Egads, what in the world is a “content management system?”
Building a website is analogous to buying a car. While one could build a car totally from scratch, purchasing the major components one by one and assembling them in a garage, most of us prefer to visit an automobile dealership, order a particular model, choose the colors and accessories we want, and drive the vehicle home within a short amount of time. A content management system is similar in that the underlying site infrastructure is already in place; all one needs to do is choose a design, select what functional elements are desired and supply the content, and quickly an entire website can be generated!
DotNetNuke is a free content management system (or, technically, a “web framework”) developed to run within a Microsoft-based web server environment. Initially launched in 2003, DNN has exploded in terms of power, functionality and flexibility over the past few years, to become one of the most widely-used and successful content management systems ever. The Huelsman Way installed its own DNN instance back in early 2007, and currently leverages the system to build and maintain dozens of separate websites.
Each website developed within DNN starts with a “skin” or graphic template that provides not just the overall look and feel of the site, but structure as well, skins that are easily replaced in the future without requiring the content itself to be changed. Within each skin, specific areas of the site (such as the header, a left-hand navigation panel, right-hand content panel and footer) are identified as “panes” where DNN “modules” are dropped into, each module representing some sort of functional element (from simple text through a complex e-commerce mechanism). Each page of the site typically utilizes the same skin, so the same panes are made available in the same places throughout the site, providing consistency and conformity.
The DotNetNuke content management system is incredibly powerful yet easy to maintain, so easy that organization employees, once the site has been completed by a professional, can manage and administer their own sites with very little knowledge and training. To learn more about the DNN CMS and how websites can be quickly yet professionally developed for just 10-15% of the traditional, “by-hand” expense, click the following links: