WordPress uses a database to store and manage all of its content and settings. This includes posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, custom fields, users, site settings, plugin settings, theme settings, and more.
Here’s a simplified explanation of how it works:
- MySQL Database: WordPress uses MySQL, an open-source relational database management system, to handle its data. A database is simply a structured set of data. In the case of WordPress, it uses a MySQL database to store the data that makes up your website.
- Database Tables: WordPress organizes its data into different tables within the database. For instance, the
wp_poststable contains data related to all of your posts, pages, and custom post types, the
wp_userstable contains data about your site’s users, the
wp_commentstable includes comments data, etc.
- Database Connection: For WordPress to interact with the database, it needs to establish a connection to the MySQL server. This is done using the details specified in the
wp-config.phpfile, which includes the database name, host, username, and password.
- CRUD Operations: WordPress uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on the database. For instance, when you create a new post, WordPress generates SQL to insert the post’s data into the
wp_poststable. When you update a post, it generates SQL to update the data in the table. When you view a post on the front end of your site, WordPress generates SQL to read the post’s data from the table.
- PHP Scripts: The PHP scripts that make up the WordPress core carry out these operations. PHP is the server-side language that WordPress is built on. These scripts include functions for generating and executing the necessary SQL and handling the returned data.
- Data Retrieval: When a user visits your WordPress website, the PHP scripts will query the database for the content of the page they’re trying to access. The queried data is then used to generate the HTML that’s sent to the user’s browser.
- Data Manipulation: Whenever you make changes in your WordPress dashboard (like publishing a new post, installing a plugin, or changing your site’s theme), WordPress updates the appropriate part of the database.
In summary, WordPress uses a MySQL database to store all of its content and settings. It uses PHP scripts to interact with this database, generating and executing SQL queries to perform operations on the data. The data in the database is then used to build the pages that are served to users when they visit your site.