MariaDB vs. MySQL – Which Database is Best for WordPress in 2022?

When it comes to choosing a database for your WordPress site, there are two main options: MariaDB or MySQL. But which one is best for WordPress?

In this blog post, we’re going to pit MariaDB against MySQL and see which one comes out on top. We’ll cover everything from the pros and cons of each database to how to choose the right one for your WordPress site.

So whether you’re wondering which database is better for your current WordPress setup or you’re looking to upgrade to a new database, read on!

About MariaDB

MariaDB is an enhanced drop-in replacement for MySQL. First released in 2009, it is based on MySQL 5.1.38 and is a fork meant to ensure that the MySQL code base would be free forever.

MariaDB is built on the same foundation as MySQL, providing a robust, reliable, and scalable database server. It offers enhanced features and performance over MySQL while maintaining full compatibility with MySQL.

This makes it an ideal choice for organizations that want the benefits of open-source software without the risk of database migration.

MariaDB also provides a number of features that MySQL does not, such as:

  • Support for pluggable storage engines
  • A more robust and extensible SQL parser
  • Improved security
  • Enhanced performance
  • Support for virtual columns

Pros of MariaDB

  1. Popular Choice: MariaDB is a popular choice for web servers. It has a variety of features that make it a good choice for web applications, including support for multiple languages, performance enhancements, and a robust storage engine.
  2. Better Data Handling: MariaDB is a good choice for applications that need to store large amounts of data. Its scalability and long history make it a good choice for mission-critical applications.
  3. More Availability: MariaDB is a good choice for applications that need to be highly available. Its clustering and replication features make it a good choice for applications that need to be resilient to unexpected outages.
  4. Better Documentation: MariaDB is a good choice for applications that need to be easy to manage. Its well-organized source code and comprehensive documentation make it a good choice for developers who want to create and maintain applications.
  5. Cross-Platform: MariaDB is a good choice for applications that need to be accessible from multiple platforms. Its cross-platform compatibility and easy-to-use architecture make it a good choice for developers who want to create applications that can be used on multiple platforms.
  6. Scalable: Finally, MariaDB is a good choice for applications that need to be agile. Its scalability and long history make it a good choice for applications that need to be able to grow and change over time.

Cons of MariaDB

  1. Underrated: First, MariaDB is not as well-known as some of the other popular databases like MySQL.

About MySQL

MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that was created in 1995 by Michael Monty Widenius and David Axmark.

It was an early adopter of dual licensing and used the GNU General Public License for its free version. MySQL played a major role in building the internet as we know it today.

Its popularity is evidenced by the fact that it is still being used by many software vendors today. MySQL is an archetypal brand that has played a pivotal role in building many other successful software products.

Pros of MySQL

  1. Easy to Use: MySQL is easy to use. This means that you can start using it right away without having to learn a lot of complex details.
  2. Versatile: MySQL is very versatile. This means that it can be used to store a wide variety of data, from small details about a single user to large data sets that contain information about entire companies.
  3. Reliable: MySQL is reliable. This means that it is unlikely to experience any major problems, no matter how large or complex the data set is.
  4. Globally Accepted: MySQL is widely accepted. This means that it is likely to be supported by most major web browsers and applications.

Cons of MySQL

  1. Poor History: One of the biggest disadvantages of MySQL is Oracle. This is because Oracle has a history of not being very responsive to security issues.
  2. Lacks Speed: MySQL also has a lot of legacy code, which can make it slower.

WordPress powers around 60% of the CMS systems or 34% of the entire web. It was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as a fork of another project. MySQL quickly became synonymous with the concept of open-source software, and so did its underlying server stack. Thanks to WordPress’ GPL license, that ensured compatibility between developers and users.

MariaDB vs. MySQL

When it comes to choosing a database for WordPress, there are many factors to consider. Both databases offer a variety of features and benefits, so it’s important to decide which one is right for your needs. Below is a table showing all the key differences:

MariaDBMySQL
Faster performanceComparatively slower performance
Open-sourceTechnically open source, but largely managed by Oracle
Much larger connection poolMuch smaller connection pool
12 storage enginesMuch fewer storage engines
Suitable for large-sized dataDoes not work as well for large-sized data
Supports data maskingDoes not support data masking
Supports dynamic columnsDoes not support dynamic columns
Owned and developed by MariaDB FoundationOwned by Oracle Corporation
Distributed under General Public License (GPL)GNU General Public License
with multiple proprietary
agreements depending on
the version
Relatively easy to scale upHard to scale
Supports over 200,000+ connectionsCannot serve as many connections

Compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, MariaDB is fully compatible with all versions of WordPress. MySQL is also compatible with WordPress, but there are some minor differences.

For example, MariaDB supports the newer MyISAM storage engine, which is not compatible with WordPress. However, you can still use MySQL with WordPress by using the older InnoDB engine.

Additionally, MariaDB offers better support for the latest features in WordPress, such as the new block editor. MySQL doesn’t have official support for the block editor yet, but there are some community-built plugins that add this compatibility.

