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Using Databases Overview


Many websites use databases and scripting languages such as PHP, ASP and ASP.NET to create dynamic sites and manage large amounts of information, rather than using only static HTML files.  Two of the most popular databases are MySQL and MS SQL.  Whether you are creating a website from scratch by coding it yourself, or are installing one of the many scripts and web applications available, you probably need to interact with a database at some point, even if it is to just set it up.

Unless you are a programmer, you typically will only need to create a database and configure your script to connect to it and you are done.  But more advanced functionality is available for programmers or occasions where you need additional access.

This article will give you an overview of what things may need to be done to use a database, as well as links to the relevant articles that discusses those topics more in depth, which also give step-by-step instructions.

Some Notes: You will see it mention cPanel and Plesk in places. If you purchased Shared, Reseller, SEO Hosting*, VPS/cPanel or a Linux Dedicated Server, which are all types of Linux hosting, then you have cPanel. If you have Windows Hosting (shared or dedicated), or VPS/Plesk, then you have Plesk. MySQL is available on both Linux and Windows hosting, and MS SQL is only available on Windows Hosting.

Creating a Database

One thing that you may have to do is create a database.  This is usually required when you are installing a script that requires a database, like a content management system (CMS), a shopping cart, forum software, or some other web application.

How you create a database will depend on what type of web hosting plan you have, and the type of database you create will depend on the requirements of the script you are installing.

Some scripts will create the database for you, and others will require that you create the database.  If your script or project requires you to create a database, then please visit the articles listed for step-by-step instructions.

Connecting Your Script to the Database

After you create the database, you will need to connect the database to your script.  Some scripts will configure this for you, and other scripts will require that you edit a configuration file.

The following articles may help you connect your script to your database:

Managing Your Database in a Web Browser

If you need to make specific changes to your database, such as creating tables, creating, editing or deleting records, changing the database structure, or importing or exporting databases, one way to do it is via a web-based database management software such as phpMyAdmin.

Here are some article on how to manage your database via phpMyAdmin or WebAdmin.

Connecting to the Database Remotely

If you are developing your own script or website on your computer, then you may want to use an application on your computer to manage the database.  Some web development software, such as Dreamweaver, also have the ability to manage databases remotely.  There is a wide variety of software available for this purpose, and they all have varying features and prices.  Some are free, and some can be quite expensive.  It all depends on the features and functionality you desire.

For this you will need to do four things:

  1. Create and setup your database (if you have not already).
  2. Download an application you want to use to remotely access the database (if you don't have one already).
  3. Whitelist your IP so that you can access the database remotely.
  4. Configure your software to connect to the database.

These details and more are in the following articles.

These articles will help you whitelist your IP so you can connect:

This article has useful information on how to connect to your database remotely:

Import and Exporting Data

Sometimes you will need to import and export data from a database.  This is useful for a number of reasons.  First, it is one way to backup and restore the database.  Second, it makes it easy to transfer a database from one place to another.  And some scripts give you a database file that you can import, that will setup the database and import required data.

These articles will help you import and export data, or covers specific scenarios where you might want to do that:

Making Backups

Here is important information on how to backup your databases.  it is highly recommended that you make periodic backups of your databases, especially before making any changes to it.

Other Database Related Tasks

Here are some additional tasks you may want or need to do with your database:

This article does not list all the database articles in our knowledge base.  You may want to use the search function if what you want is not listed on this page.