When I open phpMyAdmin and look at the "status" tab, my query statistics seem very abnormal. It says there are 21,000 questions per minute since startup, with over 500 million total (200 million this weekend only).
My page is technically up, but not really public yet, so no one should know about the existence of any of this. Are these queries internal somehow?
I noticed that in addition to the database I made manually there is something called "information_schema". Maybe that has something to do with it.
Your hits are likely from bots. If your site is accessible via web browser, then it is up and live, even if it has not been formally introduced to the world via a search engine. You may want to check your stats to see if your site was visited by the bots. You may also want to create and use a robots.txt file to control it. This should help reduce unwanted bot traffic for your site.
Thanks for your answer.
I did see access from bots. I am somewhat familiar with "robots.txt", but didn't know there was a way to bar them specifically from querying the database.
The number of hits on my page from bots is nowhere near the number of queries on my database though,
There will rarely be a 1:1 ratio for visits to database hits. One single page crawl can end up with many database queries. Another possible cause could be runaway queries via code, which causes extraneous database hits. Checking the code to ensure the queries are correct and optimized and even caching can help with reducing hits on the database.