WordPress PostgreSQL Integration – 3 Easy Methods

on Data Integration, Database Management Systems, Tutorials • December 17th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

WordPress PostgreSQL- Featured Image

WordPress which originally started out as a blogging platform has now evolved to become the most sought-after Content Management System (CMS) for Forums, Promotional Websites, and E-Commerce Stores. Today, WordPress is used by more than 455 million websites with 62% of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the US (Inc. 5000) using WordPress as their CMS.

The Open-Source CMS was written in PHP supplemented with a MariaDB or MySQL database. With growing popularity and usage, comes the need to integrate WordPress PostgreSQL databases. People ask us questions- “Is it possible to use WordPress with PostgreSQL rather than MySQL?”. This blog will answer that. 

We’ll explore three methods to integrate WordPress PostgreSQL databases and the possible limitations associated with each. This way, you’ll be able to narrow it down to the best choice and select it.

Table of Contents

What is WordPress?

WordPress Website Hosting Solution: WordPress PostgreSQL
Image Source: WordPress

WordPress is an Open Source Content Management System for Blogging, E-Commerce, and Commercial Businesses. According to a report from Hosting Tribunal, WordPress powers 39.6% of the internet in 2021, a growth of nearly 5% from 35% in 2020, and a 4% rise from the year before.

WordPress democratizes the website creation process by providing a no-code simple interface; for creating and launching a website in minutes. WordPress is incredibly versatile and offers SEO support through a variety of useful plugins, such as Yoast SEO and RankMath, which may be used to optimize your website’s page for search engines.  

WordPress website hosting is widely utilized by several news outlets, well-known blogs, Fortune 500 organizations, and music websites, including notable names such as USA Today, NBC, CBS, Airbnb, Time, Disney, TechCrunch, Spotify, and even the Pioneer Woman. Choosing to design your website on WordPress ensures that you will have access to the same capabilities that all of these well-known businesses have.

If you are a beginner, you can learn more about the WordPress hosting service and the best practices to set up from here- How to Use WordPress? Critical Guide for Beginners in 2021

Key Features of WordPress

  • Easy to Use: WordPress is a web-based site hosting service. It may be accessed from any device and from any place without the need to download or learn any software. It works right away and includes a handy resource- WordPress Learn to help you get started quickly.
  • Choose from Thousands of Templates: Choosing a theme for your blog or store may be a difficult undertaking, which is why WordPress includes a theme store to help you find the ideal fit for your brand’s look. You may give your website the right feel and look even if you don’t know how to code in this manner.
    Check out our best picks for 30 Best Free WordPress Themes: 2021’s Ultimate List here. 
  • Learn from a Community of Developers and Users: One of the many advantages of owning a WordPress website is that you can get engaged in the larger WordPress community through local WordCamps, WP Meetups, and so much more. The WordPress community has a reputation for being extremely inventive, inviting, and helpful.
  • Flexibility: WordPress allows you to develop every type of website imaginable, ranging from a Personal blog to an E-commerce website. You can improve your website with custom themes built for specific use cases and supplement it with various plugins to work on a better user interface for your users. 
  • Media Management: The ability to add media seamlessly is imperative for a CMS. With WordPress in place, you can simply drag-and-drop media to the uploader to add it to your website. Apart from the ability to add captions and alt text, WordPress houses a few image editing tools that you can play around with.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL ORDBMS: WordPress PostgreSQL
Image Source: Software Engineering Daily

PostgreSQL is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) developed by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. It has been in use for over 20 years and supports both SQL and JSON for relational and non-relational queries in order to provide flexibility and SQL compliance.

PostgreSQL has a reputation for being a dependable, feature-rich, and performance-rich utility from its beginnings. Many businesses rely on PostgreSQL as their primary data storage/data warehouse for online, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL runs on all major operating systems, including Linux, UNIX (AIX, BSD, HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Mac OS X, Solaris, Tru64), and Windows. 

The latest version of PostgreSQL is 14.1.

