DNN is a powerful CMS for business web applications.

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What is DNN?

DNN (DotNetNuke) is a Content Management System that works on the Microsoft platform. DNN Platform is free to use, making it particularly attractive to budget sensitive businesses. DNN Evoq is the professional option.

DNN is a fully featured CMS, it is popular not just with marketing and sales, but also with software developers and engineers. This is because it allows additional modules to be developed to meet your exact needs, and because it works within the .Net framework, allowing significant integrations and developments to be undertaken.

Below we summarise the areas that we believe are important, and the features which are particularly well executed within DNN.


DNN at a glance. or... What does DNN let me do?

1. Content Management System: DNN allows you to manage your content and provide appropriate user access privileges.

Most websites use a CMS to manage the content that is shown to the site visitor.

DNN allows that Content to be created and workflowed until such time as you are happy to make the content public.

Sites created with DNN can be fully public, partially public or completely private.

2. Open Source: DNN Platform is an open source CMS  which requires Microsoft's .Net Framework to run.

Perhaps unusually DNN is available in an Open Source form in addition to the Evoq professional level version.

DNN Platform is supported by a huge community of loyal supporters and many developers use it as the backbone to Microsoft Stack based applications.

Because of it's .Net architecture and it's Open Source nature, it is a very popular CMS framework.

3. Custom skins: DNN allows you to change the look of your site by developing Skins. A Skin contains HTML and CSS to alter the colours and styles used on the site.

A Skin defines the layour of each page, by defining the various areas where modules can be placed. Skins also provide the styles for the site: such as font types & colours.

Although Skins can be developed, there are many attractive Skins available commercially. These allow good looking sites to be created rapidly.

4. Third Party Modules: DNN allows developers to create custom modules and to provide functionality not within the standard DNN Platform.

DNN comes with a variety of modules to allow you to build the site you want, however you can also create custom modules.

By creating custom modules you can ensure that your business systems can be fully integrated with your DNN online application.

5.  Various levels: DNN has a couple of options. DNN Platform is Open Source and supported by the Community. DNN Evoq is the professional level with full support.

The Platform version of DNN is free to use and has a loyal group of supporters.

DNN Evoq, is the professional level, giving you access to the support services of the DNN team.

6.  ASP.NET: DNN operates on the .Net Framework and requires  SQL Server and IIS.

Many hosting companies offer one click DNN install options to reduce the complexity of setting up a suitable DNN CMS environment.

That said, you can set up DNN on Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS environments.

With the help of a suitbaly skilled, DNN familiar, DBA of course.

7. Search Engine Optimisation: DNN provides straightforward access to website Metadata for SEO purposes.

Each page on a DNN site can have it's SEO related Metadata adjusted in order to maximise the chances of being found on the Search Engines.

Page Titles, Menu Names, Descriptions and Keywords can be easily accessed and controlled for each page.

8. Undo: DNN allows you to quickly reverse your changes.

When you publish your content and realise you have made a mistake it is easy to roll back to a previous version of the HTML module in question.

This ensures that any HTML formatting errors, or content copy errors can be undone, corrected and re-published, saving you hours of time.

9. URL management and control: DNN gives you complete control over each pages URL .

DNN allows the URL of each of  your pages to be tightly controlled by you, giving you valuable SEO capability.

This means that each page can have a simple URL, making it easy to reference in documentation, and making it potentially much more SEO friendly.

10. User Permission: DNN provides full control for user access and permissions.

The DNN Content Management System is particularly well designed when it comes to user access.

Each page on your site can have different access levels, allowing you to define who can see what. But it goes even further and also allows module visibility within a page to be controlled based on user as well.

11. Role Based Permission: DNN allows you to administer with ease the Roles of each of your users.

In large organisations, or in sites with a great many users you will want to easily allocate roles to certain groups of people.

Again DNN excels in this area, giving you a flexible and easy to use admin system to ensure your users get the access you want them to get.

12. WYSIWYG: DNN does its best to be What You See Is What You Get.

DNN allows you to drag and drop your various modules around each page. At times this can be a little awkward, but it is something that you get used to.

The Text/HTML editor also supports a level of WYSIWYG editting. However, you will find that relying on the HTML editor rather than the visual editor, gives more predictable results.

DNN is a flexible Microsoft.NET Open Source CMS

What applications is DNN good for?

DNN has a great many features and is ideal if you want to extend it and integrate with other systems. So where is it typically used?

1. As a big, fully featured, grown up CMS to let you build robust websites it is excellent. If you are looking for something light weight though, it is probably not for you.

2. If you want complete control over functionality, or have unusual functional requirements, then there is no better CMS in the Microsoft world. The ability to extend and integrate with other systems is first class.

3. For community sites it is particularly useful, thanks to the user access permission based controls that are at the centre of the system.

4. For Business to Business sites exchanging information in a secure and robust manner DNN fits the bill. Admittedly B2B sites like that will require some DNN develeopment experts but the DNN Framework is a solid foundation to build on.

5. If, however, you are looking for a Shopping Cart CMS then DNN is probably not for you. It can be done, but it's worth weighing up the options first.



Our DNN development team are experienced in designing, deploying and maintaining

Business to Business DNN systems that are robust and reliable.

Don't delay: call us on 01786 430076, or fill in our enquiry form, to find out how we can help and to discuss our availability.