Installing BuddyPress on separate DB to avoid slowing down the website

I have a person doing some design work and the question has come up if it would be better to install BP on a separate DB or even on a separate WP install/sub-domain in order to eliminate slowing the main site down. Is this recommended or not?

  • Jack
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    You can’t really install BuddyPress to a separate database. You can install it to a subdomain if you want your community to be separate from the main site. This might be very helpful depending on your goals with BuddyPress and the main site.

  • RDean
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Thank you.

    As I am not sure how to do this, if I install BuddyPress to a subdomain, would I need to install another instance of WordPress or could I run BuddyPress from the same WordPress install that I currently have, but somehow point BuddyPress to the subdomain?

  • Jack
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus


    Your choices are basically to install BuddyPress on your main site or create a new WordPress install for your BuddyPress community. Having them separate really depends on what your goals are. Probably most sites will want them to be on the same install.


  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi RDean and welcome to WPMU DEV!

    As Jack’s mentioned, it really does seem the best choice to create a new install for the BuddyPress portion of your site if you wish to keep things separate and manageable as far as the size of the database in relation to your main site.

    You can definitely do that through a sub-domain on your site too, simply installing WordPress in the folder that’s setup for.



  • RDean
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    David, Jack

    Thanks very much for the help!

    So this is what I am trying to do.

    We are going to launch a site that will have a community to it. It seems that at the beginning the community may not be that big, but it seems it may grow significantly over a short period of time. Projections are suggesting 5-10k registered users in the first 6 months. We are allowing them to post pictures, blogs, comments, link to Youtube Videos, rate posts, etc.

    I know that I am asking a question that may not have an exact answer, but a suggested range from either of you would be good–how big of a user registered base should BuddyPress have before considering a separate database? or what should I really consider to make the decsion?

    Also, It seems that if I install a separate installation for BuddyPress with a separate WP install on the subdomain, I will need to install separate plugins and do separate configuration options (permalinks, users, etc). So for example if I am using Yoast’s SEO or caching plugin, I would need to install it/them twice and configure it/them twice–once for my website, and once for my BuddyPress install. Is this a correct assumption?

    Thanks in advance for any kind of direction you could provide,


  • Jack
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus


    If you are planning to really grow your BuddyPress community, then setting it up as a separate install is the best way to go. Since it will be a separate install it will have it’s own database already.

    You are right about having to configure everything twice!


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