The performance of the ElementCriteriaModel for lookups is killing me.

I have 300 or so "People" entries in a craft site and trying to load them just for a basic listing page takes forever. There's just so much overhead.

In this case of i.e. a listing page, I need the entry title, slug and an image field (which I'm eager loading). I don't need all of the other fields and overhead it loads.

Is there a way to get more acceptable performance for cases like this specific one (listing page with large number of entries and limited data needed)? Or am I going to have to bypass the element criterea stuff and do the lookups myself in SQL?


  • 1
    If pagination isn't an option, you'll need to bypass the ElementCriteriaModel. I ran into this recently, with Categories. Each ElementModel occupies an awful lot of memory, and there's no way to create a "partial" model from an ElementCriteriaModel query. Mar 23, 2017 at 8:02
  • Unfortunately pagination isn't really an option here. Thanks Stephen.
    – JamesNZ
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Not in Craft 2 without completely bypassing ElementCriteriaModel and building your own SQL query.

In Craft 3 (currently in beta) you can, though – you can override which columns get selected in your element queries, and you can choose whether you want the data returned as element models or just plain arrays.

{% set entries = craft.entries
    .select('elements.id', 'content.title')
    .all() %}
  • Thanks Brandon. Awesome to know that's been addressed. I'm definitely looking forward to Craft 3.
    – JamesNZ
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:10

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