If you want a database that requires minimal maintenance, then MySQL is your best bet. On the other hand, if you only need a database for a short while or don’t care about compatibility issues, then MariaDB may be ideal.

MariaDB is fully-compatible with MySQL, meaning that applications currently running on MySQL can easily switch over without any modifications or updates. This makes the transition much smoother and less time-consuming for businesses.

Performance

When it comes to performance, both databases offer features that can help improve scalability and performance.

For example, MariaDB offers an intelligent MaxScale proxy, which can help boost server scalability.

Additionally, Spider and Xpand smart engines in MariaDB generally surpass MySQL in terms of speed and performance.

In general, when it comes to database management systems (DMSs), MySQL is more popular than MariaDB.

However, if you’re looking for a database that offers better performance or compatibility with WordPress features, then MariaDB may be the better choice for you!

Virtual Columns

Virtual columns are a great addition to the MariaDB database that makes data management and storage easier for WordPress blog owners.

These columns can perform calculations at the database level, which speeds up data entry time immensely.

Additionally, virtual columns aren’t available in MySQL, making MariaDB the best option for those managing WordPress blogs.

Parallel Execution of Queries

When it comes to query performance, MariaDB hands down beats MySQL.

This is because of its parallel execution feature, which allows for several queries to be executed in parallel.

This certainly gives the database server an edge over MySQL when it comes to speed and scalability.

Thread Pooling

Thread Pooling is a new feature in MariaDB that allows the database to handle more connections at the same time.

This makes it ideal for high-traffic websites where performance is key. With this, there are pools of open threads that a new connection can pick up and query the database.

This way, a new thread need not be opened for every new connection request leading to faster query results. This feature is available in the enterprise edition of MySQL but not in the community edition.

Storage Engines

Depending on your need or requirement, MariaDB might provide an engine better suited for your storage needs than MySQL.

For instance, XtraDB is a fast and powerful storage engine that’s not available in MySQL by default. To set it up for MySQL, you will have to install it manually, a process that may not be the most convenient.

Apart from engines like XtraDB, Aria also stands out as being a very efficient option for high-load database environments.

It features impressive performance scalability and can handle data sizes ranging from several hundred gigabytes to several petabytes with ease.

Open Source vs. Proprietary Database

Open-source databases like MariaDB is that they are generally more secure than proprietary databases.

This is because open-source database developers are typically community-based, which means that there’s a higher chance for vulnerabilities to be fixed quickly.

On the other hand, proprietary databases have features that may be better suited for some applications or businesses than others. For example, Oracle has a very strong database development platform that can be very advantageous for larger organizations.

Release-Rate and Updates

While MySQL is a more traditional database that offers more stability and reliability, MariaDB boasts faster release rates and more frequent updates, making it better suited for WordPress use.

Development

MariaDB is open source, which means that anyone can contribute to the database’s development. This allows for a more community-driven approach to database development, which can lead to better features and compatibility.

MySQL, on the other hand, is developed by Oracle and has a more centralized development process. As such, it may not always receive updates or new features as quickly or easily as MariaDB does.

Security

MySQL comes with the validate_password component, which is used to verify and increase password security.

MariaDB offers three password validation plugins giving users more security in their database management.

These plugins can be added or removed at any time, meaning that database administrators have more flexibility when it comes to increasing or decreasing security measures as needed.

Community and License

While MySQL is more traditional, with a more centralized development process and server-oriented features, the MariaDB community is very active. This means that there are more resources available for database administrators who need help or support.

MySQL also offers a commercial license that provides additional features and support not offered in the open-source edition.

MariaDB vs. MySQL: According to Google Trends

Should You Pick MariaDB or MySQL for WordPress?

Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of faith: which is better or worse. The combo of MariaDB and WordPress is very fast and powerful. You should test out each system and pick the one you like, whether it is faster or not.

It’s also important to note that MySQL is essentially an Oracle commercial product. You should choose MariaDB if you are completely dedicated to open source and want to promote it.

Because of its performance characteristics, MariaDB is especially beneficial for WordPress in terms of database engines.

Switching from MySQL to MariaDB, on the other hand, will not give your mediocre WordPress blog a performance boost, but only slight improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is MariaDB compatible with WordPress?

Yes, MariaDB is compatible with WordPress. WordPress will work with any database management system (DBMS) that supports the use of PHP, which includes MariaDB. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that your MariaDB installation is up to date. WordPress regularly releases updates, so you’ll want to make sure that your MariaDB installation is compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Can I use MySQL with WordPress?

Yes, you can use MySQL with WordPress. However, if you are looking for a more feature-rich database, then MariaDB may be a better option. Both databases are capable of powering your blog without any issues. It all comes down to what features and functions you need from your database, both offer those things in spades!

Is MariaDB replacing MySQL?

The answer, in short, is no. While MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL database server, it is not intended to replace MySQL. Instead, MariaDB is meant to be a drop-in replacement for MySQL, offering users an alternative with enhanced features and performance.

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