The website I'm running currently has 35,000 members with extended user details. I would like to redesign is using Drupal 6 but was wondering whether Drupal 6 handle this amount of users - all with extra profile fields?


maartenvg’s picture

It all depends on the hardware you are using. On a decent webserver, Drupal has no problem with 35.000 users, nor with a large amount of profile fields. Yet, on a crowded, restricted shared server, you might run into longer page loading times and memory limit issues.

gforce301’s picture

It is all about the server note really about drupal. For instance you are user #341135 on this site and this site uses the latest stable version of drupal at all times AFAIK.

maartenvg’s picture

d.o still runs D5, but is in the process of upgrading to D6.

gforce301’s picture

AHA! This I did not know. Thank you for correcting me.

peterx’s picture

There are sites running one hundred thousand users on a server because some database intensive options are turned off. There are other sites noticing problems at not much more than a thousand users because they have many modules installed with every option turned. The range of performance is not related to Drupal 5 or 6, in fact the later releases of Drupal have more database optimization, the problems are related to what you present.

Anonymous users get cached pages. Logged in users get everything fresh. 50,000 users with 100 logged in could perform better than 10,000 users with 1,000 logged in.

Log into, go to My account, and select Track. Look at the page with all those indicators of updates, new items, and the count of replies. Every time you click Track, all that information is recalculated. There are a number of similar pages in several modules that really chew up resources because they have to join tables and count lots of rows for every page view. When your site slows down, you might choose to turn some features off. There are forum discussions about that type of change and some modules have issues raised against them where the options are explained.

Drupal 6 has better performance in some areas and offers more modules to choose, which could lead you into turning on more features than you would use in Drupal 5, and you could end up with lower performance. If you choose exactly the same options, performance should be the same and possibly better.

You might also change from MySQL 4 to MySQL 5 in the process. MySQL 5 settings give you a different combination of memory usage and performance. The general recommendation is to install more memory for the MySQL upgrade.

djbdjb’s picture

Thanks for all your comments, has put my mind at ease and answered some questions.

quiquee’s picture

Actually I think I have a pretty big drupal 5.3 database. It is a forum website, running since 2004 with drupal. It has 2000 daily users, (26000 registered) , +1Million session, over 100,000 nodes and more than 700.000 comments with average hits of 5000 pages per hour.
It runs search (4million entries) pretty decently. Things that I had to do over time to get this running decently, besides reading pages and pages about how to speed up drupal and forums:

1- Hardware (10Gb RAM server, Celeron 2.8Mhz)
2- Innodb for nodes / comments / users
3- Tracker2 module replacing the original tracker
4- and ... apc module. I was struggling with performance until I got this installed. The issue was not so much the database but php in 5.0 being far slower to compile than in 4.7

and of course, avoid node_access in OG, that is an impossible mission for a big site with its current design.

I hope this helps.

My recognision to all drupal community of developers for the incredible outstanding job. I was right when I chose drupal 5 years ago based on the outstanding simple and extendable design.

packdragon’s picture

Another thing to consider is if you're using shared hosting or not. The more crowded your host cluster is, the more it will affect your site's performance. Best to get dedicated hosting to be safe, if uptime is a big concern.
Zoe Blessing | Dobson Consulting

djbdjb’s picture

I've got a virtual server at the moment, I gave up on shared hosting when I turned up one morning and my website (and all others on the same host) had been hacked!

PeterJot’s picture

Try to patch Your server software as fast as possible and move Your database to another strong machine. Consider virtual machine.