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What is phpMyAdmin Hosting?

PHPmyAdmin is a tool for managing and administering MySQL databases. It can be used to manage an entire MySQL server with multiple databases, and individual users can be set up that have access only to individual databases.

Why use PHPmyAdmin

Database administration is a complex job, and not all sysadmins or application developers may be comfortable with accessing and managing MySQL databases from a command line, especially in a remote web environment.

Even advanced database administrators don't always want to type out the long and error-prone SQL commands used in terminal-based database access.

PHPmyAdmin provides a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for running a MySQL server. This makes it easy to do common tasks like creating new databases, deleting databases, dropping or adding tables, and querying data.

In addition to making typical database tasks easier, PHPmyAdmin provides advanced management functionality such as exporting visual representations of data models and database syncing.

PHPmyAdmin Key Features

Intuitive web interface

PHPmyAdmin's web-based GUI is easy to learn and use, providing access to common database management tasks. The interface also makes it easy to view and monitor key database statistics, such as traffic volume and query speed.

Support for all commonly used MySQL functions

  • Create, browse, copy, drop, rename, and alter databases, tables, views, fields, and indexes
  • Execute, edit, and bookmark SQL statements and batch-queries
  • Manage MySQL users and user rights

Import / Export Data and Data Models

With PHPmyAdmin, you can import data into a database from a CSV file, which is especially helpful if you are converting a spreadsheet-based data management system into a real database application.

You can also use PHPmyAdmin to import data directly via SQL queries, which makes converting from another database system to MySQL a very simple process.

PHPmyAdmin also supports robust data export into a wide variety of formats and file types, including CSV, SQL, XML, PDF, OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet, MS Word, and LaTeX (among others).

There are also utilities for transforming stored data into other formats. For example, you can display BLOB data as an image.

Besides stored data, you can also create graphical representations of your data structure in several standard formats.

Administer multiple databases and database servers

PHPmyAdmin gives a user the ability to manage several databases, or even several database servers, from a single control panel.

Besides making administration of multiple projects or applications more efficient, this multi-db and multi-server ability makes development work-flow easier. PHPmyAdmin provides tools for cloning and syncing databases with each other, which allows you to easily setup Development, Test, and Production environments and manage them all from a single location.

PHPmyAdmin is well documented

One of the more impressive "features" of PHPmyAdmin is its incredibly complete documentation.

The first layer of documentation is a very well organized set of application docs maintained by the project development team. These files cover all the basic issues such as installation and typical use cases.

There is also a fairly large PHPmyAdmin wiki, where the user community and developers have come together to provide hundreds of pages of information covering almost every situation, bug, or possible confusion.

Finally, a number of books have been written about PHPmyAdmin, including several specifically authorized and endorsed by the project development team.

If all that isn't enough, the user community for PHPmyAdmin is quite large, so there is almost always someone to ask if you ever run into trouble.

Reasons not use PHPmyAdmin

Using PHPmyAdmin for managing and monitoring MySQL databases from a web based GUI does not hinder accessing the database or server via another manner, such as the command line or shell scripts. So, from a technical standpoint, there is no downside to using PHPmyAdmin.

One potential problem with PHPmyAdmin is the ease of accessing and editing data directly, rather than through an application built with the database. This is a powerful ability and can be abused, causing serious problems like data loss, corruption, and de-normalization. Even though PHPmyAdmin is easy to use by non-experts, it is important for any mission-critical database application to be managed by a professional database admin who understands the potential for disaster.

Beyond that, the only other caveat is that PHPmyAdmin works only with the MySQL database. MySQL is very popular, robust, and free, so this usually isn't a problem. However, if you need to use PostgreSQL, SQLite, or another database, PHPmyAdmin is not the tool for you.

Hosting for PHPmyAdmin

Many hosting companies provide access to PHPmyAdmin already, and it is supported by a number of popular control panels including Plesk, cPanel, and InterWorx.

If you need PHPmyAdmin, be sure to select a hosting provider that supports it.

phpMyAdmin Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is phpMyAdmin used for?

    PhpMyAdmin is used to administrate and manage MySQL databases. It can be used to create, delete, or modify databases. The tool can also be used to manage tables, fields and rows, administrate users and permissions, or execute SQL statements. Other useful features are available as well, including search, export, import and more.

  • So it only works with MySQL? What if I need to manage PostgreSQL databases?

