Guide to MySQL: Find the Cheapest Hosting Options

MySQL – Do I need it? Is it as complex as it looks and sounds, no matter how you pronounce it? There’s a lot of information on the web about MySQL and how it works. That’s because MySQL has been around a long time, well, in computing timescales that is.

You can use the links below to quickly navigate through this guide:

The official way to pronounce “MySQL” is “My Ess Que Ell,” not “my sequel.”

My what?

So what is it and how does it work? The answer is twofold:

  • MySQL is a database management system that uses SQL language to define, update and query the database.
  • SQL (Structured Query Language) is a database language that’s used to pull, edit, and create information in a database.

Think of a database as a one big filing cabinet where information is stored, such as content, images, records, etc., – but without all the paper. So in order to add, retrieve, and process data stored in a computer database, you need a database management system. That’s where MySQL comes in.

Why Use MySQL?

If your website requires MySQL, you’ll have no problem finding a hosting provider. MySQL is supported by most web host providers. Some hosting packages allow you to create additional MySQL databases on your account, or they can automatically include unlimited MySQL databases.

SELECT is the SQL command used to retrieve records – it’s is the most powerful statement within SQL!

Having more than one MySQL database can be important if you would like to create multiple websites with polished, interactive web pages with plenty of content. Your website(s) will generate more data, therefore you will need more room for it to be stored and organized.

There are many reasons why MySQL is so popular. For one, MySQL is open source, which means it’s customizable. Other advantages include:

  • It’s easy to use – MySQL is easy to install, relatively fast, and loaded with features, including visual web tools such as phpMyAdmin.
  • It’s widely available – MySQL can be installed on many different platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • It’s widely used – Joomla, WordPress and Drupal all use MySQL, as do many organizations such as Nokia, Google, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • It works well with PHP – MySQL works with PHP (Personal Home Page) to make dynamic pages in your Web site. (*PHP has a native database support from MySQL.)
  • It’s versatile. – MySQL also works with C, C++ and C#, D, Java, Ruby, and Objective C.
  • It’s free – MySQL Is free to download and use!

There are many different ways to organize data in a database, and one of the most popular is the relational model, which is what MySQL uses. MySQL is what’s called a relational database management system (RDBMS). A relational database is a system that organizes many pieces information into neat, orderly structures while keeping track of how all those pieces of information are related to each other.

The ability to define relationships is what differentiates relational databases from other types of databases. SQL is the language used for querying and managing data in a relational database system.

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MySQL vs. Other Relational Databases

Not all relational databases are created equal. In fact, they are all very different. Each database has its own unique method of connecting and transporting information, and it helps to know those differences before deciding which one to choose. What sets MySQL apart from other relational databases? MySQL has multiple storage engines – this allows you to choose which is most effective for your application.

The following table, provided by udemy, includes information about the three popular relational databases, Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server, and how they compare:

Oracle MySQL SQL Server
Interface GUI, SQL SQL GUI, SQL, Various
Language support Many, including C, C#, C++, Java, Ruby, and Objective C Many, including C, C#, C++, D, Java, Ruby, and Objective C Java, Ruby, Python, VB, .Net, and PHP
Operating System Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, OS X, z/OS, AIX Windows, Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris Windows
Licensing Proprietary Open source Proprietary

Is Cheap Hosting Right for Me?

MySQL is one of the more popular database management systems, and is offered on most Free, Shared, Dedicated, VPS, and Cloud hosting plans. The cost of your hosting plan has little effect on MySQL support. The only difference you could encounter is that less expensive options may not offer the storage you’ll need, but it varies with each hosting provider.

There are so many web host providers to choose from, and it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. Checking the available storage and how many MySQL databases a web host offers are quick ways to figure out if they are the right plan for you. If you have a smaller site, you won’t need a lot of storage and can save money on your hosting plan.

How to Get Started with MySQL

If you’re new to MySQL, these resources will familiarize you with all the basics, including links to useful PHP code snippets and examples. You might even learn a thing or two about how to create and use a simple database on your own!

SQL Learning Resources

Learning SQL will give you another tool in your toolbox to help make your website better and faster. And if you know SQL, you’ll be in better control of your data. Check out the resources below to learn the basic elements of SQL and the relational data model.

Technical Support Resources

Help is out there if you need it. Below are a list of support resources to ensure your experience with MySQL is a good one with links to forums and message boards which offer help to a varied skill level.

  • MySQL – MySQL Technical Support Services provide direct access to MySQL Support engineers who can assist users in the development, deployment, and management of MySQL applications.
  • Learning MySQL – This densely packed tutorial (available for download) includes detailed instructions to help you set up and design an effective database with MySQL.
  • MySQL Forums – Forums are a great place to find answers to commonly asked questions as well as suggestions on how to improve your experience with MySQL.