I've a question about CMSs. Apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to put it as I've browsed and mostly seen coding related questions, but I'm not sure where else the topic would be appropriate.
My friend wants to build a website that focuses on writing, submitting, and approving articles. The idea is he wants users to be able to register for the site, and submit articles which will go on to a sort of moderation queue where an editor or something similar to that will approve it and publish it on the website. He wants the articles to be categorized into different types of categories. Basic functions would be submitting articles (in front end), approving (in back-end), and other front end things such as listing popular articles, latest articles, browse a list of categories, possibly a list of authors/contributors, and so on.
Another catch is that he wants to have a forum on his site as well, and wants the accounts to be integrated with the website. To put it simply, ideally a user would only have to sign-up once, and will be granted access to both article submission and an account for forums. Another thing is if its possible he would want to display something like "Latest Forum topics" on the homepage of the website as well.
Here's a website that he stated has pretty much the functionality he wants: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Arti...tg/daily/stf/64
What I've Done:
So I've researched a bit, and found that Joomla seems to be a popular free CMS that basically manages articles the way he wants. As for the forums, he and I are familiar with phpbb3, and I've found some modules that would enable integration between them (like JFusion). I've installed Joomla, and I can categorize articles into categories pretty easily, and I think the interface is pretty user friendly. However, I've also found reviews saying Joomla isn't very easy to use for moderated article submission (because of things like no notifications, no way for users to check their submission status, etc), which I've found made sense. I have found several components that have been suggested as an easier work around for Joomla's limitations.
So my question is:
To anyone who has experience with this kind of website, how did you go around building it? Joomla seems to be very popular, but do you know any other (free) CMSs that might do a better job? Or did you use a paid solution that offers more sophisticated functionality that caters exactly to your needs? Do websites generally use free CMSs and then customize it on their own?