Database driven website becomes increasingly popular in the world of internet to day. Very common examples of such websites are internet blog and forum sites. These websites use database to store the content of their web pages. When viewer requests a page of such a website web server search the database for the content of that requested page and if found, display it on the browser.
In a database data are stored in tabulated form. Each table column is known as a data field. The simplest idea to store the page content in a database is to store the entire HTML code of a page in a data field against the page name as another field. But in a well designed system- page data are kept in more organized way. Page title, description, content, page last updated, etc. are stored in separate data fields. When server request data for a particular page database engine returns the field data associated with that page. Server then arranges them in a predefined structure to construct a complete webpage. This structure is known as template of that website.
Most database driven website uses remote database to store page data. Very popular and common example of such database is MySql database. Few websites use local database like flatfile database or MsAccess database. The main advantage of remote database over local database is that a remote database doesn't require database manager software installed at the local server; all the headache of deleting or updating database taken by the remote server. So remote database are cost effective and at the same time secured too.
A database driven website has many advantages over conventional website.
1. Backing up and maintenance of the website is much easier.
2. You can accept user input (like user comments, user post, etc.); store them into database and when necessary publish them on your website.
3. In well organized database driven system design of essential web tools (e.g. search engine, data feed generator, XML sitemap generator, etc.) is much easier than conventional website.
4. A database driven website offers better and easier control to the webmaster. By adding few binary status fields webmaster can block or publish a webpage or even the entire website.
6. There are many high quality free scripts available in the internet to build your database driven website.
The only disadvantage of database driven website is its high design cost. The free scripts available are very general in nature. But if you have any particular requirement then you have to design it of your own.