WordPress Database: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Best Practices

What is a WordPress Database?

A WordPress database is a collection of data that is used to store and manage the content of a WordPress website. It is a MySQL database that stores all of the information related to posts, pages, comments, users, and other elements of the website.

How to Manage a WordPress Database

Managing a WordPress database is relatively easy. The most common way to manage a WordPress database is through phpMyAdmin, which is a web-based tool that allows you to access and manage your database. You can also use a plugin such as WP-DBManager to manage your database.

Best Practices for Managing a WordPress Database

1. Back up your database regularly.

2. Use a secure password for your database.

3. Use a secure connection when accessing your database.

4. Keep your database up to date.

5. Monitor your database for any suspicious activity.

6. Use a plugin such as WP-DBManager to manage your database.

7. Use a plugin such as WP-Optimize to optimize your database.

8. Use a plugin such as WP-DBManager to repair any corrupted tables.

A WordPress database stores all the data that makes up a WordPress website, including login credentials, pages, posts, themes, and plugins.

Basic knowledge of databases helps you understand how the platform works and troubleshoot errors more efficiently. It also enables you to perform tasks inaccessible through the WordPress dashboard, such as changing usernames.

In this article, we’ll explain what a WordPress database is and why it’s important. We’ll also show how you can access and manage it.

A WordPress database is a storage of your website data that uses the MySQL database management system. All WordPress databases have a default MySQL structure, which enables your website to function properly.

Why Does WordPress Need a Database

Despite its simple user interface, a WordPress website consists of a complex data set. All of it is organized in a database, which makes it possible for a website to function as it ensures that pages run smoothly and are fully optimized.

Here are three types of data stored in a database:

  • Account information – consists of user data, including username and password.
  • Content – refers to page-related data, such as posts, tags, categories, and comments.
  • Configuration settings – store information about a website’s settings, including site URL, cached data, and settings for plugins, themes, and widgets.

How a WordPress Database Works

When installing WordPress for the first time, you’ll also create a database to contain the core tables. It is usually stored on your web host server, often referred to as a database host.

A database management system (DBMS) is then used to control and manage it. This software splits complex data into smaller parts to organize them better.

DBMS works similarly to saving files and folders on a computer drive. Each folder contains specific file categories. This enables users to locate, modify, and delete any desired data easily.

An illustration of how DBMS works.

WordPress uses MySQL as its management system. MySQL uses the Structured Query Language to create, read, update, and delete data from a database.

While most MySQL queries run automatically, users can also perform them manually to change WordPress URLs and carry out other tasks.

What Is a WordPress Database Host?

A host is a server that stores a database. Usually, a website and its database are hosted on the same server. As a result, localhost is the typical hostname used to manage and connect a WordPress site to the database.

WordPress users can also connect their database to a remote server. In Hostinger, simply access Remote MySQL in hPanel. Note that a Hostinger hostname is required to enable the remote connection.

Remote MySQL section on hPanel

What Is a WordPress Database Table?

A database stores data in the form of tables. Each table consists of unique data displayed in columns and rows that contain more specific pieces of information or parameters.

By default, a WordPress database contains the following tables;

  1. wp_commentmeta – keeps the metadata of each comment posted on the website.
  2. wp_comments – stores data related to user comments, including the author name, URL, IP address, email, and comment content.
  3. wp_links – it was used for holding information from the Links feature. Since the feature has been deprecated, this table is often empty.
  4. wp_options – contains WordPress configuration settings, such as website URL, default category, and posts per page.
  5. wp_postmeta – keeps metadata of each post on the site, such as custom fields.
  6. wp_posts – stores data from articles, custom post types, pages, and navigation menu items.
  7. wp_termmeta – stores metadata of the terms.
  8. wp_terms – contains the WordPress terms for each post tag and category.
  9. wp_term_relationships – maintains the association between posts and terms in the wp_terms table.
  10. wp_term_taxonomy – describes the taxonomy for each category, link, and tag in the wp_terms table.
  11. wp_usermeta – keeps the metadata of each registered user on a WordPress site.
  12. wp_users – contains the list of users, including their usernames, passwords, and email accounts.

Each table stores specific data about your site. When you make website changes, the data on these tables can add and pile up. That’s why you should learn how to access and optimize your WordPress databases.

How to Access a WordPress Database

When setting up the platform manually, you’ll have to create a brand new WordPress database. To speed up the process, consider looking for a hosting provider with automatic installation.

Our WordPress hosting plans let you install WordPress in just a few clicks.

