A database is an organized form of data so that it can be accessed and managed whenever needed. Front-end softwares and other related computer applications use these databases to work with data quickly and easily. A database power relies on how fast it can fetch and show the required data.

There are different solutions available in the market being MySQL is the most popular.

  • MySQL 65%
  • PostgreSQL 45%
  • Oracle 40%
  • MS SQL Server 25%
  • HSQL DB 18%

MySQL in WordPress

SQL is Structured Query Language and an open source software. It is used to create and manage databases and hook them up with any type of front-end software (hint: WordPress) to combine and show data to users. The process is called running an SQL query.

WordPress uses MySQL database to store all of its information. Upon user request, it stores and fetches data from the database and show it to the user.

In order to understand and use WordPress to its full potential, you need to understand what is database and how do it work at least at a basic level. It will help you to solve itty bitty problems yourself instead of hiring a WordPress database expert.

WordPress Database Structure

Generally a typical database is a collection of tables. Tables have columns or fields to store data.

WordPress however creates database tables automatically. On a default installation, you just need to feed a WordPress database name and it will create following tables.

  • wp_commentmeta
  • wp_comments
  • wp_links
  • wp_options
  • wp_postmeta
  • wp_posts
  • wp_termmeta
  • wp_terms
  • wp_term_relationships
  • wp_term_taxonomy
  • wp_usermeta
  • wp_users

Additional to these tables, plugins in WordPress (see article) can also create their own dedicated tables to store data however most plugins don’t create tables in database.

WordPress Database Access (phpMyAdmin)

WordPress database backend can be accessed using phyMyAdmin using your web hosting provider CPanel.

wordpress phpmyadmin

phyMyAdmin could be used to do any type of operations like adding or deleting data in case of emergency. Taking WordPress database backup and recovery and other similar operations. phpMyAdmin is your ultimate stop to get all database details.

wordpress database phpmyadmin

Database is the most sensitive area. Altering any values you don’t know about is not recommended.

Woopoo's Caution

If you want some practice with phyMyAdmin anyway, set a localhost for WordPress and install on your on computer instead of using a live site.

WordPress Database Best Practices

  • Database cleanup is an important step need to be taken once a year depends upon the activity on your blog. It is one of the big factors in enhancing website speed.
  • Give least database access to users. As you may already know, database is the most valuable asset of your website, creating too many users to access database is a security risk in itself.
  • Before installing a plugin, always do a bit of research on plugin’s reputation how the plugin will interact wih database, how many calls it will make etc to keep your blog healthy.
  • Always take frequent backups of your WordPress database to save yourself in case of a hacked website or another disaster. see article simple and easy WordPress backups for more details.

We hope this guide will give you an initial push and confidence to work with your WordPress database directly.

Do remember though normally you don’t need to access it directly unless or until required as WordPress will handle most of the stuff for you.

If you still need any questions to ask, do let us know using the comments section below.

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