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Question: Average number of content types?

Posted: May 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Questions | 100 Comments »

Quick question, for an average Drupal site that you’ve worked on, what would be the *typical* number of content types in use?

(I know there are lots and lots of different kinds of Drupal sites, just think about what would be average, common, typical for you. Not edge cases!)

thank you!


100 Comments on “Question: Average number of content types?”

  1. 1 Guybrush Threepwood said at 5:09 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    In average the sites I worked and I’m working on have between 10 and 15 content types

  2. 2 Tim Merrill said at 5:10 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Five. No, three!

  3. 3 Andrew Riley said at 5:16 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    About 10-15

  4. 4 seutje said at 5:17 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    about 7ish

  5. 5 Michael Haynes said at 5:20 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    5. (thanks!)

  6. 6 tdskate said at 5:22 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Seven max.

  7. 7 Claudio Luis Vera said at 5:25 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    We typically have about 10-15. Because we end up[ using many of the same content types over and over, I thought it would be worthwhile to list them here:

    Button
    Document
    Event
    Forum topic
    Homepage
    Image
    Manual page (used for a site manual)
    News – Announcement (A piece of news that’s published by your organization that’s too small to list as a press release.)
    News – press release (A piece of news that is issued by your organization.)
    News – story (A piece of news coverage by the media, such as a magazine article.)
    Page
    Person (used for featured persons who aren’t site users)
    Story
    Testimonial / pullquote (a quote to be placed in the sidebar of the main content. )
    Video
    Webform Submission results and statistics are recorded and accessible to privileged users.

  8. 8 Amy said at 5:25 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    10, though I’ve had as few as 2.

  9. 9 heyrocker said at 5:29 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Around a dozen

  10. 10 Aaron said at 5:31 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    12

    (comment lengthening text — please ignore. maybe this should be a poll)

  11. 11 Maarten Verbaarschot said at 5:34 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    3. In any case a content type called “page”. Most of the time “article” (or “story”, as it’s called by default in D6) and a more specific one—like “cocktail” or “product”.

  12. 12 David Geilhufe said at 5:39 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    For brochureware, 2-3.

    For online community or intranet applications, 15-25. That is mostly building business objects with CCK – unique content unlike a page or other standard content types .

  13. 13 Scott Morrison said at 5:39 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    All my sites are administrator managed, so, without allowing public users to create stuff and only post comments, my average is 3. If public users were signing up and logging in obviously a few more.

  14. 14 mathias said at 5:40 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    around ten. always more then 5

  15. 15 Matt Farina said at 5:42 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    8-10 content types on average. Have worked on sites with more than 25 content types.

  16. 16 steinmb said at 5:42 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Simple biz sites 4
    Online community about 10

  17. 17 Rafael Ferreira Silva said at 5:44 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    About 8-10 in average.

  18. 18 Christian said at 5:47 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    I would say an average of between 4-8, hardly anymore.

  19. 19 IceCreamYou said at 6:01 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    3-7 in most cases

  20. 20 Sandy said at 6:04 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    10-15 content types, with about 7 core types (pages, publications, events, press releases, etc.) and an equal number of peripheral types that only show up as relationships or as a replacement for taxonomy terms, since they leave you very little flexibility for presentation.

  21. 21 gergely said at 6:08 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    from 5 to 10 :)

  22. 22 baronmunchowsen said at 6:11 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    around 10-15

  23. 23 bertboerland said at 6:25 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    most complex site need 15-20 types. easier sites with less editorial staffs maybe 10-15.

    sites that could have been better of with wp or joomla 5.

  24. 24 eigentor said at 6:45 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    10, but I someteimes have up to 20.

    Always wanted to have the possibility to build fieldgroups there or add icons to make them more easily scannable…

  25. 25 Alejandro said at 6:54 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    3-6, curiously lower than the average I’m seeing here. I do mostly directory- or catalog-type sites (library items, products, links, etc.)

