Don't use count() if you can use exists()


Sonu Singh

17 Apr 2024

12 min read

Laravel PHP MySql

Are you using Laravel for database operations and wondering which method is best for checking record existence? Here's a quick tip: opt for exists() over count() when you simply need to verify if a record exists!

When verifying record existence, opt for exists() instead of count().

See the example below:

// Don't do this
$count = User::where('email', $email)->count();
if ($count > 0) {
    // Record exists
} else {
    // Record doesn't exist

// Do this instead
if (User::where('email', $email)->exists()) {
    // Record exists
} else {
    // Record doesn't exist

Why choose exists() over count()?

  1. Performance: exists() is optimized for this specific task, resulting in better performance compared to count(). exists() stops querying the database once it finds the first matching record, while count() fetches all matching records, which can be unnecessary and resource-intensive.
  2. Clarity and Intent: By using exists(), you're explicitly stating your intention to check for the existence of records, making your code more readable and maintainable.


By adopting exists() for existence checks, you're not only improving the efficiency of your code but also following Laravel's best practices for clarity and performance. Keep coding efficiently! 💻✨

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Author: Sonu Singh

With over 7 years of dedicated experience in web development, I've traversed through the dynamic landscape of digital technology, honing my skills and expertise across various frameworks and content management systems. My journey began with the exploration of frameworks like CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Yii, and eventually, I found my passion in Laravel - a framework that resonated deeply with my love for elegant, efficient code. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege to contribute to numerous projects, ranging from small-scale ventures to large, enterprise-level solutions. Each project has been a unique opportunity to push boundaries, solve intricate challenges, and deliver innovative solutions tailored to meet client needs. One of my proudest accomplishments includes the development of a SaaS-based project using Laravel and MySQL. This venture not only showcased my technical prowess but also demonstrated my ability to conceptualize, design, and execute scalable solutions that drive business growth. In addition to my proficiency in development, I've also delved into server deployment and query optimization, ensuring that every aspect of a project - from its codebase to its infrastructure - is optimized for peak performance and reliability.

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