• Databases are the best way to store most types of data, as they are exceptionally fast, multi-user, and take a lot of hassle away from you.

  • SQL is the language used to pull information out of your database, and it is worth your while learning a good amount of SQL - if you are the world's best PHP programmer but you are awful at SQL, any database-related PHP work you do will be of very poor quality.

  • Use indexes and normalisation for maximum efficiency. However, if you use too many indexes, you may cause more harm than good.

  • Although MySQL is by far the most popular DB choice for PHP use, PEAR::DB and SQLite are both still tools worth adding to your toolkit for future reference.

  • For important data, always use transactions. Yes, they will slow things down, but when the integrity of your information is critical, speed should not be a consideration.

  • Use the MySQL monitor to verify queries are syntactically valid, and also to visually see the response your queries get - sometimes you might find your PHP code to parse the result of a query is fine, but the query itself is bad.


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