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Why most modern websites now need a database. Storing information is vital to most businesses.

Web Design has come a long way since the mid 1990's, where most websites were just static pages giving a bit of information with no user interactivity.

We expect a lot more from websites now, with dynamic interactivity and ever changing interfaces.· This is mainly due tio the use of databases. So if you want a website that is more than just a few pages, and actually does something, you'll probably need a database.

A website is made up of· text, fields and images and design elements. The web page that you see is just a front end view· of data that has been selected for you the viewer to see. This data is held in databases on the hosts servers that sit 'behind' the website. If you've registered on a website, then you've input information onto a database.

The data is accessed and input into the database by 'Queries' that are written within the web page code, and are executed when you click a button, or select a function to display data in a certain way. As the data is only on the website for the required purpose of the viewer, this is what makes the website 'dynamic' .

A great advantage of databases is that you can hold a lot of information in them that only needs to be accessed at the viewers request, instead of having to sit statically on various web pages that would require a lot of disk-space , and a lot of searching through for the website user.

The most common form of database used today is· MYSQL, which is free software. Used usually in conjunction with PHP on the web page, you can pretty much do anything with your data on your web page.

Do I need a MYSQL database ?

Even if you don't have database experience you can still have one using free open-source· Content Management Systems such as Joomla or word press. These do all the difficult database coding for you and provide an easy to use admin interface.·· Even if you don't want to gather much information on your website, it would still be a good idea to have a database.· You never know what you will want to do with your website in the future. Having a database driven website· will leave with open options. If you· start with a 'static' HTML website, It will be hard and more expensive to then later upgrade to a database driven website.

One of the biggets advantages of having a databse website is taht you can have a good quality 'Content Management System' (know as a CMS), which allows you to easily, manage, edit, and add to your website.

Any decent web design company nowadays should offer· a database as standard with all of their web packages. If they not, don't even go near them.

If you have only a static website, about the only decent interactivity you'd have would be a contact form.

With a database you can have :

Any type of input form

Register your users

Ecommerce

Interactive blog

Forums

Social media

A Content Management System

And a whole lot more. It's really not worth considering having a website without a database.

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