I have been looking after my uncle's dog for the last two weeks, giving me plenty of time to work on this site. It might not look like much has changed on the surface. Though frontend development isn't my forte.
What has changed is the backend. I now use PHP's PDO for the database interaction. This allows much better management of errors for one thing due to the
try/catch nature of PDO coding. It should hopefully make it easier to migrate away from MySQL/Oracle calamity. The obvious choice would be MariaDB but I hear good things about PostgreSQL.
I'm also working on the authentication system. I know use PHP sessions, with a cookie for persistent login. I am taking my inspiration from this well thought article about the matter. Though I still need to sure up the security side of things, particularly against CSRF attacks.
One final thing with regards to security, you may have noticed I know require https to browse this website. Why not?