The wordpress theme has a sidebar that I can add widgets. But I can do the same by hardcoding what I need in the Wordpress template file itself. Will I get better performance if I do the latter (and if I remove the sidebar and widget code from the template)?
I think the dynamic sidebars are good primarily for 2 reasons. When someone either can’t or doesn’t want to hard code the template. I’m guessing you know how. But do you want to?
I’m also guessing there would be a perfomance improvement, but most likely only very very small. Compared to needing to recode the template if you later change widgets or even widget order, It probably isn’t worth it.
That said, if you are certain you won’t be changing things or you won’t mind re-editing the template, why not?