I have a problem. I have a wordpress site hosted by 1and1.co.uk at benbryant.co.uk. The package I bought from 1and1 didn't include a MySQL database. No problem, I thought, since I'd heard you can get free ones via freemysql.net. I registered with freemysql.net and they've been OK for a year, but sometimes their server goes down and crashes, meaning my site goes down. Like now. So I want to move to another database.
1and1 have just upgraded the package I'm on to give me 1 MySQL database. I don't actually understand what a MySQL database does. I thought it was something ethereal and dreamlike to do with the magical interweb that didn't really affect my site. So I thought that all I'd need to do to change databases would be configure the 1and1 MySQL database and then just change the values in my wp-config file.
Except that when I did that, I ended up with the wordpress installation screen. And when I got past that, I was facing the default blog screen with none of my content or theme or modifications. I was terrified. I checked my blog via FTP and all of my wp-content files are still safe. All of my images are still there. Everything is as it should be. Except that nothing looks the way it should. So I've changed back to the Free MySQL database (for which the server is still down, so you can't view my site - sorry).
What can I do, if anything, to change the database and make my blog look the way it should? And what do MySQL databases actually do?