When migrating a website, there are a few different things to keep in mind. You’ll need a domain name registration, the contents within the File Manager, and the database. Databases can arguably be one of the most important things within a migration because this is where the content of the website is held. So what exactly is a database? A database is essentially a group of tables that contains information about a website.


So why would you need to use a database?  A dynamic web page looks to the database for information about what to load. Without the database, the site will not load. If a user clicks on the about page on a blog, that page reaches back to the database, locates the table, then the specific item within that table to load. Think of this as a filing cabinet. The domain is the cabinet itself, the tables are the different drawers that make up the cabinet, and the sections within the drawers are where you go to grab a specific set of data to load the site.


A database is dynamic. It never stays the same, data is created or taken away, as the user builds out their website. Within a WordPress installation, for example, the database is where all of the posts are, the comments, and the users are populated and adapted to fit the changes the user makes.

To access the databases within cPanel, you would scroll down to the ‘Databases’ section:


Databases are created using the language called SQL, and MySQL is the software used to implement the SQL commands to create the databases. Reclaim uses another software called phpMyAdmin to look at the databases within a table format.



The database for each software installation is completely unique to that software. A WordPress database will not work with an Omeka installation and vice versa. The database for WordPress and Omeka require a specific set of database tables and a specific set of rules to run and need their own database to do so.

Connecting Database with File Manager:

How do the database and the files within the file manager connect to create a website? Most installations, like WordPress, have a specific default file used to connect the files to the database. In a WordPress installation, the file is called wp-config.php.  It looks like this:

This entire file is needed to connect the website to a database. Here are four big components; the database name, database user, database password, and MySQL hostname. If even one piece is out of alignment with the parameters, the whole site can go down. If this happens, you can double check that these are all in sync by looking at the ‘Files and Tables’ section within the installation in Installatron: