Help me find the right web app for my project.
March 5, 2011 1:51 PM   Subscribe

What is a good web application to help me set up a site where users have their own public profile page with photos?

I offered to help a friend implement a website idea he has. It's basically a site where part-time freelancers (carpenters, electricians, web designers, etc) can set up a public profile page explaining what they offer. It will need to allow them to edit their own content and upload photos of their work. Obviously they shouldn't be allowed to edit any other parts of the site. Visitors to the site would then search through the profiles to find someone they'd like to work with.

I've worked with Wordpress quite a bit in the past, but it doesn't seem to fit this project quite as well. I've also considered a wiki, but that seems a bit clunky. Anyone have any suggestions of a web app that might fit the bill? My preference is Open Source, but I'm willing to consider anything.

Thanks in advance!
posted by ufris to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been wrestling with this myself lately. Wordpress on its own isn't right, but with Buddypress installed, it's a viable option. You may need a few other extensions installed. Buddypress is intended to be a Facebook-alike, with a focus on communication among members rather than facing outward to non-members, but it would work.

Another obvious choice would be Drupal, which allows for highly customized profiles. Drupal just got revved to version 7, and not all the modules available for it have caught up. You might want to fool around with v6, just because of the module availability. I've been playing with D7, and might need to try out D6 just to get the features I want.

Search has been the big issue for me—I want to have controlled vocabularies for certain attributes, and let site visitors do point-and-click searches on those attributes. Buddypress seems to have the upper hand with what's available out of the box, but Drupal is so flexible that there's probably a way to make it do what I want (and of course, custom code is always a possibility, if you've got the chops). I just haven't rolled up my sleeves high enough to figure it out yet.

As a side-tip, if you're not already working with a local stack, by all means, start. For the Mac you'd download MAMP (WAMP for Windows, LAMP for Linux).

I'll be interested in hearing what other folks have to say about this.
posted by adamrice at 2:08 PM on March 5, 2011

Possibly Mahara? Not quite sure if it would fit the bill, but have a look. Disclaimer: I just started working for a company that is involved in the development of Mahara, but I don't really know anything about it beyond having a vague idea of the functionality.
posted by jzed at 2:32 PM on March 5, 2011

Thanks for the ideas!

adamrice: Buddypress looks like it's worth looking into. I considered Drupal briefly, but I don't think I'm quite ready dig that deep. Thanks for the local stack tip - I'm using LAMP.

jzed: I've heard of Mahara, but it looks promising. Thanks!
posted by ufris at 3:46 PM on March 5, 2011

Expression Engine with the User plugin from Solspace might work but it would need some tweaking to extend the functionality. Good luck with the project!
posted by dawkins_7 at 4:39 PM on March 5, 2011

posted by 3mendo at 1:04 AM on March 6, 2011

The extensions for EE and Joomla look promising. I'll report back once I figure out what I'm going to do.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
posted by ufris at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2011

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