WordPress uses MySQL as its database management system to store and retrieve data for your blog. For your website, it serves as a filing cabinet and is pronounced: “my sequel.”
The database program is open-source software that is free to use and is currently owned by Oracle Corporation.
A fundamental understanding of MySQL can help you debug issues with your WordPress site, even if you can use WordPress without knowing how it works.
What Is a Database?
Multiple users and databases can be managed by the relational database management system MySQL. It is installed on your WordPress hosting server and runs as a server.
Consider it as a digital filing cabinet for all the information on your website.
A unique computer language called SQL, or Structured Query Language, is used to obtain, add, and remove data from database tables. A query is a SQL command used to retrieve data.
A typical MySQL query appears as follows:
To use WordPress, you don’t need to know how databases operate or be familiar with SQL. Behind the scenes, all of this happens automatically. However, troubleshooting can be aided by knowledge of MySQL.
When you can’t access the WordPress admin area, you can often resolve WordPress difficulties by working directly with the database. For instance, you can modify the WordPress email address, add an admin user, and reset a WordPress password.
phpMyAdmin allows you to view your MySQL database. This is a web application that enables browser-based management of MySQL databases. You can find it in the control panel of your web hosting company.
How Does WordPress Use MySQL?
A large amount of data, including posts, pages, categories, comments, custom fields, tags, users, and other WordPress settings, is stored in a database by WordPress.
Because of this, WordPress prompts you for a database name, host, login, and password when you initially install it.
The configuration file wp-config.php contains this information.
WordPress creates tables during installation and stores default installation data inside those tables using the database information you give.
The database for each WordPress installation comes with 12 preset tables. These include information about various WordPress areas, features, and functionality.
Currently, the following tables are created by default when installing WordPress:
wp_commentmetaprovides metadata regarding comments
wp_commentscontains comments and information about the comment’s author
wp_linksmaintains blogrolls made by older WordPress versions
wp_optionscontains the majority of the WordPress site settings
wp_postmetaincludes metadata for posts, pages, and custom post types
wp_postsincludes your changes, custom post types, pages, and posts
wp_termmetaincludes information about the terms in custom taxonomies
wp_termscontains taxonomy phrases like each category and tag
wp_term_relationshipscontrols how post types and phrases are related
wp_term_taxonomydistinguishes between categories and tags in taxonomies
wp_usermetaprovides metadata regarding people who have signed up
wp_usersconsists of user data such as usernames and passwords
The default database prefix is wp_, which is placed before each table name. When installing WordPress, you might want to use a different prefix to increase the security of your website.
Your website backup solution will need to create a copy of your database tables as well as the files saved in your media library, themes, and plugins because your WordPress content is stored in MySQL.
With the help of backup plugins like UpdraftPlus, your WordPress files and database will be completely backed up and sent to a distant place automatically.
How MySQL Affects the Performance of Websites
When more people visit your website, MySQL, an application that runs on your web server, uses up more resources. This is due to the fact that each time a person accesses your website, WordPress must retrieve the data from the database before sending the web page to the user’s browser.
This causes your website to load more slowly when many users are using it at once.
The majority of websites use a WordPress caching plugin to handle this. So that your database doesn’t need to be accessed as frequently, these plugins store frequently requested web pages. Your website loads quicker as a result.
WP Rocket (paid) or WP Super Cache (free) are both suggested. Caching services are also provided by numerous WordPress hosting providers, including Bluehost and SiteGround.
Running MySQL on Your Computer
You must use the same software as your WordPress hosting provider if you want to run WordPress locally on your computer. This comprises PHP, MySQL, and the web server software Apache (the programming language).
Fortunately, installation is simple thanks to software stacks like LAMP (for Linux), MAMP (for Mac), WAMP (for Windows), and XAMPP (cross-platform).
We hoped that this article would help you understand MySQL in WordPress better. You might also want to check out the related articles on helpful WordPress hints, tips, and ideas in the list of Recommended Readings below.