Depending on the choice of technology in which the website is to be made, it can be made as html documents with css styles and then we will not need a connection to a database. However, if we are going to post many articles on the website, the best solution may be a popular CMS system, such as WordPress, or another web application, such as a CRM system. In this case, you will need a database connection.
Almost every server-side web application requires some sort of container for storing and operating on data. A database is ideally suited for this purpose. One of the most popular solutions is a MySql or MariaDB database.
Remember about database!
Unfortunately, awareness that a database is often required to build a website is minimal. This is demonstrated by the following example:
The client resigned from the hosting company having previously made a copy of the website. He ripped the files to his local drive on his computer. He contacts us to order a new host and restore his website from the copy he made. It turns out that the site was made in the popular CMS system WordPress. We received a zip archive that contained all the site files. However, there was no database, no backup of the database. When asked about it, the client just shrugged his shoulders, not knowing what we wanted from him. Unfortunately, this is quite often the case. Although Internet users are becoming more and more aware, the subject of databases is still taboo. That is why it is important to raise awareness, especially among website owners, so that they know that their website is not only a file, but also a database.
This short article is intended to give an overview of databases
What is a database?
The definition is that a database is an organised collection of structured information, usually stored electronically in a computer system.
But data alone is not enough. For this, we need some kind of ‘supervisor’ that enables easy data management, i.e. adding, deleting, updating and efficient data retrieval. Therefore, the database is usually controlled by a database management system (DBMS). The data and the DBMS and the associated applications together form the database system.
How are the data organised?
As you may have guessed, such data is most easily organised into tables that contain columns as well as rows. And this is indeed the case. Data in the most popular types of databases used today are just placed in rows and columns of multiple tables. This organisation of data streamlines the processing of data and the creation of queries about it.
This makes it easier to access, manage and control the data and to modify, update and organise it. In order to be able to manage such data easily, a special query language, SQL (Structured Query Language), was designed and popularised.
Use of databases
Is it only in web design that we encounter databases? Well, no. Even a popular operating system such as Windows contains a built-in database – it is the system registry. But also popular CRM, ERP applications work with databases. All information in offices is organised in databases. Even data on maps contain information organised in databases. IOT (Internet of Things) systems also work on specialised databases to store and analyse data collected from sensors.
It is not the subject of this article, but it is worth writing that databases are divided, depending on the way data is organised in them, into : relational, object-oriented, relational-object, streaming, temporal, non-relational. Popular databases are MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, MongoDB. But there are plenty of other databases.
Databases – summary
Returning to the topic of our website – if we have a site based on the WordPress CMS then we can be sure that all data on the site such as posts and articles are organised in a database in the form of records (rows) in a table.
So remember, if you want to back up the site yourself, do not forget to make a copy of the database in addition to the files.