Key Features of PostgreSQL

  • Open-Source: PostgreSQL is an Object-Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS). This allows PostgreSQL to provide Object-Oriented and Relational Database functionality. PostgreSQL is a free and Open-Source ORDBMS.
  • Prominent User Base: PostgreSQL users include prominent names like Apple, Cisco, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Red Hat, Skype, Spotify, Yahoo to name a few.
  • Multiversion Concurrency Control: To manage concurrent requests, PostgreSQL features a multi-version concurrency control which gives each transaction a “snapshot” of the database, allowing changes to be made without affecting other transactions. This largely eliminates the need for read locks, and ensures the database maintains ACID principles. 
  • Reliability and Standards Compliance: PostgreSQL’s write-ahead logging makes it a highly fault-tolerant database. Its large base of open source contributors lends it a built-in community support network. PostgreSQL is ACID compliant, and has full support for foreign keys, joins, views, triggers, and stored procedures, in many different languages. 
  • A Supportive Community: PostgreSQL offers a devoted community that is always available to you. Private, third-party support services are also available. The community updates the PostgreSQL platform via the PostgreSQL Global Development Group.

Methods to Connect WordPress to PostgreSQL

Method 1: WordPress PostgreSQL Integration Using a Fork Version of PG4WP

This method makes use of the fork version of PG4WP, a stable alternative to the original PG4WP plugin that allows users to install and use WordPress with a PostgreSQL database as a backend.

Method 2: WordPress PostgreSQL Integration Using a Bridge

This approach connects WordPress PostgreSQL database nodes using an Application Server bridge that includes the use of a fast and reliable load balancer and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications like HAProxy.

Method 3: Using Hevo Data to Connect MySQL to PostgreSQL

A fully managed, No-code Data Pipeline platform like Hevo Data, helps you load data from WordPress (among 100+ Sources) to PostgreSQL in real-time, in an effortless manner. Hevo, with its minimal learning curve, can be set up in a matter of minutes, making the users ready to load data without compromising performance. Its strong integration with various sources such as databases, files, analytics engines, etc. gives users the flexibility to bring in data of all different kinds in a way that’s as smooth as possible, without having to write a single line of code.

Get Started with Hevo for Free

WordPress PostgreSQL Integration

Unfortunately, the official WordPress distribution only supports MySQL and MariaDB database engines. WordPress has identified a number of obstacles in developing a version that includes support for the PostgreSQL database engine. According to the official documentation, it would be costly to implement WordPress PostgreSQL integration because every new WordPress version would have to be tested against the PostgreSQL database back-end. Because many plugins also rely on MySQL-specific calls, making ‘everything’ multi-database compatible will probably never be possible.

Meanwhile, the available WordPress PostgreSQL plugins like PostgreSQL for WordPress (PG4WP) or WPPG aren’t reliable options since they haven’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. These plugins might result in incompatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Note: If you still choose to use these plugins, you should be aware of the following: WordPress PostgreSQL plugin, PG4WP is expected to be slower than the original WordPress with MySQL because PG4WP does much SQL rewriting for any page view. Some WordPress plugins should work out of the box but many plugins won’t because they would need specific code in PG4WP. 

With that being said, let’s take a look at how you can perform WordPress PostgreSQL integration using these three methods:

Method 1: WordPress PostgreSQL Integration Using a Fork Version of PG4WP

As opposed to the original PG4WP plugin, the fork version of PG4WP is a much more stable and superior solution that allows users to install and use WordPress with a PostgreSQL database as a backend.

Note: Before you begin, keep in mind that the fork version of PG4WP requires WordPress version 2.9.2 or higher and has been tested up to WordPress version 4.5.3. If you are using WordPress 5.x, you should avoid utilizing this approach.

Installing the Fork Version of PG4WP

For things to operate correctly, you must install the PG4WP plugin before configuring your WordPress installation. This is due to the fact that the database must be operational before any plugin can be loaded. 

To get started open your terminal on Ubuntu, and follow the instructions:

Step 1: Download WordPress.

# Point to your webserver root - typically 
$ cd /var/www/html
$ wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

# Then untar
$ tar xzf latest.tar.gz
# There will a folder named wordpress

Step 2: Create a database in PostgreSQL and grant all privileges. For example, in our case, we’ve created a database named wp1.

$ sudo su - postgres
$ psql
$ create database wp1;
$ create user adminwp1 with password 'secret123';
$ grant all privileges on database wp1 to adminwp1;
$ q 

Step 3: Edit config file with database from Step 2. 

