phpMyAdmin is a software application that allows you to manage your MySQL and MariaDB databases.
This software typically comes installed with hosting accounts that run on cPanel hosts.
However, you can also install it on your server manually.
With phpMyAdmin, you can edit every aspect of your database, from values to the actual content published to your website.
Although it seems like something reserved for technically-minded people, it’s actually somewhat user-friendly once you learn your way around.
If you’re running a website that relies on a SQL database, you’ll definitely want to learn how to use phpMyAdmin because at some point, it will become necessary.
Here are the top 5 tasks you’ll want to learn how to manage in phpMyAdmin:
- 1. How to change a username and/or password
- 2. Backing up your database
- 3. Checking the status of your WordPress database
- 4. Editing or deleting WordPress blog posts
- 5. Deleting databases
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1. How to change a username and/or password
It’s critical to know how to change a username or password with phpMyAdmin. Consider this your backend access when front end access fails.
Under normal circumstances, you’d change your username and password inside the application you’re using. For example, if you’re using WordPress, you’d change your login information through the “reset password” form or through the admin panel. However, that’s not always possible.
Sticking with WordPress as an example, you might not be able to access your admin panel or the front end when you need to change your username or password. For instance, your site may have been hacked or you might have edited or deleted a file that makes your front end inaccessible. In these instances, you’ll need to use phpMyAdmin.
Regardless of what software application you need to access, the general idea is the same. You’ll find the table in your database that holds your username and password and then you’ll change it there. Here’s an example of how this is done using WordPress.
- Log into phpMyAdmin through your hosting account.
- Locate and select the correct database. This will make the tables visible.
- From the tables that appear, find wp_users and click “browse.” This will make the rows visible.
- Find the row containing the user information you wish to change and click on “edit.”
- From here, you can change the username or the user’s “nicename” by simply replacing the text. Then, click “Go” to save your changes.
- To change the password, you’ll need to go through some extra steps.
Changing a WordPress password in phpMyAdmin
Since passwords are hashed, you’ll need to take a couple extra steps to change your password. You can’t just type in a new password.
First, under the “Function” column, select “MD5” from the dropdown menu. Then, enter the new password in the “Value” column. When you click “Go” to save your changes, the system will automatically hash the password using MD5.
2. Backing up your database
It’s critical to back up your databases periodically, or even daily if you make frequent updates. However, if you don’t have backups running automatically, you’ll need to use phpMyAdmin to do the job.
Once you access phpMyAdmin, select the database you wish to back up and then click “Export” from the top menu. Choose the “Quick” export method to save all of your database tables. Make sure to select “SQL” for the export format and then click “Go.” You’ll be asked where you wish to save your database to your computer, and then you’ll have your backup.
3. Checking the status of your WordPress database
Do you need to know how much bandwidth your site is using? Want to check on your traffic or database connections? You can do this through phpMyAdmin. This task is quite easy. All you do is open phpMyAdmin and don’t select a database – just click on the “Status” tab.
If you’re sharing a server with other people, this information won’t mean much because it will take other websites into account. However, if you have your own server, this will tell you what you need to know.
4. Editing or deleting WordPress blog posts
Just like you can change your WordPress usernames and passwords inside phpMyAdmin, you can also edit or delete blog posts. To do this, you’ll click on the database you want to edit, and then find the posts table. This will be named wp_posts if you didn’t change your database prefix. If you changed your database prefix, your posts table will appear as your-prefix_posts.
Click on the table name (don’t click “Browse”) and you’ll see a list of all posts. From there, all you need to do is find the post you need to edit or delete. If you click “Edit” you’ll be able to edit the content and values associated with that post. If you click “Delete” the post will be deleted.
Keep in mind that when you delete a WordPress post through your database, it won’t go into the trash like it would if you deleted it from your admin panel. Unless you have a backup somewhere else, you won’t be able to recover a post deleted through phpMyAdmin.
5. Deleting databases
Did you experiment with installing several pieces of open-source software on your site before choosing one you like? Maybe you tried installing several pre-loaded content management systems using a quick installation application in your control panel. If you’ve abandoned any of these installations, you’ve got some unused databases taking up space on your server. Thankfully, you can delete your unused databased through phpMyAdmin.
When you log into phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases. To delete the ones you aren’t using, simply select them and click “Drop.” Just make sure you know which databases are unused before you delete anything.
phpMyAdmin is easy to use
Although you’ll need to learn a little bit of technical skills to use phpMyAdmin, it’s not hard to use at all. First, familiarize yourself with the basics and learn how to access the different aspects of your database. For example, there are tables and rows and you’ll need to know how to access these inside each database.
Once you know your way around phpMyAdmin, you’ll be able to edit your databases when needed. If you need to do something more complicated than the five tasks outlined here, you may want to hire a website developer to help you with your needs. While it’s easy to make small changes to your database, it’s also easy to make a mistake.
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