DotNetNuke For Dummies
DotNetNuke — now called DNN Platform — is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to build and maintain dynamic websites just by using a web browser. If you want to develop websites without the help of a programmer, this is the online tool for you. With DNN Platform, you can build your website with a variety of modules and skins, and maintain a community on your site by using various tools within the Administrator and Host roles. You also have access to free resources available on the DNN website.
Modules and Skins in the DotNetNuke Store
The DotNetNuke (DNN) Store offers a wide variety of paid modules and skins for DNN users. The store is a marketplace for users to locate, purchase, and download third-party add-ons for DNN. The store also provides online services, which enables developers to publish, sell, and support DNN apps.
Modules: You can search through thousands of modules in the DNN Store for your site, filtering by category, product needs, price, and average review.
A module is a piece of functionality that you can add to a webpage to show content. The layout of a DNN website is designed by adding one or more modules to a page. If you want to add an interactive map or a search engine to your webpage, you could do so by adding a map module or a search engine module, for example.
Skins: The selection of available skins for purchase in the DNN Store can be searched for by color, type (basic, CSS, Flash, or HTML, for example), and genre (these are skins designed with a particular topic in mind, for example a business or sports-related website).
Design in DNN is called skinning. When you want to add a design to your DNN website, you simply slip a new skin onto it. A skin sets the layout of the page, controls the colors of the page, and controls the standard colors and sizes of text and headings on the page.
DotNetNuke Administrator and Host Roles
When you manage a DotNetNuke (DNN Platform) website, there are different roles and ways to control what visitors and members can see and do on your website. These roles also provide members with access to do more powerful things on your website such as add new pages, manage communities, change the design of a page, or even manage the whole website.
DNN Administrator tools
One of the special roles on your website is the Administrator (also known as the Portal Administrator, Site Administrator, or Admin). Administrators have full access and absolute power to build and modify all pages of a DNN website. DNN websites are created with only one Administrator, who is then able to assign more members to the Administrator role if they choose.
DNN offers lots of tools to help you manage all aspects of your website. Here's a quick explanation of what some of the tools allow you to do:
Pages: Pages lets you manage your navigation menu by moving pages around. You can also access any of your pages directly from here.
Security Roles: Add, edit, and delete your user groups here. You can set whether your users can subscribe to a role and you can set the cost for a subscription.
User Accounts: Here you can add, edit, and delete users on your site. You can also access the profiles of your users, manage their passwords, and look after which security roles they are members of.
Vendors: DNN has a cool system for allowing you to manage advertising on your site. You do this by managing your vendors, banners, and affiliates here.
File Manager: Content is what your site's about! The File Manager gives you a familiar way to manage files and folders on your website.
Recycle Bin: Whoops, didn't mean to delete that? The Recycle Bin will save the day and allow you to restore modules and pages.
DNN Host tools
There is only one Host Account for the whole of your DNN installation and, like the Administrator, the host can add new superusers. The host can build whole new websites within the one DNN installation, manage files that can be shared across all websites, and can control what types of content and files are available on a website.
Here's a quick explanation of some of the extra tools available to the host, and what each of the tools allows you to do:
Portal: Add new websites to your DNN installation and manage existing sites here.
Module Definitions: See what modules are currently installed and what version they are here. You can also install new modules and get new versions of modules here.
File Manager: This is the very similar to the File Manager in the Admin menu, except these files are for the superuser.
Vendors: Here you can manage vendors just like under the Admin menu, except these vendors are available to every portal in your installation.
SQL: If you know how to write SQL, you can execute it here. Be careful with SQL—it's a very powerful tool and, used wrongly, can break DNN.
Schedule: DNN has some tasks that run in the background that look after the database for you. Here you can see how they are going by checking the History of the item.
Search Admin: Manage how you want the DNN search to work and show its results.
Lists: Many parts of DNN use lists to give you options. Here you can look after those lists of information.
Superusers Accounts: This is a separate list of users who have access to every feature of DNN, including the host menu tools.
DotNetNuke Community Learning Resources
DotNetNuke, now called DNN Platform, is supported by a community of dedicated contributors that provide a wealth of knowledge and other resources on the DNN community web page.
Here are just some of the resources available to DNN users:
Community Blog: You'll find articles here where community members ask and answer questions about DNN.
Video Library: You can find how-to and overview videos on several DNN categories, including installation, development, modules, and site administration.
Wiki: This Wiki is a community-driven documentation effort supported by DNN community teams, DNN Corporation employees, and users like you.