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How many categories can vanilla handle?

I wondered how many categories a vanilla forum can handle.

Lets imagine you had a category for every unique location in the US, and 20 nested categories in each one, this would equate to millions of categories.

Adding them in manually is not really an option unless you were happy to do it over years, but realistically could this be possible?


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    jackmaessenjackmaessen ✭✭✭
    edited March 2015

    afaik: Yes; there is no limitation on the number of categories. The only bottleneck will be the storage of the database at your host, but not the software itself. (Correct me if i'm wrong)

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    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP

    A standard PHP setup cannot sort more than 200 categories. See here for more details.

    If sorting is not a problem and/or you sort manually, I think categories scale well until you start adding custom permissions.

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    BleistivtBleistivt Moderator
    edited March 2015

    The number of categories that can be saved also depends on the number of categories with custom permissions, as these are multiplied with each other.

    This plugin lets you save a much larger number of categories and custom permissions:

    But generally, if you need this, you might be abusing categories where tags would be more appropriate.

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    LincLinc Detroit Admin

    As a general rule, with our current data structure and constraints, I do not recommend a setup involving more than ~200 categories. This is above and beyond the ordering issue that @hgtonight notes. At high scale, you will start to notice a performance hit for the necessary calculations to refresh per-category data when you start getting into hundreds and hundreds of categories.

    I should note this is a very squishy number, not a hard limit. We have a very large-scale client running over 700 categories; it simply takes more hardware to run than it would otherwise.

    I've been presented with the "geography as sub-categories" idea many times by many people over the last few years. Generally, my advice is: reconsider your problem if your solution is many hundreds of categories.

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