I'm creating a blogging site that anyone can sign up and be an author for. I want each author to have their own public profile. My main question is; would it be better practice to have a separate profile table that contains fields that would be specific to only the profile page, or should I just add those profile fields to a general users table as this example shows:

 `username` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
 `first_name` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
 `last_name` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
 `email` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
 `password` varchar(32) NOT NULL,
 `sign_up_date` date NOT NULL,
 `activated` enum('0','1') NOT NULL,
 `admin` int(1) 0 ,
 `bio` text NOT NULL,
 `profile_pic` text NOT NULL,

bio and profile_pic are both profile fields in this case. This is also just an example, I plan to have more fields for general user stuff and not to many more for the public profile, but that could change as I move further into development.

Sorry if this an opinion and not a best practice question. I'm new to Database architecture.

1 Answer 1


Keep them together. You're describing vertical partitioning, which is generally only used when a table is getting really wide - dozens or hundreds of fields. Until and unless there's a compelling reason to separate them (e.g., a single blogger can have multiple profiles, for different blogs, audiences, or languages), there's no need to complicate the schema.

  • Another useful case for Vertical Partitioning is if some of the fields are really bulky (TEXT/BLOB) and are not needed all the time.
    – Rick James
    May 12, 2015 at 23:59
  • Interesting, @RickJames. My understanding in MS SQL is that such columns are always stored out-of-row, so vertical partitioning isn't useful, but it seems that MySQL is a little more complicated. May 13, 2015 at 0:40
  • There are several flavors (at least 4) row-format in InnoDB, so I guess "it depends". And (if I recall correctly) you need 5.6.3 (or later), innodb_file_format=Barracuda, innodb_file_per_table=ON, and ROW_FORMAT=DYNAMIC;
    – Rick James
    May 13, 2015 at 1:12

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