The database is an organized and structured set of data, which can be easily managed and retrieved. In terms of information technology terminology, the database is software which is used to store data in an organized manner. You can think of it as an office file cabinet in which you can store the data in various sections. These sections are called rows and columns in a database. When you have to retrieve a file, you have to simply look into that particular section,or as far as the database is concerned,that particular table to get it.

WordPress is the No.1 CMS for used for application development now, which uses MySQL as the back end database system. MySQL is conventionally used to build databases to store and retrieve data from the developers.MySQL remains an open-source application, which works the best with the open-source WordPress and other popular open-source applications like PHP, Apache web server, Linux OS, etc.

To create and install a WordPress application, you need a MySQL database. All specialized WordPress hosting services also offer MySQL database support in their package. During the time of WordPress installation, you have to provide the database information to the WordPress application, and then WordPress will take care of the rest by default.

Database host

Database host is simply a computer system which hosts your application database on the MySQL server. Many times, it could be localhost and entering this information it into the host field will help connect WordPress into your database. Some hosting providers may also use different names for hosts on MySQL servers. You can find the host name at the Database or MySQL of the C-Panel hosting. If you fail to find it, always ask the hosting provider.

Database table

Every MySQL database will consist of tables. Each of these DB tables has various columns and data is contained in rows. Each of the rows has a specific field on each column in the table.

E.g.: If its an office database for employee records, then the table named employee_records may consist of columns like.

  • employee_name
  • employee_no
  • employee_doj
  • employee_phone
  • employee_address
  • employee_email etc.

WordPress can also create default tables in the database. During the time of writing this,the default installation could create tables like:

All these tables consist of various columns to store the data. To further expand it, the table tagged as wp_users may have sample columns like:

SQL Query

SQL or Structured Query Language is a programming language, which is capable of manipulating databases. As explained by experts, SQL issues instructions to the database host to add, arrange, or retrieve data, which is called a ‘query.’ WordPress can interpret MySQL queries to manage the data to put it on the web pages.However, SQL is not just for retrieving data from the table, but it can also be used to update, delete, or insert data to and from tables. SQL can also be used to create new tables.

WordPress Database

To do WordPress database management properly, it is essential to learn how to do certain tasks. It is also needed to know how to troubleshoot the WordPress issues like help recovering the website and how to make the website secured. An effective way is to manage WP database with the help of phpMyAdmin.

Most of the developers use phpMyAdmin, which is another open-source solution with an easy to understand graphical interface to handle MySQL databases for WordPress sites effectively. There are many plugins also available for WordPress, which will help run regular database backup for WordPress applications.

MySQL in detail

MySQL is a very popular choice for database-rich web applications. MySQL is the primary focus on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack. WordPress, by default, uses PHP in order to store data and retrieve it from MySQL-based databases with the help of SQL queries in PHP markup.

Both PHP and MySQL go hand-in-hand to complete WordPress application, allowing the developer to build dynamic content based on various factors like user roles. This combination allows you to customize activities like showing or hiding content from specific users, setting privileges to admins and subscribers, etc.

Along with it,various themes and plugins are also used to store data, SQL, and options with the PHP markup to query the database and get dynamic content output. Even when discussing the powerful and usability of SQL, it is also worth mentioning that if you have a small WordPress website, then you actually don’t’ have to mess up with the SQL. Only at an enterprise level, you have to hold essential SQL knowledge and skills to do the tasks.

When someone installs a WP plugin, it can use the database by default to store and retrieve data related to the specific plugin. Say for example, if you use custom fields plugin, which would save data to specific fields it creates on the database and then retrieve the data later to display it on associated pages or posts.Without an existing database, no plugin will be able to store data.

WP plugins can use the default WordPress DB tables like wp_posts and wp_posts meta and can also create some custom tables. One major example of plug-in creating its own data tables is the WooCommerce, which is capable of creating 8 sets of custom tables in order to save and retrieve e-commerce product IDs, payment details, orders, tax details, and related product info.

The best method of optimizing your WP app database without doing anything in specific is to install the plugins wisely. Don’t install any plugins just for the sake of having more plugins. With thousands of options available, it is easy for the WP developers and website owners to get drawn into installing a variety of new plugins. Remember that new data will be created for each plug-in you install which will in turn access space in your database. There are many plug-ins like security plugins, anti-spam plugins, statistics or analytics plugins, popular posts plug-ins, etc.,which may store a significant amount of data. Even though you have to use good spam control and security plug-ins, don’t use the popular posts plug-ins, etc. until unless that is a necessity.