    In case you need to manage other types of databases, such as PostgreSQL, you will need alternative tools. In the case of PostgreSQL, you could use phpPgAdmin, which is inspired by phpMyAdmin. However, phpMyAdmin is designed solely for MySQL, but it also supports MySQL-compatible databases such as MariaDB 5.5 or later and Drizzle databases.

  • Does phpMyAdmin have any special requirements? Can it run on my server?

    Since it’s based on PHP, you should have no trouble running phpMyAdmin on just about any server. However, there are some things to keep in mind. You will need PHP 5.3.x or newer with session support and the Standard PHP Library (SPL) extension. The user interface is based in your browser and every server with the necessary PHP components should have no trouble dealing with phpMyAdmin, regardless of platform (Apache, IIS, nginx etc.).

  • How do I install phpMyAdmin? Will it run on my Linux distro?

    You can install phpMyAdmin on Linux and Windows. In fact, it is already included in many Linux distributions and this is the easiest way of enabling phpMyAdmin. Debian, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Mandriva, and Fedora ship with phpMyAdmin. However, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS do not.

  • I've heard phpMyAdmin can be a pain to configure. Is this true?

    It all depends on your skill set. Luckily, plenty of phpMyAdmin documentation is available online, so you should have no trouble finding detailed instructions for each step. Once you get a hang of it, you'll be surprised how easy it can be. Of course, inexperienced users might need some advice, in spite of comprehensive online documentation.

  • I am working in a Windows environment and I'm worried about IIS compatibility. Anything to watch out for?

    A number of bugs have been reported by phpMyAdmin users on IIS, but in most cases they are the result of poor installations rather than any inherent technical issues. The PHP ISAPI filter can also cause problems and users are advised to use cookie authentication instead.

  • I have loads of ancient MySQL databases on my server. Which MySQL versions are supported by phpMyAdmin?

    You should have no trouble dealing with most of them, but bear in mind that the latest phpMyAdmin releases are designed to support only MySQL 5.0.1 and newer databases. For legacy support you will use an older version of phpMyAdmin, i.e. phpMyAdmin 2.x. You can get all the necessary information in the official phpMyAdmin documentation.

  • Since it’s included in Linux distros, I'm guessing phpMyAdmin is free. Do I need to worry about any unexpected expenses?

    There is nothing to worry about – phpMyAdmin is free and this is unlikely to change. The software is published under the GNU General Public License 2.

  • Our team is international, so how many languages is phpMyAdmin available in?

    PhpMyAdmin is translated into more than 70 languages, so you should have no problems as far as localization goes.

  • What about importing and exporting data via phpMyAdmin?

    PhpMyAdmin allows data imports from standard CSV and SQL files. Data can be exported to CSV, SQL, XML, PDF, ISO/IEC 26300 - OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet, Word, LATEX and other formats.

  • Which MySQL features are supported by phpMyAdmin?

    Most, but not all MySQL features are supported by phpMyAdmin. The tool allows you to browse and drop databases, tables, views, fields and indexes; create, copy, drop, rename and alter databases, tables, fields and indexes; execute, edit and bookmark any SQL-statement, including batch-queries; manage MySQL users and privileges, and manage stored procedures and triggers.

  • How does phpMyAdmin compare to MySQL Workbench?

    First of all phpMyAdmin is installed on most managed hosting environments, so you don’t have to deal with it. It is web based and works on any platform, and it does not use local resources. However, it doesn't handle remote offline databases as well as MySQL Workbench. In addition, MySQL Workbench also offers a visualized database structure and can handle multiple connections in one location. However, it’s more resource intensive than phpMyAdmin and might be too complex for novice users.

  • What if need some expert advice, or support?

    The good news is that phpMyAdmin comes well documented, so you should be able to find a solution to practically any problem online. The downside is that there is no commercial support, since we are talking about free software. However, thanks to its widespread use and comprehensive documentation, this is really not an issue.

  • I am a bit concerned about security since I will be accessing some sensitive databases. Should I be worried?

    When you are using any tool to access a remote database, there is some potential for abuse. Data can be lost, corrupted, and potentially, even stolen. When dealing with truly valuable information, you should always consult an expert, just in case you are not absolutely sure of what you are doing.

  • What are the chances of getting phpMyAdmin on a shared hosting account?

    Pretty good. Since phpMyAdmin is free, well documented and very popular, a lot of hosting companies will provide you with access to phpMyAdmin “out of the box”. It is also supported by cPanel and Plesk, the most popular control panels in the industry.

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