I need to have an advanced membership website developed, allowing 2 different types of users to login, create profiles and view customised dashboards - very similar to Clarity in terms of functionality in fact. Do you have any recommendations on whether WordPress or Ruby on Rails would offer the best solution? I know that WordPress is widely used and has great functionality but was informed by a developer that Ruby on Rails would provide a more advanced solution. I'm also seeking a developer - preferably this won't lead to a biased answer for the first part of my question - any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! (Functionality will be key for me.)
You are comparing apples to oranges. WordPress is a platform, Ruby is a web framework. If you are looking to develop a completely custom platform, you could certainly do it in Rails, but you could also write it in PHP (like WordPress).
I'd do some digging and see what is out there for pre-made software first before you build something from scratch. I'd imagine there are already plugins that would do this sort of thing for Expression Engine, Joomla or WordPress. No need to re-invent the wheel!