Background to question: I'm an activist who tried and failed
I know a group of Academics that want to disband the States in Australia and have a National & Local government 2 tiered structure. These guys are GREAT at the political philosophy and have Phd's in this stuff, but they are not making use of simple online stuff like a good blog and forum to discuss all their theories and get activists inspired.
I only have a little spare time and am not a professional web developer or even designer. I'm just beginning to learn the basics of XHTML and CSS, don't know Dreamweaver (but have it as part of Adobe CS4), don't know Dreamweaver plugins for styling WP, don't know mysql or phpmyadmin or database management stuff.
I thought I could learn it all as I went along and got these activists up and running. However, then things started to go wrong. We had to move from one server to another and I didn't know enough database stuff to get our old forum out of phpbb and into SMF (both of which I thought seemed like 'complete' forum software at the time).
My question is this: can WP 'dumb it down' enough for me?
If I just went with 'standard' themes, 'standard' forum plug-ins and backup stuff so that I'm code-free (not having to play with mysql commands etc) would I have a high degree of confidence that I can handle their community development needs (which are for a basic blog and basic forum) and move servers etc in future, or a low degree of confidence, or run screaming for help getting a 'proper' web developer onto it? (One who passionately wants to Abolish Australia's states and donate some time to it... yeah, I like my chances! ;-)
How much SQL should I learn if I'm diving into WordPress?
Isn't there a wordpress "drop and drag" way to do all this yet?
It seems that to learn wordpress and set up themes the way I want them I have to know XHTML, CSS, PHP, MYSQL, phpmyadmin... it just goes on and on! Is that true?
PS: I heard there is a 'basic' forum plugin for WordPress, but who thinks a 'fully loaded' BBpress plugin will be developed? BBpress operates on a 'keep is simple' philosophy that drives me nuts because I'm the guy that wants ALL the options 'straight out of the box', and don't want to have to add dozens of plugins to work like most other forums (like phpbb or SMF) do out of the box. I especially don't want to worry that BBpress might not be compatible with dozens of essential plug ins when BBpress upgrades.