We are in talks with a client about developing a database that currently has about ~7000 items in it, each with at least one photo so thats likely almost 20,000 with ambitions to grow it to be at least twice that size.

  • Should I be concerned about scaling a Craft to that size?
  • What's the largest craft database any of you are running?
  • Has anyone had any issues with large number of elements slowing down the system to unusable levels?
  • I've run into problems with a couple of hundred categories causing everything to choke on a local Docker install. A beefed-up production server, with much more available memory, had no such problems. Mar 12, 2017 at 8:20
  • I don't think there is a practical limit. The comments you've gotten are a little misleading, and sound like they're influenced by external factors. What actually affects performance is loading Elements into memory via many round-trips to the database. If you attempt to load 5K elements in one request, you're going to see a massive hang-up, but having millions of elements at rest in the database isn't necessarily going to make anything slower. Jan 6, 2020 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


We have a site with (as of right now) 77,613 elements. 9,954 of which are entries.

We found that we had to be careful about using Craft's {% cache %} functionality because clearing the element cache criteria took a long time. Instead we use a Varnish cache and it all works fine.

There are times when it's not as fast as it should be, particular templates that pull in a lot of data from different places struggle if there's a bit of traffic to it at any one time - but Varnish resolves that. There's probably lots in those templates that we could be doing to make them more efficient too, it's just not been a high priority because it works okay.]

Just make sure your hosting is reasonably beefy. Depending on your traffic mysqld might get called upon a lot and that can be a resource hog. I recommend using something like DigitalOcean where you can simply increase the VPS specs if things are struggling and tweaking Craft settings or templates isn't helping.

And with Craft 3's performance boosts coming this year, I think you'll be fine.

Hope that helps!

  • I've added a comment to the original question—I think this is a bit misleading and may be off-putting for someone considering Craft for a larger application. See an answer from one of the principle database architects, here. Jan 6, 2020 at 2:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.