For our next entry in the Top 50 Series, we’ll take a look at learning MySQL. For the uninitiated, there’s no way to understand MySQL without first understanding what a database is and when one is necessary. For the purpose of this quick introduction, we’re going to discuss MySQL as it relates to WordPress.
In layman’s terms, a database is simply a collection of data. MySQL is a type of specialized database software, which does nothing other than store and access website data.
When it comes to WordPress — which is a content management system — a bevy of information needs to be stored in the database. Blog posts, images, comments visitors leave, and so on. Basically any action through the platform that requires data storage directly relates to MySQL because that is where it is stored.
SQL, or “sequel” as it’s pronounced, is a computer programming language used by database software. MySQL and PostgreSQL are just two different types of database software that use the SQL language. These two database software platforms are a couple of the most popular, in part because they are free, but also because they are widely supported. Many websites and web applications make use of them.
Which Database Software Is Better to Use?
In most cases, there’s no noticeable difference between MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other types of relational databases.
The decision may already be made for you depending on what you need the software for. WordPress, for example, relies on MySQL. A wide variety of commercial web host providers use MySQL, too, and as a result support is often included with their hosting subscriptions.
There’s really no need to worry about which is better, and once you understand one you’re pretty much set to work with all of them.
Where Should You Start?
The thing most people don’t realize about learning to code and databases (because working with databases is not technically coding) is that it’s fairly easy to teach yourself.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars attending a special school. The best way to hone your skills is through practice.
To help you learn MySQL, we’ve compiled a huge list of resources that will show you how to get started with MySQL. We have also included resources on the list for those who already grasp the fundamentals.
Top 50 Websites to Learn MySQL Development
Throughout the next 50 items, we’ll explain which options are best for whom. We also have includes the price of each.
Keep in mind, the resources are not listed in any particular order.
1. MySQL Tutorial
As you’d expect from the name of the site, MySQL Tutorial is a great place to learn working with the database software. Tutorials range from basic topics all the way to more advanced stuff, such as performing functions and managing your own database.
2. Planet MySQL
Once you understand the ins and outs of working with MySQL, you can move on to more advanced portals. Planet MySQL is one of those resources, with a huge database full of tips, tricks guides and more.
3. W3Schools SQL Tutorials
Naturally, since SQL is the standard language for accessing and working with database software it’s a great place to start — especially if you want to better understand MySQL. W3Schools has a remarkably comprehensive set of tutorials for SQL. There are code examples, interactive quizzes, additional resources, and much more. If you complete the course you can take a test to receive an online certification.
Price: Free, $95 to receive certification.
4. PHP – The Right Way
Sometimes taking certain liberties while programming can cause problems later down the line that you might not see initially. This development resource aims to teach newbies PHP “the right way” so to speak. Many would argue that you should learn PHP alongside MySQL, and that’s why we’ve included this resource here.
5. IBM DeveloperWorks
IBM maintains a useful database for developers. There is a plethora of tutorials, guides, and resources for many topics. If you’d like to find guides for SQL and MySQL a simple search will return hundreds — if not thousands — of results.
6. MySQL Official Site
It doesn’t get any more helpful than the official resource for MySQL. This is a great place to visit for coders of all skill levels, so you might want to bookmark if you plan to work with SQL and MySQL for quite some time. You’ll find yourself returning to the site every so often. Be sure to visit the documentation and developer zone portals.
7. MySQL Basics
Obviously this is the place to go if you’re just getting started with MySQL. At this site, you’ll learn the fundamentals behind the database software, and different ways you can use it. Keep in mind, this resource is dated now, but you can easily move on to more current tutorials and guides after you complete this one.
8. Tutorialized MySQL Section
Tutorialized is a great portal to learn pretty much any development topic. They also happen to have an incredibly comprehensive MySQL tutorials section. Intermediate and expert coders can search the huge library of guides for help with more advanced functions. Beginners can learn how to install MySQL on various platforms and get started.
