MariaDB vs MySQL in 2024 - What Makes A Great Database Management System?

By James LePage
 on January 25, 2022

MariaDB vs MySQL in 2024 - What Makes A Great Database Management System?

By James LePage
 on January 25, 2022

Despite the fact that MariaDB is a fork of MySQL ORacle database, they have diverged to the extent that they are now very different. A database management system like MySQL is a paid software service, whereas MariaDB is fully GPL licensed. MariaDB also offers much-improved performance and supports very many different storage engines.

What is Maria DB?


MariaDB was first released in late 2009 to secure the MySQL code base as a free database management system for ever. It was based on the highly successful MySQL and developed as an open-source resource. Microsoft and WordPress, amongst a host of other companies, rely on Maria DB and MySQL to run their businesses.

Maria DB was further developed to be interchangeable with MySQL to allow clients to move seamlessly from one platform to the other.

What is MySQL?


MySQL is a relational database (RDBMS) and is one of the key components in the development of the internet. It is an infrastructure product that other products use and it has dominated the database market since its inception.

It operates on top of a Linux distribution, keeping data in databases organized with a combination of PHP and Apache Web Server.

The Key Differentiating Factors Between MariaDB and MySQL           

  • MariaDB incorporates 12 new storage engines, with MySQL having fewer storage engines. MySQL has a smaller connection pool than MariaDB. DB is faster than MySQL.
  • MySQL replication is slower than MariaDB.
  • MariaDB is Open Source, MySQL is not and uses proprietary code.
  • MySQL supports Data Masking and Dynamic column; MariaDB does not.

The power of MySQL is such that Facebook’s ability to handle millions of queries every second is facilitated by MySQL handling every user interaction. Netflix, YouTube,, Airbnb, and many other of the largest companies in the world are able to compete effectively only through the use of MySQL to handle their massive databases.

What’s the Benefits of Using Maria DB?

MariaDB operates as open-source software with GPL, BSD, or LGPL licenses. Standard querying languages are supported and many high-performance storage engines are supported and can be integrated with other RDMS’s. Crucially, MariaDB supports PHP. And finally, it supports Galera cluster technology.

Why Would You Choose MySQL?

With several relational database management systems available, the choice of using MySQL with its multiple storage engine support is a major advantage over systems like SQL that only support a single engine.

MySQL outperforms other systems due to its simplicity and support for multiple storage engines. MySQL also owes a debt of gratitude to phpMyAdmin as it acts as a powerful motivator to adopt the MySQL platform.

The Features of Maria DB

MariaDB offers backward compatibility and is open-source, making it a cost-effective option for companies wishing to make use of its powerful database management capabilities.

Being a lightweight version of MySQL, MariaDB has a myriad of new features due to its active development team of volunteers around the world. MySQL is slower and lacks support for Data Masking and Dynamic Columns. Access to newer commands such KILL and WITH together with compatibility with JSON are enticing options for developers of new software.

MySQL Enterprise Edition deficiencies are fixed through the use of plugins in MariaDB and server operating systems such as Linux, Solaris, and Windows are supported.

Code is easily converted due to the similarities to MySQL data structures and is written in C++, Bash, and Perl, MariaDB is accessible to most programmers.

MySQL Features

The scalability and flexibility of MySQL combined with its high performance and robust transactional support put it at the forefront of database tools. The web and data warehouse strengths are an important component of any development team’s considerations and MySQL is regularly updated and is an efficient performer across a multitude of markets.

A variety of data and users can be accessed simultaneously by multiple users in a highly scalable environment. MySQL is written in C and C++, which enjoys huge support and access by many programmers worldwide.

Disadvantages of MySQL

Licencing is restrictive, making it hard to scale effectively without it costing time and resources. Unfortunately, MYSQL is not ideally suitable for large-sized data with high loads on database servers occurring due to triggers.

Disadvantages of MariaDB

As with all open-source software, there is some doubt about its long-term sustainability and this is factored into the procurement decisions in large companies. Although the software is free, support is not and can be a costly additional expense, especially when contracts are moved either through non-performance or due to strategic management decisions.

WordPress and MySQL

MySQL’s popularity can be traced back to its use by WordPress, the CMS that dominates most of the web today with a 34% share of the market.


WordPress, written in PHP and using a MySQL database, is synonymous with open-source software. Incorporating GPL licensing and being compatible with Linux is a default inclusion with Ubuntu's free Linux distributions.

The MariaDB vs MySQL Adoption Decision

Answering the MariaDB vs MySQL question requires a thorough understanding of the requirements of any business, as no two are alike.

Business requirements differ along with the size of development budgets and there are certain factors that drive the final procurement decision.

MariaDB vs MySQL - Performance & Speed

The ability of a database to store and retrieve information and records is paramount. If a database cannot execute commands quickly and efficiently then transactions cannot be handled efficiently.

This is an area in which MariaDB excels and is superior to MySQL due to its 12 new storage engines and blisteringly quick speed. MySQL is unfortunately slow and cannot compete with MariaDB in this regard.

MySQL's slow processing speed is a major drawback.


MariaDB vs MySQL - Database Structure & Syntax

Developers at MariaDB complete a monthly merge of code from both platforms in an effort to ensure that the two systems are compatible and can talk to one another. This is not the case with the reverse.

MariaDB vs MySQL - Deployment & Clustering

Maria is available across multiple applications with the ability to replicate copies of the database from parent databases to child databases.

MySQL employs a similar structure to ensure that databases are properly managed and maintained.

MariaDB vs MySQL - Support, Development & Documentation

MariaDB has a vast team of support engineers available to provide their skills and experience to clientele across the world. The public development of MariaDB ensures that improvements are constantly being made and documented in a transparent manner.

Regular patches and security releases are issued. The MySQL enterprise edition also offers technical support under Oracle’s paid lifetime support licensing agreements. Developers and engineers provide support and regular maintenance is performed to resolve bugs and security issues. Regular patches are issued but the development of the software is private and the public is not included in the development process.

MariaDB vs MySQL - Pricing Models

The MariaDB vs MySQL pricing models can be described as follows:

Although MariaDB is open Source, they do offer a paid option via the SkySQL package.

MySQL’s pricing model is governed by the Oracle licensing agreements and is split into a MySQL Enterprise Edition to suit a range of budgets and performance requirements.

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Maria Khan
Maria Khan
2 years ago

Very a huge difference between MySQL and MariaDB.  MySQL has a smaller connection pool than MariaDB. MariaDB is faster than MySQL.I appreciate your work well keep it up

Article By
James LePage
James LePage is the founder of Isotropic, a WordPress education company and digital agency. He is also the founder of, a venture backed startup bringing AI to WordPress creators.
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