Fortunately for all of us, WordPress uses a reliable and secure data storage solution – MySQL. But what is MySQL exactly?

If you’re concerned that the data stored on your website might get deleted or corrupted, MySQL can help you mitigate that risk. And it’s not like there’s nothing to worry about. The data says that 62% of computer device users report losing data and 94% of companies that experience big data loss never recover [1]. So where does MySQL come up in any of this?

MySQL is an open-source and free database management system that can store all your website’s data. It’s popular among developers for its high level of scalability, flexibility, accessibility, and security. Even high-traffic applications like Facebook, Uber, and Twitter are powered by MySQL. Read on to learn more about the MySQL database and how WordPress uses it.

Understanding databases

What is a database management system? 💾

A database management system collects, stores, and retrieves site data systematically using a programming language. WordPress uses the PHP scripting language together with MySQL to make your website run.

These database systems can store a wide selection of information including your WordPress site’s pages, blog posts, custom fields, and settings. Even your site users’ comments and tags can be backed up. If stale data, useless information, and expired transient options fill the database, you can use a database optimization plugin like WP-Optimize to clean up your MySQL.

Direct access to MySQL databases also facilitates prompt resolution of WordPress issues. For instance, these databases allow you to conveniently add another WordPress admin user, reset your password, or change your email address.

How to access your MySQL database on a web server 💡

To access your MySQL database on a web server, you need to use a database management tool like phpMyAdmin. This is a free web-based software that allows you to access, monitor, and manage your MySQL databases using any web browser.

You can locate phpMyAdmin in the control panel of your hosting account. Once the application opens, you’ll see an interface with a Databases tab on top. Select this tab to see the list of databases, and then click the one for your WordPress website.

Options that enable you to either add, alter, or remove data from your WordPress platform will appear. Click the Edit button next to the data you want to alter, input your desired changes, and then confirm your decision by selecting the Go button.

If you’re using a Linux web server, you can also access your MySQL database using Secure Shell Protocol (SSH). Other alternatives involve using programs like MySQL Command-Line Client, dbForge Studio for MySQL, and MySQL Workbench.

Going beyond “What is MySQL” by using MySQL with WordPress

Given that WordPress is a website creation tool, it needs to store a lot of data. It automatically creates multiple data tables so that it can properly organize the different types of information your website collects and generates.

Since WordPress data is likewise stored in MySQL, a duplicate of the data tables and the information they carry can be created and backed up to a secure digital location with WordPress backup plugins.

Because MySQL constantly stores new data and runs as a background application, it can consume a lot of network and system resources. The heavier your site traffic is, the slower your website becomes. However, this problem can be mitigated by using a database optimization plugin.

Conclusion on what is MySQL 🗄️

Aside from answering the question of what is MySQL, this post has likewise guided you on how to access and optimize MySQL databases. Now, you can create a WordPress website without being concerned about data loss or mismanagement.

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