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A Guide to Databases: What They Are, How They Work and Why They’re Important for Your Website

Contributor: Ellyse Dwyer

Date: 6 December 2021

A Guide to Databases: What They Are, How They Work and Why They’re Important for Your Website

The internet is a big place with billions and billions of web pages and databases. As the only public forum on the web, it’s important that we all understand how to use and create databases.

Database management systems help you organize and analyze huge amounts of data. They’re what powers search engines, email services, social media platforms, and so much more. If you want to be an informed web user today, you need to know how to use them as well! Read on for some quick facts on databases and why they matter.

Why are they important to your website?

Databases are how you organize and manage data. The power many of the internet’s most popular services, from Google to Facebook to But databases aren’t just important on the web: They can even help you at home.

Let’s say you want to track the history of customer entries i.e.: Products, orders, and countries, but don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands. You could use a database to do it for you! Database software is powerful enough to handle all sorts of projects.

If you want more information about databases, keep reading! We’ll cover what they are, how they work, and some best practices for using them below.

Table Example

Database Table

What are databases?

A database is a collection of data organized in an accessible way. They can be either structured or unstructured, but the goal of database management systems is to make the data easier to find and analyze.

This means that databases are organized information (ordered by categories, like articles or books) that can be searched for specific details. For example, if you want to find out how many people were born in your state this year, you could search for it on a database.

Databases can also be used to track information over time. They’re what powers many popular websites, like Instagram or Google Maps – they record where you go and what you do so it’s easy for them to show relevant ads to you when you log in again.

How do they work?

Database management systems were invented in the 1970s to help with computer storage and retrieval. They’re a lot like a filing cabinet: they store information in a very organized way, with a specific table of contents.

Databases are also different from web servers, which store lots of content on the internet. Web servers make it possible for us to visit websites and use software without downloading all the data. Databases limit themselves to storing information from one area of the web, usually in an online form with a name and keyword indexing system. These databases can also be accessed by other programs through an API (Application Programming Interface). This is where programming languages such as SQL and PHP, previously mentioned in my other posts are used to communicate with the website pages to the database.


Database management systems are an essential tool for web users today. Not only do they power many of the most popular sites based on how much data is being stored, but they also make it possible for us to access and store information in a way that’s easily accessed.

If you want your business to succeed in the 21st century, you need a good database system in place. You won’t find success with a digital marketing strategy without them!


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