9. Tizag MySQL Tutorials
Tizag is another great site where you’ll find a wide variety of web development and programming tutorials. Their MySQL tutorials will take you from the introduction stages all the way to advanced and aggregate functions. It’s ideal for coders of any skill level. If you don’t have any prior knowledge of SQL or MySQL don’t worry, the site will explain exactly what it — and a database — is.
1o. Tutorials Point MySQL Tutorial
Tutorials Point has put together an excellent tutorial for beginners that want to get started with MySQL. In addition to in-depth guides, you’ll also find helpful resources, a FAQ, terms glossary and even a job search tool. The other great feature is that you can download a PDF of the tutorials for offline viewing.
11. Official MySQL Forums
Yes, we already have the official resources page listed above, however, these are the forums. You’ll find an active discussion board full of useful information. Fellow developers often post in the forums when they need help on a project or when they’re working with a specific function. Coders of all skill levels will find something of use here.
12. Devshed MySQL Help Forums
This is another developer’s forum dedicated to MySQL. If you need help, this is where you’ll find it. Users and moderators alike are active on a daily basis and there’s a wealth of archived content for you to browse.
This site is a great resource for web development or programming information of any kind. There isn’t a MySQL dedicated section, however, a simple search will net you a ton of tutorials, guides and articles. Some of the information is a bit dated now, but the fundamentals and basics are still relevant. Due to the nature of the site, it’s ideal for coders of any skill level: beginner to expert.
14. A Basic MySQL Tutorial by Etel Sverdlov
Digital Ocean — the community site where this tutorial is hosted — is a great place to find a wide variety of tutorials. This particular guide by Etel Sverdlov is for absolute beginners. It walks you through setup up a development environment and getting started with MySQL. When you’re finished, you can do a simple internal search for more tutorials and move on to advanced topics.
This website maintains several resources to help new developers with SQL and many of the different database software platforms. There’s a section for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, mSQL and even Microsoft SQL. Some of the information is now dated, but the fundamentals are essentially the same and so they’re still relevant.
16. RoseIndia MySQL Tutorials
This website doesn’t look like much from the onset but delve a little deeper and you’ll find some thorough, easy to follow tutorials on working with MySQL. You’ll find general information and guides on working with queries, databases and more.
17. Web Developers Notes
This is yet another online tutorial site with a plethora of guides on working with MySQL and databases. They also have a “what’s next” page that lists more resources to check out after you complete all the tutorials.
18. Ronald Bradford’s Blog
Bradford claims to have “over two decades” (26 years) of experience working with MySQL and PHP. His blog serves as a comprehensive resource for anyone working with the language. You’ll find a host of insights, guides and helpful advice.
This is another blog from a MySQL developer named Chris Calender. On the site you’ll find a plethora of tips and tutorials on working with the language, along with some useful insights.
This blog — maintained by prominent developer Andrew Hutchings — primarily covers his experiences with Linux and related development. The MySQL section is particularly helpful, in that he shares valuable insights, tips and advice. Beginner coders won’t find much of value, but intermediate to experienced programmers will find the resource handy.
21. Mastering MySQL by Mark Leith
This blog is updated sporadically, so it’s not something you should be checking on a daily basis. That said, there are a lot of useful insights, advice and information from Mark Leith, an experienced MySQL developer. Again, this resource is best for intermediate and experienced coders.
22. MacLochlainns Weblog
Michael McLaughlin’s technical blog is a great resource for experienced developers looking to gain some insights from a professional. Michael delves into specific functions that he encounters while working with the language like working with bash arrays, and lead node queries.
Code.Openark is a developer’s blog maintained by Shlomi Noach, a software engineer and certified database administrator (DBA). He doesn’t really delve into any actionable material like tips, tutorials or guides. That said, there’s plenty of content for the experienced developer to lap up.
Xaprb is Baron Schwartz’ personal blog, who — if you didn’t already know — is an experienced developer responsible for VividCortex, and the book High-Performance MySQL. His nickname Xaprb — and the website name — was chosen by typing his first name “in QWERTY on a Dvorak keyboard layout.” He doesn’t explicitly blog about MySQL, so you’ll find lots of different insights, productivity tips and more. It’s a great for developers, of any kind. Yes, you’ll find some MySQL material too.