  26. 26 TKS said at 7:07 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    We generally use 5-8 different types.

    Article
    Blog Post
    Standard Page
    Bio (distinct from user profile)
    Event
    Press Release
    etc., etc.

  27. 27 perandre said at 7:19 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    About six (just “six” was too short :))

  28. 28 George Terezakis said at 7:30 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    5 to 10 usually do it

  29. 29 Jeff Geerling said at 7:40 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    About 5, the most I’ve ever made was 7. I typically try to use universal content types, and apply them to multiple situations through CCK fields.

  30. 30 Pasqualle said at 7:46 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    I mostly use 1 or 2 or more than 10.

  31. 31 Luke said at 7:54 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Average of 4

  32. 32 jhedstrom said at 8:02 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    2-10 on average

  33. 33 Eric said at 8:56 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    around eight to twelve

  34. 34 Cash Williams said at 9:19 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    5-7 for all of mine

  35. 35 Greg Holsclaw said at 9:31 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    8 (3 or 4 module defined types and 4 or 5 custom defined)

  36. 36 jmburnz said at 9:38 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    5 to 10 is quite normal, sometimes only 2, once around 15 or so.

  37. 37 joshmiller said at 9:50 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    If I have more than 15, I’m doing something wrong. If I have less than 5, I’m not done yet or the site is unusually simple (clients never want simple, but they almost always want easy).

    Interesting problem: We have a real need to group content types. We typically handle this with simple menu and modifying the “navigation” menu.

  38. 38 Jens said at 9:57 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    I’m a newbie and my average is 3-4 content types.

  39. 39 Bevan said at 11:19 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    7-10 seems to be pretty common in the sites I work on, though 30 isn’t too uncommon, neither is 3.

  40. 40 ross kendall said at 11:35 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    around 5 is usual for me

  41. 41 lyricnz said at 11:49 pm on May 19th, 2009:

    Around 10. What do you mean “my comment was too short?”. Sheesh.

  42. 42 Claudio Luis Vera said at 12:16 am on May 20th, 2009:

    Grouping content types would be great, so we don;t have to use strange naming conventions to get them to bunch together alphabetically.

  43. 43 Drew said at 12:43 am on May 20th, 2009:

    3-5 on most launches

  44. 44 K said at 12:54 am on May 20th, 2009:

    1.

    Though as they have progressed some have moved to as many as 5.

  45. 45 catch said at 1:43 am on May 20th, 2009:

    5-10

    WordPress, your comment length validation is annoying.

  46. 46 George Terezakis said at 3:47 am on May 20th, 2009:

    Grouping would be a fantastic feature, and in most cases it would also make sense to assign permissions per group: types of the same group usually get similar permissions and the node section in the permissions table can get really bloated and cumbersome to adjust when having a lot of content types as each new type gets 5 permissions to start with.

  47. 47 Sam said at 4:10 am on May 20th, 2009:

    For what I do, which is church community sites, lots of content types are required. Different types of blog posts, groups, teams, newsletters, events, posts, galleries, etc.

  48. 48 Chris Cohen said at 7:57 am on May 20th, 2009:

    Probably about 5 on average, although like many others have pointed out, a simple or brochure type site will have far fewer, perhaps only 2, and a complicated application will have upwards of 10, perhaps 20.

  49. 49 Waxstrong said at 8:33 am on May 20th, 2009:

    When I was new to Drupal, 3-5. Now, about a dozen.

  50. 50 Markun said at 11:41 am on May 20th, 2009:

    4~8.

    I’m really curious about those 15+ content types websites. Can people put up some examples?

    The most complex up I came up with has about 10.

    Page
    Editor’s Note
    Panel
    Newsletter Issue
    Debate
    Feed (for feedapi)

    Those can be published by the user:
    Blog post
    Text
    Multimedia
    Link

    And even then, I’m planning to do some changes and get rid of 2-3 of those.

