Every WordPress website consists of two parts : the core files and a MySQL database. Of the two, the database is the much more important component.

For WordPress, this file keeps track of a slew of information. Everything from user data to the comment section is available in the WordPress database.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to manage your database using the phpMyAdmin tool in Cpanel. This can help you keep the information clean, optimized and secure.

What is phpMyAdmin?

phpMyAdmin  is an adminstration tool for said databases, and one of the most popular out there. A lot of hosting providers use it  to enable their customers to organize their databases. It also ships with popular development platforms such as WampServerXAMPP, and MAMP.

As you can guess from the name, PHP is the language of PhpMyAdmin. And therefore PhpMyAdmin usable with a normal web browser, can be accessed from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Connecting to Your WordPress Database

As cPanel is a versatile tool and widely used, we’re going to show you how to access the database using this platform. There are many advantages to using cPanel, and phpMyAdmin is one of them.

To access phpMyAdmin:

  • STEP 1: Log into your Cpanel dashboard.
  • STEP 2: Scroll down to phpMyAdmin and click the icon.  In cPanel, it is usually  located in databases section. However, your hosting control panel might look different.phpMyAdmin
  • Step 3: Select your WordPress database. After that, you will be able to see WordPress tables.

At the install, a number  of standard tables will be created in your WordPress database – 11 to be exact. Over time, plugins will add to this number with their own tables, however, the core tables for every fresh WordPress install are these :

  • wp_commentmeta – for the meta data of comments on your site
  • wp_comments – store all comments here
  • wp_links – deprecated but holding information entered in WordPress’s Link featured
  • wp_options – everything input under Administration > Settings is stored in this table
  • wp_postmeta – the meta data of your posts
  • wp_posts – data for posts, pages and navigation items goes here
  • wp_terms – mainly holds information for taxonomies such as categories and tags
  • wp_term_relationship – this saves the relationships with posts and taxonomies
  • wp_term_taxonomy – describes taxonomies with the wp_terms table
  • wp_usermeta – unsurprisingly, the user meta data
  • wp_users – all users go here

These are only some of the tables that may be available in your database. This list can become quite long with every plugin you add. Each plugin can have a collection of tables for settings, functions and data.

Most of the time, these tables are easy to identify as they will often be labeled by the name of the actual plugin.

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