Looking for a good source to help me set up MySQL on my site

Hello, All.

I’m just getting started with MySQL but find much of my reading (books and online, plus the MySQL manual) is above my understanding.

There seems to be an assumed level of knowledge above absolute beginner which, being a total newbie, I obviously don’t have.

Can someone please direct me to a practical guide for getting started with this? I’m looking for something that will help me understand how to set up a table correctly from the beginning - a tutorial with perhaps instructions step-by-step that will allow me to create a model, working database with just one table.

I have created a database in MySQL but I’m having problems understanding things as essential as NULL values.

Hope you can help.

Best wishes,


I’d be glad to assist you with this issue. Creating a database at DreamHost from scratch is a little different, as our web panel does most of the work. Databases should be created from your MySQL Databases page in the panel rather than from phpMyAdmin or the shell directly, but once created, can be added to and modified via those methods like any other. You can take a look at these links for more details: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Mysql#Creating_a_MySQL_Database_with_DreamHost

This article goes into more detail on Tables, Rows, Columns and their different values, and should hopefully answer some of what you’re looking for: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/SQL

Cedric H

Hi, Cedric.

Thanks a lot - that’s a good place.


@ewanatkinson -what is your goal? or goals? Are you just wanting to broaden your web-programming skills, or is there something specific you are working towards?

If you want a good basic understanding of how databases work (and I usually do not like promoting proprietary software) Filemaker Pro is an excellent piece of software for this. They have some graphical tools in place that allow for composing a complete database. The interface is intuitive for beginners and also has many advanced features as well.

Once you have a grasp on Filemaker, you can connect it to a MySQL database, and use your MySQL DB as the database engine (back-end) and use Filemaker as the Front-end.

Then, after you have that working, you can then just write your php or other apps to connect to the same MySQL database.