  51. 51 johan van grieken said at 1:02 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    between 5 and 10

  52. 52 eric said at 1:04 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    For the corporate sites we’ve done, the baseline has been 4:

    Page
    Webform
    “Bare Item” (used to make node blocks and populate Panels)
    A custom type (most often to highlight specific projects)

    Going forward, we will probably have two additional types:

    Image
    Some kind of specialized multimedia type

    Our own site, when we re-do it in a few months, will most likely have all six of those.

    We have two ecommerce projects in progress, now; one required two additional types for products, the other will require about four.

    So, for my commercial work, average is going to be somewhere between six and ten.

    For pro-bono work, the main site I work on for free has the following:

    Page
    Blog Post
    Webform
    Link

    We will be adding:

    Book & Book Page
    Product [possible]
    Image
    At least one custom event type
    Custom article type [possible]
    Bare Items [possible, trying to avoid]

    So that will be between seven and ten.

  53. 53 eric said at 1:09 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    (This probably goes without saying to most of us, but it should be said since this is for UX design purposes: This proliferation of content types means that it would be REALLY NICE if we could switch nodes from one type to another without losing data or metadata.)

  54. 54 Anthony James Bruno said at 1:34 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    5-10 Content Types

  55. 55 Ben said at 1:47 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    We have 7: Page, Article, Product, Event, Location, Person, Webform are the ones that I can think of from the top of my head.

  56. 56 Ben said at 1:49 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Sorry, I over-read the “for an average site” bit… about 5-10 for a medium site sounds about right.

  57. 57 David Judik said at 1:51 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    About 5 content types.

  58. 58 nico059 said at 4:04 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    on average: 10

  59. 59 George Cassie said at 4:41 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Around a dozen, and a couple of those are usually “meta-types” that just aggregate or relate other content types.

  60. 60 Rowan Price said at 4:51 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Not sure an average is helpful; as little as 3 and as much as 15 or 20.

    The content creation and editing experience gets messy when it’s the latter.

  61. 61 Florian Loretan said at 6:08 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    My average is generally around 8. The only cases where I’ve seen the number of content types go above 15 could have been reduced by making a better use of taxonomies.

  62. 62 Paddy de Búrca said at 6:51 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Leisa, 7 or 8 normally does it – sometimes 5, sometimes 9.

  63. 63 J-P Stacey said at 7:23 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Easily over twenty, and that’s before adding e.g. organic groups (where content types sometimes have to be bifurcated for complex permissions) and microsites (where different sites might need to serve up radically different content.

    If your site has had to serve any projects, which might have completed a business cycle but whose tailor-made content needs to hang around, then they will also add to the number. In retrospect I think we’d use even more in future, as config pages for simple project modules. We’re working on ways to improve the content types page with taxonomy to make this a more realistic prospect.

    An odd coincidence. I recently commented on (and responded to) a blogpost by David Yelvington on this very topic, where he mentioned having similar numbers of types to us, and said that people he spoke to were always surprised (which I suppose chimes with the lower numbers generally mentioned here.) But I think if you’re building a site for any complex organization then that’s perfectly reasonable. Job vacancies, staff biogs, news items, events, press releases, publications, products, images, webforms, groups, forums, blogposts, restricted content, one-off content, tailored homepage: they add up really quickly.

  64. 64 Sebastian said at 7:27 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    5-10, I would say.

  65. 65 brunodbo said at 7:39 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    I’d say 8 – 12.

  66. 66 extect said at 7:52 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    10-12 on average

  67. 67 joshmiller said at 8:57 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    umm…

    http://drupal.org/project/node_convert

    ?

  68. 68 joshmiller said at 9:04 pm on May 20th, 2009:

    Yes… a trick we usually do with homepages is to make content types for “featured items.” I’m currently working on a site with four different homepages that have two kinds of featured items. To make it easier for the client to “add featured homepage item” we have created 10 different content types. Should we ever need to combine them, views makes this trivial.