25. Open Source DBA’s Blog
As you might have guessed from the name, this blog belongs to an open source database administrator named Dave Stokes. Now, unlike some of the other blogs on this list, he posts a lot of useful guides on working with the language. Coders of any skill level will find useful material on this site. Beginners will have to dig, but intermediate to experienced devs will find it plentiful.
26. Master MySQL
Dev blogs seem to be the best resources when it comes to development insights and tips — it makes sense since the content is produced by someone that works with the appropriate material on a daily basis. Anyway, Master MySQL is a personal blog, maintained by Morgan Tocker, who works with Oracle on the MySQL dev team. It’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about. Most of the content on the site is for intermediate to experienced developers who work regularly with MySQL.
27. Marco Tusa’s Blog
Marco Tusa wrote a series of posts on Pythian’s (an international IT services company) blog from 2011-2013. Many of them cover news updates about MySQL, and some even offer assistance for experienced developers.
28. Daniel’s Database Blog
Daniel van Eeden writes about his experiences working with MySQL and SQL and his blog is a great resource for anyone else working with the software. Intermediate to experienced coders only.
29. Percona MySQL Performance Blog
This simple blog is maintained by several different writers or MySQL “experts” if you will. They cover the gamut of topics from backing up your database, to various tutorials and guides. Most of the content relates to keeping your database healthy and up to speed, as the name implies.
This website offers an interactive development course for SQL, the language used in the MySQL database software. It will explain what the language is, what you can do with it, and how to use it. Then it moves on to more advanced topics like deleting and updating database records, advanced queries, and working with an SQL interpreter.
If you’d much rather learn SQL, and in turn MySQL, in stages then this tutorial site is where you should go. It starts with the basics, then covers each and every function and command you’ll use when working with the language. At the end, there’s a list of useful references where you can find information for the intermediate and expert stuff.
32. Elated MySQL for Absolute Beginners
If you have no prior experience working with MySQL yet you know some of the basics of SQL this is a great place to start. You might want to move on to meaty material once you’ve completed this tutorial.
33. H Scripts MySQL Tutorial
H Scripts is a free online tutorials outlet, and their MySQL section is dedicated specifically for beginners. The entire course is comprised of ten different sections, each of which is made up of several lessons. If you follow the course guide lesson-by-lesson you’ll have learned most of the fundamentals and advanced topics for the software.
34. Journal to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave
The name of this website pretty much tells you everything you need to know about it. Pinal Dave is an experienced Pluralsight developer with over 11 years of work under his belt. He regularly discusses his experiences working with SQL and MySQL. You’ll find a lot of helpful insights on the language and software, many of which will make plenty of sense to experienced devs.
35. Learn MySQL by Navjyot Nishant
This blog is a great place to learn MySQL from beginner to advanced topics. Some of the material has been written in another language and is translated via Google Translate, so it can get a bit dicey at times. There’s still tons of useful content and it’s written well enough to understand. It’s not a deal breaker, it just means you’ll notice some odd language and out of context statements at times.
36. How to Install MySQL 5 and Get Started with SQL Programming
This tutorial for absolute beginners will walk you through the installation process for working with MySQL and SQL. After the introduction, setup and elaboration on fundamentals you’ll dive right into programming with the language.
37. Thenewboston MySQL Database Tutorial Videos
Thenewboston’s YouTube channel is a great place to find a wide variety of coding and programming tutorials. Since the lessons are free and offer visual representation, it’s an ideal solution for newcomers to MySQL and SQL. There are 33 lessons in total, covering all the way from basic to advanced topics. Each lesson is about three to seven minutes in length, and the instructor is personable and easy to follow.
38. Sysadmincasts Crash Course on MySQL
Authored by an experienced sysadmin, this course on MySQL discusses many of the commons tasks and commands you’ll need to know while working with a lone MySQL server. Prior experience is definitely necessary, so intermediate coders will find this resource most helpful. There’s also a video screencast to go along with the text material.
