Heavy flooding from Hurricane Katrina absolutely destroyed the hosting systems used by the University of New Orleans, forcing them to take extreme measures to maintain at least some type of digital presence in the months following the storm.
Their homegrown solution relied on outdated technology that was surely going to be a temporary fix for the school. In 2010, as the school began to recover and stabilize itself, university officials knew they needed to transition to a more adaptable, robust CMS solution.
But which CMS platform would they choose?
One thing was for certain: the school wanted to turn to a CMS that was easy to install, affordable, and could integrate with systems like Active Directory.
The University of New Orleans chose DNN.
“DotNetNuke [DNN] enabled us to stick to our aggressive deployment schedule, and gave us great support from the very beginning stages with formal training and unlimited technical assistance,” said Walt Brannon, manager of messaging and media systems for University of New Orleans.
Under unique, dire circumstances, the University of New Orleans discovered that only one CMS – DNN – could offer them the full features they needed, in addition to a quick deployment.
But they’re not the only ones who’ve discovered the power of DNN.
DNN – The best CMS you never heard of
Even if you have absolutely no background in content management systems or web development, chances are you’ve heard of WordPress. The one-time blogging platform turned content management system gets a lot of attention, and currently powers more websites across the globe than any other CMS.
But while WordPress has shown its value for smaller, less complex sites (like your standard business portfolio site) many larger organizations – including schools and universities – have shied away from it.
WordPress’s popularity is often times its downfall: it’s susceptible to cyberattacks, making it a less-than-ideal choice to build a school website on.
That’s why educational institutions – and other larger organizations – have turned to CMS alternatives, including Joomla, Drupal, Magento (for ecommerce) and, of course, DNN.
Dig Deeper: Learn How to Protect Your School's Website and Confidential Information
Few other organizations are as reliant on security than NASA – and they chose DNN
According to a report by Symantec, there were more than one million web attacks against people every day in 2015 and nearly 75% of all legitimate websites online have unpatched vulnerabilities.
An organization like NASA simply cannot afford to become a victim of these attacks, so when the government entity was in the market for a new CMS platform, security was atop their list of must-haves.
Their choice in DNN as their CMS platform isn’t surprising. It’s why Bose, Bank of America, John Hopkins, Comcast, Purdue, Cornell and others have turned to DNN.
One of the major reasons why secure-conscious entities turn to DNN is because it’s far less likely to be targeted by hackers than its larger counterpart, WordPress.
Of course, security isn’t the only reason to choose a CMS.
A CMS platform should make it easy for your school to design an effective website, and manage that website without the needs of a developer.
That’s why Cornell chose DNN for its Johnson Graduate School of Management website.
Bringing an outdated site into the 21st century – Cornell and DNN
Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management website was growing stale and outdated.
“It was a monolithic site that was ponderous to use,” said Robin Parker, Web and Database Programming Manager for the school. “People had difficulty navigating through it and finding things.”
The school decided to embark on a complete overhaul of the site. Their first task was to decide on a platform.
“We were interested in something that was affordable and flexible, was open source, and provided good technical support,” Parker said. “Plus, we wanted something that would be easy for our content providers to use.”
After deciding on DNN, Parker and his team discovered just how adaptable their platform of choice was, including being able to create an entirely new intranet to better serve their needs.
Dig Deeper: The Power of Your School’s Intranet
Cornell also relied on DNN’s many modules to enhance functionality. These modules include:
- The Active Social tool
- Events Calendar and Registration
- Article Management
- Active Forums
Each of these modules have helped create a school website that’s easy for prospective students to use, and easy for current students and alumni to connect with one another.
“When you’re considering a project with as much impact as this one, the choice of tools is really important,” Parker said. “It terms of a development environment, we couldn’t be happier.”
Parker’s sentiments are shared among many DNN users.
A website launch or redesign is a highly complex project with a lot of moving parts:
- SEO: you want to make sure you rank well (learn more now)
- UX: You have to ensure the design is user friendly and mobile optimized (learn more now)
- Content Management: You need to be able to manage and update your site without facing delays or obstacles (learn more now)
No CMS platform will meet your needs completely out of the box. That’s why it’s important to find a platform that can scale and adapt to match your vision.
DNN, for example, offers a host of premium extensions and modules that make your website perform and function exactly as you want. If you can’t find what you’re looking for with DNN’s core features, chances are there’s an extension that’ll get the job done.
The DNN environment has worked for educational institutions like Cornell, Purdue and the University of New Orleans. Maybe it’s time to see if it’ll work for your school?