The databases required by a website is one of the determining factors in the choice of hosting.
The appearance of dynamic sites, made it necessary that much of the information began to be stored in databases. The databases are a set of information related to each other and that is organized according to a structure.
What is a database?
Initially a database of a set of information divided and organized in rows and columns was considered a database, as a sort of Excel table. Then the relational databases appeared, which simply consists in establishing relations between several tables, in order to avoid duplication of information and to be able to organize a greater quantity of information in several ways. In addition to these two, there are other types of databases, but they are not the subject of this article because they are not related to their use on the web.
To the extent that websites gain in complexity, they usually require a greater number of databases, to match different applications that require them. In addition, with the growth of the number of users of a site, an additional problem appears, and perhaps the most relevant, which is the number of queries that are made to said databases, which implies an important consumption of the resources of the site. system (ram memory, CPU usage, etc. keep in mind that a web server is like a normal computer, but with some special resources to serve large amounts of information and a gigantic internet connection).
Application of databases on websites
If we could have the ability to imagine how much information is stored in some websites, we would be amazed. Is there a limit on the information capacity that a website can have? Actually this storage capacity is limited by the size of the databases, which is defined by the hosting service.
Web page hosting services have two limitations in this regard. One is the number of databases that can be created, and another is the size that these databases can reach.
There is a very diverse offer with regard to databases. Within the offers for small sites, there are even without databases or with a single database. This is a very important limitation to take into account depending on the project we want to develop. As a general rule, today having the use of databases in a hosting service seems almost essential for most websites. For example, if we want to set up a blog and the hosting service we have selected does not count in the plan contracted with databases, it will not help us at all. If we want to create a website that contains a WordPress blog and a forum, surely we need two databases.
The databases are used for electronic commerce, customer service, financial services, storage and search of information, creation of customized HTML documents, distribution and organization of multimedia elements, and a long list of etceteras.
The servers and the security of your web
It must also be borne in mind that the use of databases to manage a website influences the security of websites. The use that is given to the databases can influence the vulnerability of our server to attacks and accesses not allowed to the data stored in it.
Among many other things, in order to make our web server more secure, certain programs with firewalls and antivirus programs are configured and access to data is restricted through the creation of permissions. These permits allow access to the data according to a series of privileges, which means that most of the users can not access the so-called secure zones, which generally contain sensitive information.
A database allows you to create a restricted part of the website with a password. This can be useful if you want to create information sheets for customers for whom you do not have free access.
Languages to work with databases
The languages to create dynamic sites and establish the necessary links with the databases are many. However, currently two are mostly used, although for some particular applications other languages may be used.
- php language
- asp language
These two languages are ASP and PHP. With Active Service Pages (ASP) you can create an active site that changes every week, every day or every hour if desired. If you have a virtual store and you have a database of products, if your prices have changed just enter the new databases on the server, and all your pages will be updated immediately.
The other language used to perform similar functions is PHP ( Preprocessed Hypertext Pages ). The differences between these two languages go beyond those described, but it is not the object of this article. It is enough to know that both languages can be used for the creation of dynamic sites because both can work with databases.
Of both, without a doubt, the most widespread is PHP, with which the main applications and content managers have been developed, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, to name just a few of the best known.
Most used databases
There are several databases used for the web. The one used by the Linux servers, the MySQL, while the Windows servers can use SQL Server, IIS or Acces. From the functional point of view, they have differences, but they begin to be noticed to the extent that their use reaches certain limits, to which the normal sites and even many of the large ones do not arrive
- sql server
- windows server
Undoubtedly, given the widespread use of Linux servers, the most popular is MySQL, which provides excellent features and is free to use, although for sites that require very large features it may not be the most convenient option.
Database limitations of servers
Of the biggest limitations that the servers offer for web development is the use of databases. Just take a tour of the different services to see that the number of databases is one of the most important differential factors between different hosting plans.
This limitation is related to the requirements that are usually subjected to the hardware with the use of databases. If we take into account the basic hosting plans of several hosting companies, we will see that many do not include databases in these services, and that others offer only one.
But in addition to limiting the number of databases that can be used, web hosting services can also limit the maximum size of the databases they offer. Generally they also offer some upgrade, thanks to which, through a payment, we can increase the amount of databases or the storage capacity of them, but this factor must be taken into account from the very beginning in the budget we use to choose accommodation. web.
Servers for databases
Many times large sites often exceed the working capabilities of the contracted server, so large sites usually derive part of the functions to other servers or hire dedicated servers. For example, specialized servers can be used to host multimedia files, servers for downloads, servers for all types of files, and servers for databases.
The main problem of the databases is not the storage capacity, but the number of queries (inputs and outputs of information) are made, which can imply an important use of hardware resources.
For this reason, for those more demanding services it may be necessary to contract larger web hosting plans, even from the shared shared hosting to the use of dedicated hosting services where having an exclusive server for your web page. Keep in mind that databases that receive many queries usually require high-performance hardware, so as not to slow down or even hang up.
Planning whether it is necessary to have a dedicated server or not, how many servers should be used, etc., is a very complex task and it is generally impossible to predict, since to a large extent it will depend on the behavior of the users and their quantity.