Tips For Choosing and Using MySQL Database in a Web Hosting Environment

Most widely pronounced “my ess cue el”, “my sequel”. MySQL is a leading open source relational database management system. It is largely SQL-compliant and runs on a wide variety of operating systems. MySQL is part of the popular LAMP server configuration, Linux Apache MySQL PHP/Perl/Python. Today, it is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used database management system for building database driven websites. It provides a solid backend foundation for millions of websites globally.

Any form of data you may have that requires storage, whether it’s a customer database or accounts records, is stored on a database. You will need a database management system to create, add, manipulate, and process data in your databases, and undoubtedly, MySQL is one of the best and most comprehensive DBMS (Database Management Systems) packages on the market today. It can also be used as a relational database management system, which means it can store data in various tables that can communicate with one another rather than all in one large ‘flat file” of data.

MySQL can be run as a server on your local pc or in a remote dedicated server. The mode of access for MySQL databases and MySQL functionalities is all dependent on the web hosting company used. This could be via a hostname or IP address of the MySQL database server. For complete and seamless management of your databases, most web hosting companies provide a client management platform for your to upload and configure your MySQL databases. The most popular and widely used MySQL client today is “phpmyadmin”. Using phpmyadmin allows you to input your various commands, most likely using scripts, to interact with your databases. These commands can be written on PHP programming scripts or within the database management client software.

When choosing a MySQL web hosting provider, you’ll want to consider some additional factors beyond the standard server uptime, backup/redundancy systems, bandwidth, email, and bandwidth concerns.

  • Unlimited MySQL Databases:

If you are considering the services of a MySQL web hosting provider, you’re surely planning on making databases a significant part of your web-presence. You therefore need to find a MySQL hosting provider that offers you unlimited MySQL databases, with unlimited storage space. This will give you the freedom to scale up your operations and create more databases without any additional cost(s) on your part. A web host that promotes itself as a MySQL hosting provider must offer its clients with unlimited databases. You must always do your research and compare services and features of a good number of hosting companies before making a final decision.

  • Database Client Management Interface:

It is no doubt that you’ll be working with your databases on a frequent basis, and therefore, you’ll want a MySQL hosting provider that’s designed a user friendly admin interface with MySQL user in mind. If you have various development staff involved in the design, building and maintenance of your databases, you’ll want to have the facility to be able to create multiple user I.D.’s to allow varying degrees of secure access to databases. Phpmyadmin is good administrative software to have for MySQL databases. A good and reputable web hosting company should as a default provide this tool as part of its MySQL database hosting service.

  • CRON support:

You’ve spent a fair amount of time looking for a new web host for your websites, and you are comparing features, prices, and support options trying to find the best match for your needs. One vital thing that should crop up in your mind is something called cron jobs. What is exactly is CRON, and is it something you really need and should form the basis of your decision to go with a particular web host?

CRON is a scheduling daemon available on Linux and other UNIX operating system variants. A cron helps you to run specific scripts for regular, routine tasks to be run at periodic intervals. A MySQL hosting provider should allow you to set up and manage crons from your admin control panel. These scripts are also good for Preventive Maintenance routines.

I know this will probably not mean much to you, but don’t worry too much about it, as I’ll explain it better. Let’s assume that you own a website, and visitors to your website sign up for a periodic service you offer, but getting an email for each person that signs up is getting too daunting and a burden, and some are starting to slip through the cracks. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a better way to get one notification a day with all the names and emails of those who have subscribed to the service?

CRON was invented as a result of this. Any web developer familiar with the workings of cron jobs could easily write and schedule a script to run once a day and email a list of all subscribers for that day. Executing a script or program at a scheduled time is the very reason cron exists. This takes away the mundane task of getting a notification for each subscriber.

Cron job settings by default are kept in a file called “crontab.” A simple editing of this file can allow cron jobs to be executed whenever you want. To the unfamiliar, thecrontab file can be pretty confusing and intimidating sometimes. It is exactly for this reason that most web hosting providers only allow access to cron through an easy to use web interface. One vital thing to consider is to make sure that you choose a web host that provides this simple web interface for cron.

  • PHP Information:

The most common script for MySQL databases is PHP. A MySQL hosting provider with PHP extensions enabled is likely to be more frustrating than useful to you. By checking into a prospective MySQL hosting provider’s PHP capabilities, you can ensure compatibility between your scripting language and your database management, thus saving yourself trouble and regrets in future. Poor decision made could ruin your web presence.

Finally, if MySQL database is the database of choice for all your websites; make sure that you get a host that specializes in MySQL hosting. This is vital for the overall stability and functioning of your web applications.

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