MySQL can be used for a variety of applications but is most commonly found on Web servers. A website that uses MySQL may include Web pages that access information from a database. These pages are often referred to as "dynamic," meaning the content of each page is generated from a database as the page loads. Websites that use dynamic Web pages are often referred to as database-driven websites.
Many database-driven websites that use MySQL also use a Web scripting language like PHP to access information from the database. MySQL commands can be incorporated into the PHP code, allowing part or all of a Web page to be generated from database information. Because both MySQL and PHP are both open source (meaning they are free to download and use), the PHP/MySQL combination has become a popular choice for database-driven websites.
MySQL is very popular for Web-hosting applications because of its plethora of Web-optimized features like HTML data types, and because it's available for free. It is part of the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) architecture, a combination of platforms that are frequently used to deliver and support advanced Web applications. MySQL runs the back-end databases of some famous websites, including Wikipedia, Google, and Facebook- a testament to its stability and robustness despite its decentralized, free-for-all philosophy.