    So that’s 10 content types not including page, webform, blog, news, event, etc…

    Another use of content types: we sometimes create “secondary” content types that can be “attached” to “primary” content types. For instance, on a recipe site, we would have a recipe content type and an ingredient content type. Some might use taxonomies for this, but they can’t easily have cck fields.

    Which brings up a thought: with Drupal 7.0, fields work on users and taxonomy, right? So, my 15-20 content types might be cut down to 8-10.

  69. 69 eric said at 1:56 am on May 21st, 2009:

    The only option I was previously aware of was Node Type, which comes with stern warnings that it does not do anything with CCK fields.

    http://drupal.org/project/nodetype

    Node Convert is definitely an improvement on that.

    That said, Node Convert does look to me like it’s not quite what I’m suggesting, because it discards field data if it doesn’t map to fields in the target type.

    I’m seeing people here using content types in highly specific ways that could cause them to end up with a lot of basically orphaned or oddball content, if there’s not some kind of structured way to add and remove things from a particular node without having to design a system before hand for adding stuff to and removing stuff from nodes. That is, you could plan to create a node as a Featured Item node type and then plan to convert it later to a Page or an Article when it’s no longer a Featured Item — but you’ve got to design a workflow for doing that.

    CCK it seems to me is intended to produce nodes that stay as they are for their history. The flexibility it affords is great, but it seems to me the next step is to create a way to assign characteristics on the fly — or remove them on the fly — without fundamentally changing the node type. I’m not suggesting doing away with the concept of content types; rather, I’m suggesting that they aren’t as set in stone as they are now, when you need a utility to convert them and you lose all the fields you defined if they don’t map to fields in the new type.

    Put another way, I’d like to see a way of letting a node keep properties it once had. E.g., if you create a product, and change it to a page, it would be nice to be able to change it back to a product again. (That’s not a great example — a better example might be if you had a node of type Consultant, and you converted it to a node of type Employee, you might want to be able to preserve the properties of a Consultant that don’t map to properties of an Employee — and vice-versa.)

  70. 70 Pawel Pohl said at 2:13 am on May 21st, 2009:

    About 10, and increasing slightly as the site develops (I don’t develop many sites, I have one site I take care of).

  71. 71 charlie said at 4:21 am on May 21st, 2009:

    Four to five for smaller sites, and 10 for more involved communities that require a lot of functionality.

  72. 72 Dave Hansen-Lange said at 7:07 am on May 21st, 2009:

    6-8 on average.

    Most of the comments above that are describing more than that are showing a lack of understanding at how to best harness Information Architecture in Drupal. Content types are not the only tool in the box.

  73. 73 Simon Burger said at 9:06 am on May 21st, 2009:

    15, 17, 13, on the last ones we did. But for smaller sites like personal or niche things – about 2-4 content types.
    Completely agree with @J-P Stacey about complex organisations, and the odd replication of content types for working around permissions etc.

  74. 74 eric said at 2:03 pm on May 21st, 2009:

    Here, here.

    I read about creating 15-20 content types and my first thought is, “that’s insane.”

    I mean, I’m getting hints of some really creative uses (e.g., creating a content type for the top-level pages in each section, or for the home page, which could serve as an alternative to Panels [which I wish wasn't necessary for anyone]). But still, the user experience challenge is non-trivial at several levels.

  75. 75 CK Ng said at 6:10 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    4-8 average, with 12 max

  76. 76 Abhishek Nagar said at 6:18 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    More than 15

  77. 77 Shyam Somanadh said at 6:21 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    Average 4-5.

    This question was probably better done as a node type poll? :)

  78. 78 Vesa Palmu said at 6:33 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    Between 5 and 10 usually.

  79. 79 Kristof Van Roy said at 6:45 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    5-10 average

  80. 80 Ben McCloskey said at 7:16 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    8-10 on average

  81. 81 Federico Pistono said at 8:41 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    From 4 to 7, depending on the website.

