In a previous life I was a Mercedes Benz technician and I owned my own German car repair shop. When I first broke away from the dealership to open this shop I did it on a really limited budget. "Limited" may be an understatement, if I'm being perfectly honest. My marketing consisted of a magazine ad that I paid way too much for (and I got my hand slapped by the Mercedes legal team because I used a large image of the Mercedes Star). I knew I needed a website and I knew that websites were created using something called "html". I'd remembered seeing an option to save documents as html using Microsoft Word, so I built my first website myself using Word. I recently found that old website, Comic Sans and all. If you want a laugh, check it out.
A few years went by and I eventually paid someone to build me a new website. They built it using Dreamweaver, and man it looked good! The problem was, when I wanted something changed I had to fiddle around in Dreamweaver and then ftp the new files up to the server. It was not what I would call easy. One day a buddy of mine that I met in my BNI group told me about this system he used called DotNetNuke. I asked him to show me how it worked and the rest is history.
DotNetNuke has evolved substantially throughout the years that I have used it and it recently became known as DNN. It is a very powerful content management system that is used by companies such as Bank of America, BOSE, NASA, Verizon, and many other names you would recognize.
Sure, we build websites using other systems such as Wordpress and BigCommerce, but DNN is our go-to CMS that most of our websites have been built in, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Below are just a few of the reasons why.
- DNN is super easy to administrate.
Many of our clients leave the website administration up to us, but for the ones who want to do it themselves, I typically spend about an hour with them teaching them how to use the system and I rarely have to do a second session.
DNN websites are edited on page. What I mean by that is you go to the page you want to edit and you edit the page from within that page. You even edit the content sections from within the content section. The WYSIWYG editor has a familiar feel to anyone who works in programs like Word and Pages. No more fumbling around in a dashboard wondering where the section is that you need to edit from an interface that looks nothing like your actual website.
- DNN has a very strong user community.
DNN is like most CMS platforms in that it has 3rd party developers that make extensions (plugins/add-ons) that expand the functionality of the base platform. These developers make their living developing these extensions and because of this they pour their hearts and souls into creating outstanding products. Unlike Wordpress where most of the plugins have a free version, DNN extensions are usually for-pay with a free trial. "But Brian.... isn't free better than having to pay?" Nope! While you are hassling with broken free plugins, we are cruising right along with our extensions that we paid for. You truly do get what you pay for.
Some of my favorite examples of great developers are EasyDNNSolutions, NA Development, Mandeeps, and so many others. EasyDNNSolutions is my favorite because their News and Galleries modules are so powerful and versatile. EasyDNNNews is changing the way people are doing DNN. The module has so many features that it can be used to do just about every function that you would want in a website, all from the same familiar interface. See how they are doing this here.
- DNN is always becoming better.
When I first started using DNN, it was on version 2 and was slow and clunky. Having a DotNetNuke website that ranked well at the time was only possible due to search engine algorithms being pretty weak. In the past 5 years things started to get much better and the last 2 major versions of DNN (6 and 7) have been really good. And by really good I mean "why would I ever use anything else?" good. DNN 8 looks to be yet another major overhaul, having a new user interface and full MVC support.
At 5 Stones Media we love DNN! If you are looking for a website that you can have complete control over editing and administration, let us show you how DNN can answer the call. If you have an older website or a website that is built in a cumbersome CMS, talk to us about how we can convert it to DNN. If you have an existing DNN website that has become dated and you want to overhaul it with a fresh design, we'd love to talk about that too!