I use Neve for every type of website. Sometimes the base of Neve matches a design better than Astra, so I’ll choose it. Even though I don’t like the code basis as much as I like Astras basis.
Active installs: 300,000+
So far I’ve only used Hestia to build two different child-themes, but I have to admit that I was very impressed by it. I’ll definitely use it more often in future projects.
Active installs: 100,000+
5. Ocean WP
To be earnest, I haven’t used it in a while. But there has been I time I used it every time I wanted to build a child-themes instead of building a theme from scratch.
Active installs: 700,000+
I know that these five themes are very common in the community and some of them are overused. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend using them as your real theme. Use it as a base and build your own child-theme is a better approach in my opinion.
If you aren’t familiar with building themes from scratch, this is also a good way to learn how different themes are build and work.