  82. 82 Dani said at 9:42 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    Form 7 to 15. For example:

    Page
    Story -> Used as news item
    Container -> Page only for superadmin (section frontpage)
    Event
    Product
    Place -> With location
    Post -> Used as blog post
    Gallery
    Poll
    Webform

  83. 83 Brian Puccio said at 10:49 am on May 23rd, 2009:

    Small sites? Less than 5.
    Larger, more complex sites? Less than a dozen.

  84. 84 Muhammad Inam said at 4:46 pm on May 23rd, 2009:

    on average 5

  85. 85 Dave Hall said at 3:06 am on May 24th, 2009:

    Most sites around 3 – page, event, blog/news.

    Biggest so far has been around 10.

  86. 86 terry said at 10:39 pm on May 24th, 2009:

    5 – 7 depending on the site

  87. 87 Mike said at 2:56 pm on May 25th, 2009:

    We just dissected this topic on DrupalEasy podcast 09 (should be available on 5/26). I went through and averaged all the responses and came up with 8.14. Luckily this is less than Nick Lewis’s recommended value of 11 (meaning we’re all clear of madness).

    -mike

  88. 88 Martin Baker said at 8:22 am on May 26th, 2009:

    between 8 and 12

  89. 89 ashiwebi said at 11:07 am on May 27th, 2009:

    Maximum 15
    Minimum 3

  90. 90 kwer83 said at 6:17 pm on May 27th, 2009:

    Between 3 and 10.

  91. 91 matthis said at 8:06 am on May 28th, 2009:

    I have 12 now and in the future i will have more, but could eliminate some old ones then.

  92. 92 Anybody said at 8:06 am on May 28th, 2009:

    between 6 and 15…

  93. 93 Ben said at 8:29 am on May 28th, 2009:

    How long is a piece of string?

    For the sites I’ve built average of 5 for simple brochure sites, 10 for sites with custom types (real estate, event and community, ecommerce). I imagine in large organizations it could grow well beyond 20.

    It seems to be easier for the user to present them with many content types thathave the same fields but tweaks (think page vs article).

  94. 94 eric said at 1:00 pm on May 28th, 2009:

    Could you expand on what you mean by ‘same fields but tweaks’?

    I take it as meaning that the type has all the same fields, but different templates and perhaps different display settings.

    Wouldn’t it be a simpler approach to have a property of a single content type that could force the use of a different template, or even just cause the node to be tagged with a style class? (Of course, offhand I can’t think of how to make Drupal implement the template idea, but adding a field to map to a style class would be relatively easy.)

  95. 95 Ben said at 11:35 pm on May 31st, 2009:

    I mean it has all the same fields but a few minor tweaks like perhaps a different vocabulary, or maybe even no tweaks at all.

    A lot of users don’t think in abstract ways like us. Instead of having a vocabulary for an article with terms like ‘news’ and ‘sports’ I would make these into a News and Sports content type. This way the users can easily just go to Create content > Sports Article.

  96. 96 Minerva said at 9:33 pm on June 1st, 2009:

    10-15 content types

  97. 97 Erik said at 5:33 am on June 7th, 2009:

    4-5 content types

  98. 98 Joachim said at 4:24 pm on June 8th, 2009:

    About 10, but have had as many as 30.

  99. 99 EvanDonovan said at 4:43 am on June 12th, 2009:

    Around 10.

    On the site I currently work on, we have:
    * Page ( + several variants that we created so that the user permissions would be different – grouping would be nice)
    * Blog
    * Weblink (uses weblink module to display a related link)
    * Webform
    * Event
    * several CCK types (such as Job, Volunteer Opportunity, Organization Listing, Consultant Listing, etc.)
    (These have to be different types because of the different fields.)

  100. 100 Varun Madiath said at 8:30 pm on July 26th, 2009:

    For my personal blog I just use four, but for some of the sites I’ve developed for other organizations it’s gone up to 14.

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