MySQL Optimization

Oct 28th, 2011

When it comes to utilizing a database to support your website, it is helpful to understand how your database works with your website, and how to make every database on your website hosting account more efficient. A database is a large collection of data, similar to a warehouse full of goods. How well you organize those goods in the warehouse determines how quickly you can find an individual item when you need it.

Consider your database an auto parts warehouse. If someone came into the warehouse and told you they needed a spark plug, how easy would it be for you to find that spark plug if you had no organization in your warehouse? You would have to walk up and down each aisle looking in each box to see if that box contained spark plugs. This could take forever!

A MySQL database puts your data into tables that are easy to navigate. This would equate to putting your auto parts into specific aisles in your warehouse. Now, you would know which aisle your spark plugs were in, so you would only have to look into each box in one aisle until you found those spark plugs. This is much better than having to go through the entire warehouse, but still could take some time since there may be thousands of items in one table that you still have to sift through to find specific data.

Optimizing your MySQL database is the best, most efficient way to improve the performance of your website. Instead of just connecting your website to a database, and letting your queries wander around your database aimlessly looking for specific data, you can create indexes that guide your queries directly to the proper location of the requested data. Now you can walk directly through that auto parts warehouse to the aisle with the spark plugs, and know exactly where on that aisle the box of spark plugs is.

Indexes are created on a per column basis. If you have a table with the columns: name, address, telephoneNumber, and birthdate and want to create an index to speed up how long it takes to find birthdate values in your queries, then you would need to create an index for birthdate. When you create this index, MySQL will build a lookup index where birthdate specific queries can be run quickly.

It is not necessary to create an index for every column, but any column which is queried frequently could benefit from an index. Creating indexes for your tables is crucial for your database, it allows it to perform faster and more efficiently than it would normally.

If you use well written queries with efficiently indexed tables, you will find that your websites load incredibly fast compared to poorly written queries with no indexes. When you get started working on your website, take the time to analyze each table you create before you launch, just to make sure it is optimized and ready for action.

You may not realize that certain columns are going to be utilized quite as much as you expected, so it is also important that you revisit your databases on a regular basis to determine which tables and columns are working efficiently, and which ones have slowed you down. In our next blog entry, we will discuss MySQL database maintenance in greater depth.


Introduction to MySQL

Oct 14th, 2011

MySQL is the most popular Open Source SQL database management system, which is why it is used on our website hosting servers. MySQL is developed, distributed, and supported by Oracle Corporation.

MySQL is a database management system. A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access, and process the data stored in a database, you need a database management system such as MySQL.

MySQL is a relational database management system. A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The SQL part of “MySQL” stands for “Structured Query Language.” SQL is the most common standardized language used to access databases.

Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management systems play a central role in many script based websites. Most of the free scripts we include in the Install Popular Scripts tool rely on MySQL, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and many more.

MySQL is the most popular choice of databases for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP web application software stack. LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python”. MySQL is used in some of the most frequently visited web sites on the internet, including Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, and Facebook.

Since MySQL is a relational database management system, it does not provide a built in GUI tool to administer MySQL databases or manage data contained within those databases. You can use command-line tools if you are an expert in the field, but we provide a web based tool to manage your MySQL databases in the Account Manager. PhpMyAdmin is a PHP based interface that allows Linux hosting customers to manage their databases through a web based interface.

Understanding MySQL and how it allows you to develop fast, efficient websites using scripts is very important to a successful website application. We will dive deeper into MySQL in the coming weeks to examine proper optimization of MySQL databases and tables, as well as how to perform timely maintenance on your MySQL databases to keep everything running smoothly.


Inspiration Outside The Box

Oct 07th, 2011

With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, we look back on the revolution started, encouraged, and flamed by the passion of the great entrepreneur. Just a few months ago, we talked about how important Steve Jobs was to the growth of technology and how inspirational he was to so many people. Now, with his passing, his inspiration has exploded and people are clamoring to learn more about the real Steve Jobs and how he succeeded.

A video of Steve Jobs performing the commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 has quickly become one of the hottest videos on the internet. Everyone who has a website related to anything remotely close to technology, entrepreneurship, inspiration, or computers has been referencing this video. If you have a website hosting account, you could probably see increased traffic if you were sharing this video right now, simply because it is so popular.

Some of Steve Jobs' catch phrases are being posted all over the internet. His inspiration is sparking quite a storm from people who honestly had no idea who he was just a few days ago. The simple statement “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” has become a mantra of young up and comers who look to expand outside the box.

As you begin each day, each project, each new job, each new relationship, it is important that you stay hungry and stay foolish. Think outside the box, instead of just going with the flow. Make sure that you are truly happy with your performance, and not just doing what you are told without any emotions. Being hungry means always searching for more, reaching for higher standards, striving for more difficult goals.

Staying foolish does not mean just goofing off all the time. Stay foolish in that inspirational connotation so that you never accept the status quo. I am sure many people thought Steve Jobs was foolish to try competing with IBM and the PC. But he threw caution to the wind, and foolishly developed a winning product.

As Steve Jobs moved forward with his plethora of innovations, he allowed his foolishness to expand and explore the realm of impossible. What was once outside the box, quickly became the normal standard. Ipods, Iphones, Ipads all are considered the most popular brands in their fields now.

Perhaps you can think outside the box with your website project, and develop something that people find foolish at first, but quickly discover they can't live without!


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