Recommendations for website backend/frontend direction for SMB

I am looking for helpful suggestions for a website direction (or all-encompassing solution) for an online business that markets high value items on behalf of vendors, with medium-high monthly website traffic from all around the world.

Currently we have a relational database on a server in our office. This links via SQL/ODBC calls to our website MS SQL server. We have used this database for over 20 years and like it; it’s very easy to use, both for data input and for development. The website (on a separate dedicated server to the SQL but same host) is hand-coded ASP/PHP pages, using a CDN for image delivery. A small part of the website is using WordPress to display blog posts.


Our current main problems are:

  • customer data in our office and web databases are separate; each can exist without the other, impacting our ability to market products end-to-end and maximise sales potential

  • difficult to add new features to website; all of our website is hand coded with bespoke and complex responsive CSS, login, account, etc

  • updating of website data is slow due to individual SQL calls

  • office database is an expensive subscription; has become slower as we’ve built in more functionality

  • the CDN is both storage and delivery; service does not allow programming to manage images; package is expensive as our bandwidth creeps up with ever-higher traffic, while our storage use remains fairly even

  • Windows server and MS SQL licence costs, 3 dedicated servers (web, db, email)

  • our website is slow, despite everything we’ve tried over several years to speed it up

  • development team numbers only 1: me, and I currently have to know a bit about everything: web, css, JS, server admin, RDBMS dev, VOIP system/ JSON, XML, Adwords, SEO, email deliverability, etc


The ideal solution is a system that spans the web/office boundary, is easy to use for website users and our staff and allows me to construct the many bespoke systems (data entry automation, emailing, data imports) we need to get our jobs done. We’d like cleaner and standardised functionality on our website: an account system that is secure, feature-full and user-friendly; product search that is fast and flexible, the ability to add functionality much quicker than "months" and have CRM capabilities to keep in touch with our users.

I have experimented with Code Igniter and Elastic Search, and it has been suggested we use WordPress. The only experience I have with WordPress is seeing the rubbish that comes out of it as data exports, given that it is a publishing system not a database system.

I have obliquely looked at services such as Salesforce et al but they are outside our reach financially and also lack the fine control we need. E.g. we have hundreds of data feeds of varying standard and bespoke formats.

I’d love to hear suggestions on the direction you think we could take either the website or a complete office/web system.

Resource Recommendations for Mathematica in Theoretical Physics

I know there are a lot of resources available out there for learning Wolfram Language. However, I would like to create a specific query here (which might lead to a useful thread in the future). I would be soon starting a PhD in Sting Theory and would like to learn Mathematica to make my life easy. Hence, I am looking for resources that I can use to learn Mathematica that I would be used in string theory research. As of what I know right now, there are three broad classifications of the tasks that a Theoretical physicist would be undertaking,

  1. Complicated algebraic tasks, which may involve vectors, tensors etc and their manipulations. This may also involve tasks like using differential operators, differntial forms and all sorts of algebras like lie algebra, super symmertic algebra etc.

  2. The numerical solution to eigenvalue problems, differential equations etc, which may involve use of several data structures like lists and tables.

  3. Simulation and/or data analysis and visulatization (plots etc).

I know no single book would teach all the three sorts. But can someone recommend books, resources, courses etc for each type or something? Please feel free to add to the list if I have missed a particular classification.

MySQL Database Schema recommendations?

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Hello, all! I have several needs that I’m attempting to accomplish with my database implementation.

  1. List number of wins / losses for a particular user
  2. Keep track of the amount of coins a user has
  3. Allow user to purchase items from a shop
  4. List profitability from all gambling-based games

For my use case, I have several games the end user can play. The "Fun" category of games does not award ‘coins’; however, I want users to be able to list how many they’ve won. All the gambling-based games allow players to earn / lose their ‘coins’ when playing.

  • Fun Games:

    • Rock, Paper, Scissors
    • Connect Four
    • TicTacToe
  • Gambling Games

    • Slot Machine (Slots)
    • Black Jack
    • HiLo
    • Coin Flip

After doing some research online, I have implemented a ‘match’ table to keep track of all the matches between players. With two player game sessions, two rows will be created. If I want to know how many wins a player has, I can use a sum(wins) from the match table. Additionally, from the ‘gambling’ match table, I can run a similar query to pull the profitability loss / gain. Is there a better way of doing this?

Additionally, if a user profited from a gambling match – I’m assuming I’d need to perform two operations:

  • Add new row in GamblingMatch
  • Update amount of coins a player has

At this moment, I’m not sure of a way to do that in one operation.

Recommendations about deleting large set of rows in MSSQL

I need to delete about 75+ million rows from a table everyday that contains around 3.5 billions of record.

Database recovery mode is simple, I have writen a code that deletes 15.000 rows in a while condition until all 75M records is deleted. (i use batch delete due to log file grow) However, with current deletion speed it looks like it will take at least 5 days, which means that amount of data required to be deleted is multiply faster than my deletion speed.

Basically what i’m trying to do is summarizing (in another table) and deleting data older than 2 months. There is no update operation in that table, only insert and delete.

I have an enterprise edition of MSSQL 2017

Any suggestions will be welcome.

SEO – tailoring recommendations based on accept-language header

It appears that Google strongly recommends providing a separate URL for content that’s fitted to a user’s locale:

However, if you look at a site like YouTube, You can see that content (ie: the recommended videos) changes according to locale without a change in the URL.

Is YouTube not following Google’s advice here? Or is the situation different since they only change the recommended videos without actually changing the content of the page (eg: the text and layout)?

I have a similar situation with a marketplace website where I’d like to change the recommended products according to the locale (locale is very relevant for the recommendations for my specific case) using the accept-language header. The general layout of the page and the text is no different, but the recommended products shown (including their captions and pictures) will vary. I wasn’t planning on changing the URL for the page though. Should I?

Recommendations for JCIFS replacement [closed]

The app of mine(Java-based) is using the JCIFS library. I’ve just realized that JCIFS is no longer supported, so I’ve decided to switch on something, that will support SMB1, SMB2, SMB3 protocols and the implementation of it won’t require a lot of changes within the project. Is there any library you would recommend?

During little research of mine, I’ve found JCIFS-ng, but it doesn’t support SMB1 (or at least I couldn’t find information about that is SMB1 supported or not).

Also, I’ve found the JNQ library, but I was wondering is there any better library that I could use? I’d love to may it be open-source.

Recommendations for website filesizes re mobile data rates?

Are there any recommended guidelines for how much a data a mobile-friendly website should consume during casual browsing?

For desktop browsing, data consumption is not so much of an issue, so long as load times are good. However, many mobile users may be on a fixed data plan, and will avoid visiting websites known to gobble up their data.

As an example, I am designing a website to bring attention to an issue of public concern. Though primarily informational, I’d like to be able to display as many images as possible. The idea is, during casual browsing, the user will be exposed to a number of new images.

To achieve this, suppose I randomly select a new image every time the user visits a new page. This strategy may be acceptable for desktop users, but I am worried about gobbling up data of mobile users, causing them to avoid the site.

Email Encryption Recommendations (Egress, O365 and Forcepoint) [on hold]

Could somebody provide some positives / drawbacks of the email encryption approaches for the three platforms mentioned. I have been researching this in depth, however, I am conscious that a lot of the reports im reading have a certain element of bias in their findings (e.g. most information seems to derive from one of the mentioned companies). I am very interested to hear the opinions of users on this site.