What is a Web Database and What Types are There?

Daniel Wabuge
Daniel Wabuge

Updated · Oct 16, 2022


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Have you ever asked yourself, “what is a web database?”. If you’re looking for the answer to this question, you’re in the right place.

But before we dive into it, let’s rewind.

Back in the day, finding information was a challenging task. You had to access books, magazines, and newspapers. It took weeks to stay in the loop of current events. Nowadays, all you need is a single click.

The internet has increased our hunger for knowledge, and that makes us create a lot of data. On average, each person generates 1.7 megabytes per second. So it’s essential to organize all this information in a way that’s easy to find.

Enter the world of web-based databases.

These systems store records in an organized manner, using values such as time, file formats, fields, and groups to classify information. That way, you can quickly retrieve the data you need with a set of commands or keywords.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Without further ado, let’s look at these databases in more detail.

What Is a Web Database?

First things first – what is a database?

A database is a system that collects and stores data in electronic form. They go back to the 1970s, at the start of the information age. At that time, computer storage was a costly asset to most businesses. That’s why Edgar Codd coined an idea for handling records hassle-free by using a relational model.

The IBM engineer’s idea made it possible to use disk space more efficiently. His approach provided a straightforward way of managing data using cross-linked tables, simplifying storing and retrieving info from a central location.

However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that website databases came into existence. With this technology, organizations can manage large amounts of information effortlessly. It primarily covers websites and applications that are accessible from the internet.

A web-based database is just a system that stores information for online access. It usually keeps records in a way that’s easy to search and retrieve through a browser. An example is the search tool on TechJury. All you need to do is use various keywords to find the desired information.

Now, let’s see how it keeps data organized.

Data Organization

The organization of data in a web-based database is simple. Information is kept in tables that have different fields. Depending on the system, that can either be in relational or non-relational format.

The relational model is most common for records that share related fields. For example, a school’s set-up can have a wide range of student details with names, classes, and more. That way, the administrator can filter the info depending on their needs.

However, the non-relational option uses a random approach to organize information. It generates schema structures that are flexible and robust, which are useful for organizations that handle large amounts of records.

So, where is the data in a database stored?

Good question.

Once a system processes the records, it stores them in the root directory. It consists of a folder in a computer’s storage system.

Database software is also available to organize and correlate various sets of data. Most of it is usually in a natural processing language format, including text, numbers, and symbols. Altogether, it streamlines the process of sorting records for quick retrieval.

But where do they get the information?

While this varies depending on the needs of an organization, the majority rely on data analytics to gather info from multiple sources.

A good example is how Google works with search records from users. It additionally has a bot that crawls billions of informational websites on the web. From here, it ranks them depending on the most searched terms on the internet.

What about security?

Securing your website-based database is also of great importance, especially since hackers access billions of organizational records every year. Protecting your systems isn’t a matter that’s up for discussion; it’s a must.

Luckily, database management systems (DBMS) offer robust data encryption mechanisms. Top of that list is the use of complex algorithms for encrypting files. This approach makes information unreadable to unauthorized users. When you need access, it will decrypt the records to make them readable.

Passwords and private keys are great alternatives for securing your web database. These usually limit the people that can access the system. What’s more? It ensures hackers have a rough time trying to penetrate the website database.

A web application firewall (WAF) is another excellent option. It adds an extra layer of protection to your systems. The set-up works effectively in filtering bots, spam, and DDoS attacks. The best part – it’s available at an affordable cost from CDN providers.

What Is SQL

Before we dive in, let’s revisit the question “What is a database?”

It’s a system that helps organize data for quick access by storing records in tables with multiple fields. In doing so, you can use natural language to search and retrieve information.

And that’s where SQL comes into the picture.

The initials are the acronym for Structured Query Language. It provides a way of communicating with the database using simple commands, including “create,” “delete,” “update,” “insert,” and more.

What is a SQL Database?

