I know the focus is often on micro niche sites, but lately I've been thinking of growing an authority site along with them. I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of which base platform to start with. On the one hand, I can try and do it with Wordpress and a combination of plugins plus SimplePress forums. I've used SimplePress before, but I'm not too keen on it because it lacks a lot of advertising and monetization features that I _think_ exist in vbulletin. vBulletin is the other avenue I've been thinking about. I have seen sites that integrate vBulletin + a variety of mods to achieve what I want to build. But from what I understand this can get pricey quickly between the base license plus mod costs. Perhaps there are some other platforms I am overlooking. Ideally it would be free or low cost, say under a couple hundred bucks. What I want the site to do: - Blog that I can update - Article directory - with free and paid option for featured articles - Website/link directory - with thumbnailing and also free and paid option for featured directory listings / do-follow links, preferably where the featured listing then gets some additional things like additional images or videos etc. - Forums/community system - I have built sites before using buddypress and didn't really like it too much. I have also used SimplePress and it works but I _think_ there is no way out of the box to do things like restrict signatures or links in signatures to a paying member or certain group membership. I'm also not sure how well it scales. I know vBulletin can be made to scale (ergo BHW with what, almost 300k members?). The other option is maybe I go the silo'd app route, and have individual apps in directories for each core function. But then you've gotta deal with making them all look the same, share user data between them, etc. This is what I'm trying to avoid. I've built a couple of sites like this before with various combinations of phpLD, WP, and other scripts and it always becomes a big PITA to manage. I also want to make sure I use a platform with the SEO and monetization capabilities (membership levels, advertising, featured articles and listings) in it and figured out up front so I'm not trying to figure out how to hack things to bolt it on later once things start to grow. So if anyone has any platform recommendations I'd love to hear them.