Slower Site Speed Using "The Issue" Theme

Aesthetically, the Issue theme is everything I was looking for, however, I’ve noticed that it’s slowed down my website (vurbmag.com) considerably. When it was running on 2 different Genesis themes and the free version of the Blossom Pin theme, the site loaded much much faster. Cache plugins and image optimization work have been done with little improvement.

I’ve heard people talk about “stripping down a theme to remove the bulk,” which I presume means disabling some plugins that the developer integrated into the theme and manually code functions so that more of the functions run on my website and don’t need to go to too many third-party sites to pull data or services. I’m wondering if that’s doable for under $1k, advisable with this theme, or even possible with this theme. If it’s possible, what questions should I be asking a potential web developer to ensure they’re clear on the work to be done?

good day! So, I see two main things:

  1. big images (scaled by css/html, not using php code);
  2. a lot of js (with separate requests to each file);
    sometime order of script connection play big role too.