Difference between a Database and a Website

Often used interchangeably by users, these two terms are actually quite different from each other. Knowing these differences may not mean much for casual surfers/web browsers, but it does mean a lot for those who work or are planning to work online.


Database vs Website

Database – a database is a collection of data (tables, queries, reports, views and other objects) that are typically organized to provide information or support processes requiring information like going through hotel vacancies online (applications will run through the vacancy report from the database and will return results to the user).

It is basically a structured data storage that can be accessed through a set of computer software that allows users to make these data interact, provided by a DBMS or Database Management System. This DBMS will also provide other various functions that allow data entry, storage, and provide data management.

As a physical database, these are dedicated servers containing the actual data provided and organized by the DBMS. These are usually multiprocessor systems with lots of memory and of course generous RAID (data storage virtualization combining multiple physical disk drives into a single logical unit for a better performance) disk arrays used for stable storage.

A Website – known simply as a site, is a set of web pages that generally serves a single web domain. It is hosted by a web server and will be accessible via the internet or private LAN (local area network) by means of an internet address known as an URL (uniform resource locator).

These web pages, which are the building blocks of a website, are usually written in plain text that will go through the formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A web browser will then render the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal or monitor, which now will be what the ‘SITE” will look like. Web pages are accessed and are transported with the HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or to a secure one, the HTTP secure (HTTPS) for better security and privacy for users. This is why most financial-involved websites use the HTTPS instead of the HTTP.

Here is a sample secure HTTP: (https://www.paypal.com), and here’s one that’s not secure (http://9gag.com/).

Database vs Website

What’s the difference between a database and a website? While both terms actually don’t compare with each other since they both have different agendas, they do have a relationship that’s vital within the online world.

Websites provide us with the things we need like information on a job vacancy, hotel vacancy, or even online banking, but information that is needed isn’t just there without any good reason. The information needed or the reports needed are obtained through an online database which the website is accessing. Let us just say that the database is an organized storage room and the website is the clerk. You ask what you need and the store clerk will check where he/she would get that item rummaging through labels on a storage room to make it easier. Same goes with a website; it will check and browse through the database with the information you require and will provide you with a result.

Note: Information/data that is in a database is provided by an owner and/or a user.

Comparison Chart

Database Website
Organized collection of data Set of web pages
Information from a database will be required by a set of instructions from a website Will require information from a database depending on the instructions
Will run online or offline Will run online


Here is a video you can check that explains a database.