Many new WordPress users are intimidated by the MySQL database, perhaps because it seems to be way above their technical skills or abilities. Truth be told, regular users of WordPress — those who just use it to publish content — don't really ever have to dig into the database unless they want to. You only need to explore the database if you're dealing with theme or plugin development, or with contributing code to the WordPress project. In this section, we give you a basic overview of the WordPress database stored in MySQL so that you have an understanding of the structure and know where items are stored.
Currently, WordPress requires MySQL version 4.1.2 (or greater) in order to work correctly. If your Web hosting provider doesn't have 4.1.2 (or greater) installed on your Web server, kindly ask to upgrade.
After WordPress is installed on your server (which I discuss in Chapter 4 of this minibook), the database gets populated with 11 tables that exist to store different types of data from your WordPress blog. Figure 3-2 displays the structure of the tables, as follows: