I am building a site that will contain data about athletes. I'm trying to decided wether to represent the athletes as CCK or Taxonomy Terms with custom fields. Athletes will contain information such as name, DOB and image, each athlete will have a page.

News articles, sports, venues, events, and teams will be other content within the site, these could be tagged with the athlete terms if we use the taxonomy solution. The alternative would be to use node reference if athlete as a custom content type.

The Taxonomy route seems more flexible and seems like a good route to take according to this article http://www.juliakm.com/how-decide-between-using-taxonomy-terms-and-cck-field-classify-content-drupal-site I just wanted to check with people in the community if there are any drawbacks to this approach or advantages of using CCK instead?

In Drupal 7 CCK and Taxonomy Terms with Fields are in the core. The two seem incredibly similar, I was wondering what is the reasoning behind having both?

Thanks, Pete

  • As an update on this we decided to go with modelling the data using Taxonomy for Athletes rather than CCK. Our site included over 6,000 athletes and we started to get performance issues.I would suggest using CCK to model data unless there is a very strong case to use Taxonomy. Nov 21, 2012 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


My idea: make CCK fields of all personal data you want to collect about the athletes. (length, weight, ...) These are different for every athlete.

When you have items that are similar, you should use taxonomy. (Type: Soccer player, Golfer, ...)

Using both taxonomy and CCK makes a complex but great system!

*An example:

I'm making a "travel" website about Spain. A website with many pages.

On my website about Spain I have a regio related page. This page shows content about cities, golf tracks, parks, ... It has an image on top (CCK field), a "tag" (taxonomy term to link pages - show list with simmilar content), a "regio tag" (also taxonomy list of all regio's) and two text fields: positive / negative (CCK fields to enter good and bad things about this city / track / park and so on.

The image and positive/negative fields are for all pages different. The "regio tag" can be the same for some pages (same with the tag).

This way you easily make a view with similar pages people can visit!*


I often have this debate myself. The Julia KM article you reference has a strong bias toward taxonomy, if you look at the table you probably should just about always choose taxonomy.

However for your specific use case I would say to go the CCK route. The word taxonomy should give you a hint. The taxonomy terms are meant to classify data not be the data themselves. Yes that's a blurry area because depending on your view anything can be "data".

If your site is about athletes, as in that is the main content of your site, I would make an athlete cck type, or alternatively a cck type for each main class of athlete (Baseball, Football, Soccer, Tennis) depending on how detailed you want the fields to be (but it sounds like you just want general info so probably a single "Athlete" type would suffice).

It may be that taxonomy has pragmatic advantages, but conceptually CCK is the better choice.

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