What’s the state of the art these days in building your own community site? The basic idea is that you start with a blog, but you want user registration, profile pages, forums, and perhaps the ability to give users their own blogs.
Yesterday I read some horrible things about Joomla in a private forum. There’s also Movable Type Community Solution. I expect that the UI is very nice, but I can’t get over the idea that Movable Type is slow. That’s a conclusion I’ve come to running this site on Movable Type. (I’ve even installed FastCGI and eAccelerator, but some operations still feel slow.
I have installed Drupal, and impressed by how finished it seems. (There’s a FreeBSD port for it, which is really nice.) I’m still not sure I like it, though. All of the themes are pretty ugly, and I don’t love the tools for laying out the site particularly well.
There are also plenty of people who are building sites using forum software like phpBB and the various extensions that other “community site” features people have become accustomed to.
There are also sites where you can set up social networks like Ning and Tribe.net. Heck, you can even just set up a blog on Vox and try let other people who are interested in the community set up their own Vox accounts.
So what’s the right answer these days. I’m going to continue pushing forward on the Drupal path for now (for a site other than this one), but I’m curious to know what people think of the market these days.