I've been using WordPress since 2004 and there is a reason that it has grown in popularity. Community!
So many tools exist today that allow you to connect existing solutions without having to build from scratch. Don't be dumb. Use what is already there.
You can learn a lot just from taking a peek at what tools a person uses. Enjoy this list. (coming soon)
Here's a talk I gave last year at our local WordPress meetup.