In plain English, it’s a DBMS that uses the relational model to manage records. It’s part of Codd’s idea, which IBM developed in the 1970s. The company’s prototype included the IBM DB2. In 1979, Oracle Inc. advanced it further by releasing a commercial version.

At present, the technology powers approximately 40% of website databases. The figure is 10% higher than its closest rival, MongoDB. Other notable competitors include PostgreSQL, Redis, and Cassandra. Altogether, they trail their peers with figures of 17.4%, 8.4%, and 3.0%, respectively.

Such popularity is a result of being efficient and easy to use. Its top features include:

  • Fast processing of records
  • Extremely portable
  • Use of natural language
  • Multiple viewing of the database structure

Above all, it requires zero coding skills to use on the front-end. That’s why most content management systems (CMS) depend on it to power websites. For example, the WordPress database uses this DBMS to process data. Others that run on this system include Drupal, Joomla, and Magento.

Database Types

Other than the SQL database, there are six different types of database systems. Here’s a summary of them:

  • Distributed database: This system depends on multiple data warehouses for the storage and processing of records. It uses database replication to ensure uniformity of information across the different physical sites.
  • Cloud database: These are more modern databases that run in a virtual environment. They have a high computing power for processing unlimited records. Best of all – it offers instant upscaling of resources whenever the need arises.
  • NoSQL database: NoSQL is the exact opposite of SQL set-ups. They are perfect for handling large sets of unstructured data. As such, they run on the cloud across multiple servers for better efficiency.
  • Hierarchical database: Hierarchical DBMS stores information in a tree-like structure. With this method, data is kept in categories that expand to various subcategories. The approach supports the rational model for interlinking records.
  • Centralized database: This web-based database stores data in a central location. The configuration allows easy access of information by multiple users remotely. Furthermore, it’s easier to configure and manage.
  • Network database: Network databases are systems for managing enterprise operations. They are ideal for organizations that handle multiple relational datasets. These can include customers, transactions, staff, marketing, and so on.

It’s now time to wind up.

Wrap Up

Website databases are essential tools for organizing data. They provide a structured approach for storing and retrieving records. Apart from that, it requires zero coding knowledge to manage the systems. The robust database management software makes the tasks of creating, modifying, and deleting info intuitive.

The SQL web database is the most popular of all types. It’s fast, reliable, and highly flexible. What’s more? It uses natural language to process and handle information. For example, you can use commands such as “create,” “delete,” and “update.”

But that’s not all.

The majority of CMS platforms use SQL databases to manage records, including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. With such a broad support base, finding tips for creating applications is easy. You can find them from Microsoft forums, SQL Team, Database Journal, and more.

Well, that’s about it.

Now, if someone asks you, “What is a web database?” you’ll have the correct response.


Why do we need a database?

A database is an essential system for managing data efficiently. It allows you to store records in a manner that’s easy to process and retrieve.  But what is a database good for? By using it, you’ll be able to sort information fast for quick access. Web-based databases that handle info in bulk provide a cost-effective way of running complex applications with speed. Some examples include product management, email marketing, web page publishing, and more.

What are examples of what a database is?

The common database examples include the following:
  • SQL database
  • NoSQL database
  • MongoDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis
These consist of programs for managing large amounts of data effortlessly. They store information by classifying it under various tables and fields. In doing so, it speeds up the process of creating, modifying, accessing, and deleting the records. Now that you know what a database is and its types, let's move on to the next question.

What are the disadvantages of databases?

Some cons of using databases include:
  • It requires costly hardware to run
  • Needs frequent software upgrades
  • Any errors can paralyze operations
  • Complex to design and deploy
  • Attracts attention from hackers


Daniel Wabuge

Daniel Wabuge

Daniel is a curious thinker that loves everything about tech. If he spots something interesting, rest assured that he’ll reverse-engineer it. Apart from being an internet addict, he loves building web servers from scratch. Well, it’s not his profession per se. But it’s a passion he picked up after a series of unfortunate events involving terrible hosts. He’s the “hosting guy”.

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