MySQL is an open source, database management system, which is widely used on the Web. Using a database-driven design separates the two key elements of every web site: its content and its appearance. The main advantage of sites, powered by MySQL is the fact that the content can be easily added by a person, who is not computer or HTML savvy and the powerful combination of PHP and MySQL allows dynamic content to be served as well. If you are looking at building a website with shopping carts, site that remembers each user's preferences, and site that is easy to update and maintain, then adopting database-driven web development is exactly what you need. While you can achieve the same functionality with HTML alone, as your site grows, you will find yourself adding page after page by hand, and making countless changes. Instead, you can have all your data stored in a database and display it on demand, making your job so much easier. As an end-user, you do not have to understand or worry about the behind the scenes workings of MySQL or PHP, and you will be able to maintain your site, add or remove content, and extend its functionally easily.