The omega theme is pretty 'fat'. Currently its probably the biggest theme on drupal.org. You can do anything and everything in the GUI. You can completely customize the layout, turn responsive design on/off...I could go on for awhile.

My question is, do all of the extra settings eat up server resource to serve a page to the client? If I have a website that receive 100,000+ page visits a day, should I use omega, or create my own theme?

2 Answers 2


Yes there is some extra overhead involved (especially at the templating level); how much this will effect your response times will completely depend on the setup of your server. An easy test would be to enable the basic Garland theme, profile the site, then enable the Omega based theme and do the same. You should get a pretty good idea of how much extra overhead you're likely to get for a single page load.

If you're able to, go further. Stress test your server (using something like ab) with both themes enabled. That'll give you an even better idea.

If you've got a site with 100,000+ visitors per day though, your efforts might be better spent setting up a decent caching strategy, both in Drupal and on the web server. That will help to offset a lot of the overhead that Omega/Alpha can add.


I cannot speak to your specific question, as I have not measured the performance of Omega myself. However, you should see John Albin's comments in http://www.palantir.net/blog/all-new-zen-same-guiding-principles, which speaks briefly on the issue of performance. It would For a site with 100k+ hits per day, I would recommend learning zen grids and building your theme based on zen. Omega will give you faster development time, but you will gain some performance benefit from spending extra time on Zen. Amazon claims small decreases in performance can have a measurable effect on sales, so spending extra money on performance will likely pay off if your site is commercial.

You should also employ a good cache strategy and take measurements on your results using your own site.

  • Running a 100k+ hits per day website, there is no question, you will be running a caching solution (we are using Vanish). I was wondering the performance for non-cached omega vs. non-cached other themes, as well as, cached omega vs. other cached themes. Does omega levy additional tool that when cached, will out perform another cached theme? (maybe I should create a new question about this)
    – iStryker
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:26
  • Omega takes configuration options from the database; contrast this with Zen, where you code your column layouts into your css with the zen grids system. On general principals you can be sure that if you build with Zen it will be faster. Clive's answer is best, I just wanted to call your attention to John Albin's article. However, I do use Omega too, and I think it is a good theme. I don't get 100k+ page views on any of my Omega sites, but even if I did, you'd still have to measure on your site, as your cache hits etc. may be different. Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:42
  • Really interesting article, I had no idea Zen was so advanced these days
    – Clive
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 0:04

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