Advice needed for creating a community for car enthusiasts
After searching for the past several months and looking at the pros and cons of each forum software, I decided to my community with Vanilla Forums. I love VF's feature of rewards and can not think of a better way to encourage contributors.
Long story short, I have never built a site before and need advice on what platform/software I should use to develop my site. The site will be a community for car enthusiast with a feature that will allow users to review aftermarket parts they have for their car.
I will create a product catalog on the site for all popular aftermarket parts and allow users to discuss, leave reviews, ask questions, and rate different criteria of the car parts.
For example, there will be a product page for a popular car stereo. Users can come on to this product page and ask questions or leave reviews on the car stereo.
Users can give a 1-5 rating on the criteria that I have setup for the specific that item. Example for car stereo:
Easy To Install
The widget would look something like this:
When users wants to create a review it would look like this:
Here is the actual live site is here in case you guys want to check it out: http://goo.gl/0kd2E
The site is super slick with a lot of cool features that I would love to add to my new site. For example, users can see what products other people like or want on their user page. They also have a pretty cool "follow" user feature and will update your activity log of your friends activity.
With that (I hope you guys are still with me haha),
I am 99.99% sure that I want to use Vanilla Forum as the community part of the site. I just do not know what other platform/software I should use to create the other part of the site. Or if I even need another software at all? I looked into embedding VF forums but read the pros and cons and thought it might not be too intuitive for the users. I would rather have two separate sites but somehow use a single sign on application.
Some additional features I would like for the new site is:
Single Sign On
Reviews and Comments created on the product page will automatically create a new thread or add to an existing thread, similar to vanilla comments.
Follow feature would be very cool. I understand VF has a plugin for not sure if it is working or how it works.
A "Own" or "Want" button, When users own or want this the car stereo, they can click it and it would show up on their profile page in an own or want section.
Does anyone have any recommendations on what I should use to build this type of site. I would need a find a developer somewhere to help me with this but I am not exactly sure what skills they must have to create this.
What do you guys think of using WP? My site will have a blog and WP has a lot of plugins available but I am a afraid that WP would limit me if I needed to add features that are "outside the box" in the future.
In addition, I am only a college student and do not have a lot disposable income and spend $xx,xxx to build this. However, I really do feel that car enthusiasts like me needs a community like this. I am not 100% sure if the site would be successful but I really want to give it a shot and try my hardest to grow the site.
If you are still here with me, thank you! soo much for reading this!!! Any help or input would be truly grateful. Thanks again.