I don’t know why but this question comes up quite a lot actually.

What is the difference between PHPMyAdmin and MySQL?

  • MySQL is the database management system, or a database server.
  • phpMyAdmin is the web application written primarily in PHP. It’s used for managing MySQL database.

To be more specific, here is the detailed definition:

MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database. With its proven performance, reliability, and ease-of-use, MySQL has become the leading database choice for web-based applications, used by high profile web properties including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all five of the top five websites. Additionally, it is an extremely popular choice as embedded database, distributed by thousands of ISVs and OEMs.

phpMyAdmin is a free and open source administration tool for MySQL and MariaDB. As a portable web application written primarily in PHP, it is one of the most popular MySQL administration tools, especially for web hosting services.

In plain term, one is the database, and one other is the tool to access data from that database. That’s the difference.

Someone even asked which one is faster. They are not even in the same category to compare that way. If the term MySQL here actually refers to MySQL Workbench, another MySQL client built by MySQL team at Oracle, then it makes more sense. And the differences between phpMyAdmin and MySQL Workbench has already been demonstrated in this comparison.