The other tool we offer which is easier to use but not by much is Wordpress Multisite. We have a system by which students can login and instantly create a website. We call it "student sites" and they are often required to use this portal to display art work, writings, etc. We currently have over 2000 Wordpress sites on this platform.
The issue with Wordpress is that it isn't exactly private to the level you want it to be. Wordpress is great and easy to use but it doesn't have the control you need. Mahara gives you all the control and functionality you need. We've looked far and wide and Mahara is the tool for the job with the features we needed when it comes to control and features for portfolios, reflection, and feedback for students.