# Using sed to edit the file
$ sed -e 's/database_name_here/wp1/g' -e 's/username_here/adminwp1/g' -e 's/password_here/secret123/g' -i ./wp-config.php

# that will make the following changes in wp-config.php
define( 'DB_NAME', 'wp1' );
define( 'DB_USER', 'adminwp1' );
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'secret123' );

Step 4: Perform this only if setting up the development environment.

$ sed 's/(def.*WP_DEBUG.*,) true/1 false/g' -i ./wp-config.php

#That will make the following changes  in wp-config.php
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

Step 5: Install PostgreSQL driver called PG4WP.

#Go into wp-content subfolder
$ cd wp-content

#Download the repository of the driver code
$ git clone https://github.com/kevinoid/postgresql-for-wordpress.git
$ mv postgresql-for-wordpress/pg4wp Pg4wp
$ cp Pg4wp/db.php db.php

Step 6: Confirm driver is set to PostgreSQL (pgsql).

$ grep DB_DRIVER db.php
# this will return the following
# define('DB_DRIVER', 'pgsql'); // 'pgsql' or 'mysql' are supported for now

Step 7: Clean up if necessary.

$ rm -rf postgresql-for-wordpress
$ rm ../../latest.tar.gz
#Finally complete the installation via web browser
https://<webserver>/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php

Method 2: WordPress PostgreSQL Integration Using a Bridge

Another solution for integrating WordPress PostgreSQL is by creating an Application Server Bridge using a fast proxy server like HAProxy. HAProxy is free and open-source software that provides a high availability load balancer and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications.

You can also supplement your bridge with a database management system like ClusterControl for easily deploying PostgreSQL database instances with a point-and-click interface.

The only problem- this process can get time-consuming and complex especially for beginners who wish to integrate the WordPress PostgreSQL database.

Method 3: WordPress PostgreSQL Integration Using Hevo

Hevo Logo: WordPress PostgreSQL

Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline, helps you transfer data from WordPress and other 100+ data sources to PostgreSQL & lets you visualize it in a BI tool. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. It allows you to focus on key business needs and perform insightful analysis using various BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, etc. 

Sign up here for a 14-day Free Trial!

Steps to use Hevo Data for WordPress PostgreSQL Connection:

Hevo Data focuses on two simple steps to get you started:

  • Configure Source: The first step is to connect Hevo Data with a data source of your choice- such as WordPress. You need to specify a couple of settings to configure this namely the pipeline name, database host, name, port, user, and password.
  • Integrate Data: Load data from WordPress to PostgreSQL by providing your PostgreSQL database credentials such as your authorized PostgreSQL account, along with a name for your database, destination, and project Id. 
PostgreSQL Destination Set up in Hevo: WordPress PostgreSQL

Check out other features that make Hevo amazing:

  • Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Minimal Learning: Hevo, with its simple and interactive UI, is extremely simple for new customers to work on and perform operations.
  • Hevo Is Built To Scale: As the number of sources and the volume of your data grows, Hevo scales horizontally, handling millions of records per minute with very little latency.
  • Incremental Data Load: Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
  • Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow and check where your data is at a particular point in time.

Conclusion

WordPress PostgreSQL integration can happen in a lot of ways- whether you want to connect using plugins like P4GWP or employ a bridge technique, both of these methods can become time-consuming and inefficient for you, causing friction in the process.

We recommend using effective ETL tools like Hevo, a simple solution to data integration that is created expressly to handle the issue of heterogeneous data source connection, allowing Small and Medium Businesses to operate smoothly with their everyday applications including WordPress.

Hevo Data with its strong integration with 100+ Sources & BI tools such as WordPress and PostgreSQL allows you to not only export data from sources & load data in the destinations, but also transform & enrich your data, & make it analysis-ready so that you can focus only on your key business needs and perform insightful analysis using BI tools. 

Visit our Website to Explore Hevo

Hevo lets you migrate your data from your WordPress application, PostgreSQL database to any Data Warehouse of your choice like Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, Google BigQuery, or Firebolt within minutes with just a few clicks.

Would you like to try the Hevo? Sign Up here for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. You can also check our pricing and make a decision on your best-suited plan. 

Share your ideas about learning WordPress PostgreSQL integration in the comments area below. Tell us of any other WordPress integrations you’d want us to cover. We’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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