39. Tuts+ Free MySQL Tutorials
Tuts+ is a must-have website for all developers, as there are tutorials covering a wide expanse of topics. There are many tutorials on working with MySQL, and that’s not even including the additional content you can dig up on SQL. Due to the nature of the site, it’s best if you have at least some experience with the software. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll want to direct your attention to a more comprehensive learning source that will walk you through every stage step-by-step.
40. Beginner PHP and MySQL Tutorial (Udemy)
This free online course through Udemy will teach you PHP and MySQL and help you “start developing web apps like a pro,” as the description claims. Upon completion of the course you’ll also receive a certificate which you can show potential employers and clients. When you’re done with this course you can move on to one of the many additional courses that Udemy has to offer; just keep in mind they’re premium so you’ll need to pay for access.
Price: Free, additional courses start at $9.
41. MemRise Learn MySQL
This free online course will teach you MySQL database development through a series of multiple choice tests. Give it a try if you prefer to learn by example.
42. PHP and MySQL for Beginners
This video course on Learntoprogram.tv by Mark Lassoff will introduce you to PHP and MySQL database. It is a premium course, so you’ll need to pay $99 for access. Luckily, there’s a promo video that will give you a small sample of what you can expect from the full course. It goes without saying, the course is for beginner to intermediate coders.
43. Stone River Academy’s Learn MySQL Database In Under an Hour
Enroll in this course for $15 and you will learn how to work with MySQL database in a short period of time. As the title suggests, you can learn the ins and outs of the software in under an hour. We’re a bit skeptical about that claim, but there’s still a bunch of useful content on offer here. The video lessons are delivered in quick, bite-sized increments, and no prior coding experience is needed.
44. Yourwebskills Web development tutorials
45. PHP for Kids MySQL Tutorial
Obviously, this site is aimed at a younger audience but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy resource even to older developers. In fact, some beginners may find the material on this site more relatable and clear-cut. Don’t dismiss it because of the name. You’ll learn basics, data manipulation and advanced functions. Give it a try.
46. Skillfeed Learn MySQL from Scratch Course
This course for beginners will introduce you to MySQL and get you into dev shape. You can sign-up for a free trial to check out some of the lessons before paying, or you can pony up the $19 a month for a subscription to the site. It’s well worth the cost. The courses are comprehensive and once you’re done with the MySQL material you can move on to other languages and platforms.
Price: Free for 7 days, then $19/month.
If you’ve been building your knowledge on MySQL and working with the software, yet want to test your skills head on over to CodeQuizzes. There are six different quizzes you can take on the subject, with additional quizzes on SQL.
48. KillerPHP MySQL Video Tutorials
If you’d much rather learn through visual stimulation then the KillerPHP MySQL and SQL video tutorials are decent options. There are only three lessons on MySQL which introduce you to the basics, but there’s a link at the bottom of the listing where you can access a few more exceptional video tutorials on SQL.
49. PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer
This eBook — which costs $25 — will purportedly teach you PHP and MySQL in 24 hours or so. The material inside the book is certainly useful, and you’ll only learn that fast if you burn through it in one sitting. Obviously, it’s more ideal to consume the material in smaller chunks. Everything you need to understand the fundamentals and dive into PHP and MySQL development is at your fingertips.
Price: $25 for eBook, $39.99 for paperback.
50. Tahaghoghi’s Learning MySQL
This is the companion site for the O’Reilly book Learning MySQL by Seyed M.M. Tahaghoghi and Hugh Williams (published in 2006). Some of the information is a bit dated now, including the book, but it’s still a great resource for those interested in working with SQL or MySQL.
That’s a Massive List of MySQL Websites and Resources!
You should be able to find at least one website or resource on this list that will help you get more familiar with MySQL.
Recommended Training – Treehouse
Although this site recommends various training services, our top recommendation is Treehouse.
Treehouse is an online training service that teaches web design, web development and app development with videos, quizzes and interactive coding exercises.
Treehouse's mission is to bring technology education to those who can't get it, and is committed to helping its students find jobs. If you're looking to turn coding into your career, you should consider Treehouse.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.