I'm needing to create a SharePoint portal with simple elements only like Document Libraries, custom application pages (some with Web Parts), and branding. The portal has around 5 subsites, each with different content. All sites should have publishing feature enabled.
I've already laid out the content, and I'm just figuring out what's the best approach to doing this? So far, I've heard of either creating a custom Site Definition or using Feature Stapling (with more preferring Feature Stapling).
I'm a bit hesitant on feature stapling as of now since most of the sites have differing content with each other, and as I understand, this approach attaches features to only a single template then automatically activates them. I probably don't want to tackle custom site definitions as I heard they can be a pain to manage especially when they need to be upgraded.
What I'm thinking as of now is just to create features at site level (no feature stapling) then probably just activate them via powershell script or something specific to each site.
However, I am open to any suggestions as I am grasping my way around to the best approach. Can please help suggest what approach would be best?
EDIT: BTW, I'm looking at utilizing Publishing Portal / Publishing Site as basis since I am needing publishing features for the pages.