So, here was the process.
We had a site, that had simple text based content with no images. We took 3-6 templates at random of 2008 releases, we loaded up the templates and measured two things:
- The size of the site using Firebug
- What line number the first line of the main body article occurred.
Here is what we found…
So what are our conclusions?
Yup, Joomla templates are getting bloated. Most of them are big and complex.
- Tables rule. There are very few pure CSS layouts being used.
- Hardly any source ordering. Content appears far down the page in the code. Many of the templates had some much in the head, they needed an include file to insert it all!
- Released in 2006, the Simplicity template from Joomlashack broke the mold. I think its *still* the only fluid source ordered pure CSS layout template available on the web. It looks great and is almost as fast as Bolt. It was even the first Joomla template to have width switchers!
- Yup, Bolt is the fastest template in the world… by a sneeze 😉
Speed comes at a price. The trend towards heavier templates is because of eye candy and widgets, and they bloat them template.
Which do you prefer? Fast or complex?
If any other template producers would like to donate some templates, I’ll put them on the test site and add their results.