Knowledge Base



As a web design consultant specializing in DNNSoftware, I often get asked the question "why use DNN?".

Why not use Microsoft's SharePoint, or Content Management Server or some other system? Why not build from a new website from scratch? Decision makers in an organization may not be aware of the pros and cons of the various choices - and they will need good information to make a choice.

Surprisingly, there is very few resources on the web with a list of reasons why to use DNN, so I have referenced the list below.

1. Have an instant website

Simply download and run the installer, and get an instant website with a huge list of features. This website can be used immediately, will look professional and can be put online straight away. This website will allow you to easily add your own content using the large variety of built in modules. There will be no need to know HTML or other coding languages. To do all this when building a website from scratch would take several months effort - why make this effort when DNN does so much for you?

2. Plug in module based architecture

Each separate piece of content on a DNN website is a module. This module based approach allows us to easily layout pages by selecting modules and placing them in the desired place on the page. Changed your mind about a modules location? Simply drag and drop it to where a new location. Try doing that with a website where the positions of items on the page are hard coded - it will require a rewrite just to move the items around. Need some functionality that is not provided by the built in modules? It is easy to write your own module in ASP.NET and plug it in with DNN's module manager. Or buy a module from a third party module developer, there are many useful modules available at very low prices.

3. Plug in skin based layouts

DNN skins are a clip on cover for your website, just like the one for your cellphone or mp3 player. The obvious benefit of this is a consistent look and feel across an entire website. Skins are easy to operate, just choose the required skin from a list of skins and the whole website is updated to the new look. Try a different skin on a special occasion, like a christmas themed skin or a anniversary themed skin. Skins are easy to create too, and anyone who can create a html layout can create a skin. Skins even allow those who are not so skilled at design to create a good looking website.

4. Built in security and user management

DNN contains secure and well implemented built in role based security. Use the built in security administration pages to have full control over who can view and edit your web pages. Have a public area and one or more secured areas. This is very useful for creating websites that charge a subscription for premium content. use the role based security to give editing rights to selected users. Security settings apply to all of the website's visitors including search engines - your restricted pages will not be indexed and will not be found on Google. How many websites have had sensitive documents found on a search engine - far too many! By having built in security from day one, this disaster can be avoided.

5. Built in event and error logging

Want to know if everything is running smoothly on your website? Simply check the built in Event Log page to see what has happened. All errors are caught and logged automatically. Find out immediately what is going on, when it went wrong and where it went wrong. This very useful for anyone developing their own DNN modules. Websites without built in error logging will not know even know if anything is going wrong - ignorance is bliss? Probably not.

6. Resources available

DNN has a very large developer community behind it. There are a wide variety of resources available, from free DNN skins, free DNN modules, low priced third party modules and skins. Use these resources to add value to your website.

7. Use for any type of web application

DNN was originally created as a Content Management System, but it was soon realised that it could actually be used as the base for any type of web application. A huge variety of different websites have been created with DNN.

8. Performance and scalability

DNN is designed for high performance, and includes built in support for web farms. DNN has been proven on several high visibility websites, like the Australian National Rugby League website or even the DNN website - with 3.7 million hits per month!

9. Large DNN community

With over four hundred thousand registered users, DNN is one of the most popular website development frameworks available. This means there is continuous advancement and improvement in DNN, modules, skins, support and services.

10. BSD license

DNN's BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license allows anyone to make a commercial product or service using DNN. There are no royalties. No strings, no tricks. Just download and go!

Posted in: DNN


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