After the installation, access the database directly via your control panel, the hPanel:

  1. Go to Hosting -> Manage.
  2. Scroll down to the Databases section.
  3. Select MySQL Databases to view and create databases and users.
The list of current databases and users in hPanel
  1. Click Enter phpMyAdmin to access the database.

Alternatively, access phpMyAdmin using our unique direct link:

  1. Open Databases -> phpMyAdmin.
  2. Click on the link at the top of the screen.
phpMyAdmin direct link on hPanel
  1. Once the login screen appears, fill in your MySQL database username and password.

How to Manage a WordPress Database?

After you click on the direct link or the Enter phpMyAdmin button, this interface will appear:

The phpMyAdmin interface showing default WordPress tables

Here, you can access the default WordPress database tables and perform basic management tasks, such as:

  • Running a MySQL query.
  • Creating and deleting tables.
  • Searching and sorting data based on specified criteria.
  • Inserting, editing, and deleting records, rows, and columns.

Remember that a database contains essential settings for your WordPress website. Thus, be careful not to remove any data accidentally.

As a precaution, we recommend creating a database backup:

  1. Choose the database source on the left pane.
  2. Go to the Export tab.
  3. Pick an export method – Quick or Custom. The first option lets you quickly download the backup file, while the latter gives more options when exporting.
  4. Select the database format – SQL is the most common.
  5. Click Go.
Exporting a database table in phpMyAdmin

Your computer will then download and save the SQL files. To retrieve the database backup file, simply go to the Import tab, upload the correct file, and click Go.

How to Optimize a WordPress Database

Database tables can become fragmented over time, creating memory overheads that affect the MySQL query speed. Fortunately, phpMyAdmin enables you to optimize the database:

  1. Go to Hosting -> Manage.
  2. Access Databases -> phpMyAdmin -> Enter phpMyAdmin.
  3. Under the Structure section, click on Check all -> Optimize table.
Optimizing database tables in phpMyAdmin.

This process will clean up some memory and boost database performance.

Other Helpful Database Tricks in hPanel

Apart from managing and optimizing a site’s database, hPanel also enables you to perform other database-related tasks.

Change the Current WordPress Database Password

Your database password needs to be updated regularly to improve your WordPress security. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Hosting -> Manage -> MySQL Databases.
  2. Click on the three dots to the right of the database name and select Change Password.
  3. Type in your new password and click Update.
MySQL database on hPanel: change password option

Change Permissions

By default, MySQL users have complete control over modifying a database. If you want to create a custom database with limited permissions, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the three dots and choose Change Permissions.
User permissions of the WordPress database in hPanel
  1. Unselect any permissions you wish to remove.
  2. Click Update.
The list of MySQL user permissions.

Delete a Database

If, for some reason, you need to remove a database, click on the options button and choose Delete.

Delete WordPress database via hPanel

Remember to create database backups before deleting them, as this action is irreversible.


Databases are an essential part of WordPress sites. They store data and files and ensure your website works well.

In this guide, we’ve explained what a WordPress database is, how it works, and its main components. We’ve also shown you how to access and manage your databases via hPanel and phpMyAdmin.

If you have any questions, please share them in the comment section below.

What Is a WordPress Database?

A WordPress database is a collection of data that is used to store and manage the content of a WordPress website. It is the backbone of any WordPress website, and it is essential for the website to function properly. The database stores all the information related to the website, such as posts, pages, comments, users, and settings. Without a database, a WordPress website would not be able to function.

How to Manage a WordPress Database

Managing a WordPress database is not a difficult task, but it does require some technical knowledge. The first step is to create a database. This can be done using a web hosting control panel, such as cPanel or Plesk. Once the database is created, it needs to be configured to work with WordPress. This can be done by editing the wp-config.php file, which is located in the root directory of the WordPress installation.

Once the database is configured, it needs to be populated with data. This can be done by importing a database backup, or by manually entering the data. It is important to make sure that the data is entered correctly, as any errors can cause the website to malfunction. Once the data is entered, it needs to be managed. This can be done by using a database management tool, such as phpMyAdmin.

Best Practices for Managing a WordPress Database

When managing a WordPress database, it is important to follow best practices to ensure that the website runs smoothly. Here are some of the best practices for managing a WordPress database:

  • Backup the database regularly. This will ensure that any changes made to the database can be reverted if necessary.
  • Keep the database up to date. This will ensure that the website is running the latest version of WordPress.
  • Optimize the database regularly. This will help to improve the performance of the website.
  • Secure the database. This will help to protect the website from malicious attacks.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your WordPress website runs smoothly and securely.

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