Do I Need a Database for my Website?

In its simplest form, a database can be defined (as it is in Wikipedia) as ‘a collection of data for one or more uses.’  Envision an excel spreadsheet with named tabs, defined columns & cell formats, and you’re halfway to understanding what a database might look like (in terms of its content).

So why would you need (or want) a database for your website (or web application)?  While there are unlimited ways a database can be used, the list below should provide some insight into the most commons ways databases are used in conjunction with websites.

  1. To store information collected via forms on your website.  Examples:
    • Maintenance requests
    • Leads
    • Names & email addresses for newsletter opt-ins
    • Transaction information for e-commerce (billing info, order ID, order information, etc)
    • Comments or reviews
    • Survey answers
  2. To manage a catalog of products or services (think online store / e-commerce).
  3. To house data / information to be displayed dynamically on your website.
    • Blog Posts (Blog publishing applications require a database)
    • Comments
    • Calendar of Events
  4. To house content tied in with the Content Management System (CMS) for your website.
    • Text content
    • Videos
    • Photos
    • Links
  5. To protect areas of your website with login functionality (permission-based user management).
  6. To archive old content that you want to keep, but not necessarily display.

As stated before, while these examples show some of the most common ways databases are used with websites, there may also be other reasons specific to your website or application why you’d want to use a database.  Your web developer should be able to identify your needs and help you determine if you need a database or not.

Tags : , ,

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments are closed.