Top 3 Most Popular Databases Among Web Developers and When to Use Them

As a web developer, you know that a database is a crucial component of any web application. It's where you store and manage data that your application relies on, such as user information, application settings, and more. Choosing the right database is essential, as it can have a big impact on the performance and scalability of your application. With so many different databases available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your project. To help you make an informed decision, I've put together a list of the three most popular databases among web developers and I'll explain whey they are popular and some tips about when to use each.

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Now let's begin take a look at these three popular databases.


PostgreSQL is a widley used open-source database-management system, known for its robustness and support for a wide range of data types and programming languages.

There is a long list of benefits of using this database and here are some of them:

  • Great support for transactions (particularly useful for applications that need to ensure data integrity and consistency)

  • Ability to handle huge amounts of data

  • Highly flexible and extensible

  • Simple to use in combination with ORMs

  • Easy to ensure type safety in languages like C#, Java, Go, Typescript

  • View support

  • JSON and JSONB support with extensive support in its query language (PostgreSQL is object-relational, unlike MySQL, giving it many more features)

  • No licensing fees

  • Row level security

  • Full text search (allows you to perform fast and powerful text searches on your data)


MySQL is another free and open-source DBMS that is also widely used in web development. It's also more popular among junior developers as many developers start with a WAMP setup on their machine when they start learning to use databases.

MySQL is known for its simplicity, and ease of use. Many web hosting providers offer MySQL as a default database option, making it a convenient choice for developers building applications on shared hosting platforms.

Also, MySQL has a large and active community of users, making it easy to get support when you need it.


MongoDB is the only NoSQL database in the list. One of the main benefits of MongoDB is its flexibility - it allows developers to store data in a JSON-like format called BSON, which means that it is easy to change the structure of the data as the application evolves.

If your data doesn't have any structure, this is one the best options, especially for not complex solutions. This database is easily capable of handling huge amounts of data, especially with its horizontal scaling capabilities.

Finally, though there is more to it, this is a rather simple decision tree for how I decide which database to use in a project:

  1. Do I use Node.js?

    • No: Go to step 2

    • Yes:

      • Do I need transactional operations?

        • Yes: Go to step 2

        • No:

          • Is the project going to scale?

            • Yes: PostgreSQL

            • No: Mongodb

  2. Do I have to use MySQL for a very particular reason (for example I have to use a tiny hosting provider which provides MySQL by default)?

    • Yes: MySQL

    • No: PostgreSQL