MySQL vs PostgreSQL

postgresql-logoWhich Open-Source Choice is Better, MySQL vs PostgreSQL?

Making the decision between MySQL vs. PostgreSQL isn’t easy. Both provide open source relational database management systems and both are proven solutions. They provide different advantages and disadvantages.

What is MySQL?

MySQL, also known as My Sequel is the second most used database management system. It was developed by Oracle Corporation and initially released in 1995. The database system is used with many web applications and is most widely used with LAMP. Other applications using MySQL include, WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, Drupal, MyBB and many others.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is another open source database management system and was also released in 1995. It was developed by PostgreSQL Global Development Group, which included many volunteers working together. This database system runs on many operating systems including Solaris, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD and Microsoft Windows.

Looking Closer at MySQL vs. PostgreSQL

MySQL is widely accepted as a faster choice between the two database systems. However, PostgreSQL is known as a more full-features choice. Many consider PostgreSQL to be an open source version of Oracle. However, MySQL is more popular and provides a more user-friendly choice.

Over the past few years, MySQL has dramatically improved their functionality, which puts it closer to the same features as PostgreSQL. On the other hand, PostgreSQL has improved their speed with the last couple of major releases, putting it on a more even playing field with MySQL.

Overall, they both have a reputation for specific weaknesses and specific strengths. Many programmers familiar with Oracle prefer PostgreSQL because it’s very similar. However, MySQL is far more popular and used by many of the larger website online today.

Who Uses MySQL for their Website?

Since MySQL is used as a part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack, it’s used to create the backbone of many popular websites including:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • And Others!

It’s also used by WordPress, which means every website and blog using WordPress counts on MySQL for the database. MySQL is much larger than PostgreSQL.

What does PostgreSQL provide?

Even though MySQL provides the backbone for many of the top online websites, PostgreSQL has its merits, too. PostgreSQL has added over 70 enhancements to increase the performance. Along with these new enhancements, the coding is very strict and has developed into something large enough to handle much larger websites.

Which is Easier to Use between MySQL vs. PostgreSQL?

User-friendliness is an important part of the database you choose. For most of those looking to start a website, this won’t matter too much, but for those doing the programming themselves, it will matter.

Overall, MySQL is built to be easier to user for the less experienced. The only instance where MySQL isn’t the better choice for user-friendliness is when the programmer is very familiar with Oracle. In that case, PostgreSQL may be the easier to use choice.

Do you Really have a Choice?

When looking at the comparison between MySQL vs. PostgreSQL, you may not have a choice. If you want to use a specific content management system (CMS) or another script, you may not get to choose your database system. For example, if you use WordPress, you will also be using MySQL.

Which One is the Winner?

When you do have a choice between MySQL and PostgreSQL, your project may dictate which is better. If the project is new, you need to decide whether you plan to port to closed software or not. This will make a difference and since PostgreSQL is closer to Oracle, it may be the better choice.

Some believe PostgreSQL is more reliable because of the ACID compliance. However MySQL is a better choice when you plan to use code from other open source applications. MySQL is used more often with smaller sites and provides more plugins, modules and add-ons than PostgreSQL.

There really isn’t a clear winner between MySQL vs PostgreSQL. Your specific project will make the decision for you, in most cases. If you plan to build a website or blog with Drupal, Joomla or WordPress, you will be using MySQL.

All three of these CMS choices come free with any hosting package from ITX Design. They are easy to install and provide an easy way to create a website or blog quickly. Using WordPress is the best choice and you will be choosing MySQL over PostgreSQL for your project in this instance.

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