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General Guidelines for Using Databases

Many web hosting packages come with databases. So how is a database useful in a website? A database is used to store data, as well as offer easy access to that data. Data could be anything from the content on your web pages, to sale records, client names and addresses, and product information. Being able to access this information through a database will allow you to offer your visitors quality service and give them a more enjoyable experience.

Ecommerce sites use databases for storing product information, which makes it very easy to update web pages. Without a database, each product would need to have its own static page. This would be an almost impossible task, especially when dealing with hundreds of products. You can place content from the database in any way you see fit on a dynamic page. Pictures and text can be arranged in way that makes your page visually appealing. In addition, you can add suggestive statements such as ‘Clients who purchased this also purchased…’ Static content like menus, footers and headers can be placed in a template.

Databases are also useful for storing and retrieving client records. This means that you customize your pages for each of your customers. For instance, you could have a personalized greeting on your customers’ pages (e.g. Howdy John!). When a customer makes a fresh purchase, the database will enable them to access their personal information such as credit card number and address. This saves them the trouble of filling the form all over again.

Creating mailing lists is another way of using databases. Many sites send their visitors frequent emails to inform them about new products or update them on new developments in the industry. Databases can be used to store email addresses which will be used to send out newsletters and announcements. The database can also be used to archive past newsletters, thus allowing web users to browse through previous mailings.

Each database provided by your web host can be split into several tables. When you have a number of tables, you can use one single database for storing most of your web content. The number of databases required for your site will be determined by the number of applications you intend to run.

Having a database and actually accessing the data are two different things. Information can be retrieved from a database in several different ways. One of the most common ways is by combining PHP with MySQL. Information from a MySQL database can be retrieved using dynamic pages created using PHP. PHP, a very user-friendly programming language, can be used to create forms which are complex and interactive. Other options include MSSQL with ASP, MySQL with ASP, and PostgreSQL with PHP.
Charles often writes about internet marketing and blogging tips. Currently, he is writing for Web Hosting Secret Revealed, a fantastic blog that contains reviews such as Jerry's WP Engine Review.

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