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I am NOT a developer or DB guy but a webmaster who has manipulated mysql successfully for several wordpress sites. I know how to use the command line tool and also to run things via phpmyadmin. I know how to perform basic administrative mysql functions and occasionally to make a custom query.

I am setting up a drupal7 site on a VPS where I will already have a wordpress-mysql instance. But it occurred to me that there's nothing really stopping me from installing another db -- postgresql, SQLite, MariaDB. I am less interested in power than ease of use -- but obviously better performance would be welcome. I would probably need some management tool with a web interface. As I said, I wouldn't expect to be doing a lot of DB work; just the routine maintenance and rescue operations that occasionally are necessary.

The site should be a low or medium traffic site with not a lot of writes, but probably a lot of reads. There would probably not be enough traffic to do load balancing or clustering. (It's for a magazine site).

Is there any rule of thumb for which db to choose? Sticking with mysql seems to the obvious and easy solution; I'm just wondering if there's any reason to think differently in 2013.

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If you've got the choice I'd go with MariaDB.

It's a drop-in, transparent replacement for MySQL; any client connecting to it would think it's just accessing a regular old MySQL database. But you get advanced features and performance improvements out-of-the-box. It also has a very fast drop-in replacement for InnoDB.

It was written by the original MySQL developers (before Oracle got their hands on it) so it's a solid bet.

I've been using it for a little while and have been very happy with it.

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Well choosing a database for your site depends on many ways, I prefer MySQL to keep it quite simple.

MySQL is preferable PHP sites because:

  • Drupal 7 now comes with default table engine which is InnoDB(advantages over MyISAM) for MySQL
  • MySQL has choice of table types for better read performance.
  • Drupal has PHPMyAdmin Web Interface for MySQL.
  • WAMP,XAMP comes with MySQL so it makes life easier when you use MySQL
  • Drupal's much better tested with MySQL

http://drupal.org/node/37268

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