DotNetNuke tutorials, tips and tricks

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

DotNetNuke Search Engine

A new search engine has been released called dnn bot which searches sites in the DotNetNuke Community of portal developers.

Click here to view their press release

and try out their search engine here:

DotNetNuke MP3 Podcast Interviews

I have to say that I am very excited - Over the past week I have just completed my first two mp3 interviews for DNN Creative Magazine.

For the next issue I am starting a series of mp3 interviews with DotNetNuke experts along with experts in other fields such as Google site maps, Search Engines etc.

Below are two extract links from the beginning of the interviews, the full interviews will be released in issue2 of the magazine in October.

The first interview is with John Mueller, who is a software designer and an expert with Google Sitemaps, he talks us through the best practices for working with Google Sitemaps (23 mins)

Google Sitemaps MP3 Interview (3 min intro)

The second interview is with Chris Chodnicki and Kevin Schreiner from Business Intelligence Force, who are expert website designers and module developers for DotNetNuke. (42 mins)

They talk us through their website, in particular focusing on:

Research and Planning
Top Tips

Bi4ce Website Design DotNetNuke MP3 Interview (5 min intro)

I would be very interested in any comments you may have

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

DotNetNuke Nerd?

I just had a thought, I must be getting very serious about DotNetNuke. I was sending a text and had to write DotNetNuke for the predictive text to learn the word.

How many people have the word DotNetNuke stored in their phone? Have I become a complete computer geek? Am I now a DotNetNerd? Answers on a postcard please, I would love to know.

Following on from the interesting virus problem, I’m now working 16 hour days to catch backup for the deadline. – The past two days I’ve put in 18hours and it looks as though today is going to be another one as well. Mmmm must remember to backup!

On another note, I noticed today that have added us as a resource to their site. I was really happy to see that, and a link like that is really appreciated.

There has been a comment that we charge a subscription fee for the site, but as you can see I don’t really have that much choice when I am working this number of hours.

Hopefully though you will all see that I am adding quality content to the site and that this is a tiny amount that I am asking for the effort that it takes and what you get in return. Plus, each month I do release free content as well and this will continue…

If you want to add your comments about the site, please follow this link:

Monday, September 19, 2005

DotNetNuke Forum Admin & User Documentation

Documentation has been released for the DotNetNuke core forum module. It is over 50 pages of documentation on using and configurating the module from install to end user functions.

View the forum project downloads section, reached from the project home page here:

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Lesson in Backing up

I had an interesting day on Friday, I was running slightly behind on the DotNetNuke tutorials and reviews, because they were each taking a day longer than I planned. 11:30am arrived and bang everything went wrong.

An email arrived which I knew was junk mail, I tried to press delete but somehow accidentally opened it. Bang – in a second I had installed a virus to my laptop.

Norton Antivirus couldn’t delete it and after a few attempts I was stuck.

I use Norton Ghost and most days I create a backup of my entire laptop onto an external Lacie 250GB drive. (But I had let it slip and the backup was 2 weeks out of date)

Ok, lets try to put the last working version of the OS back on the laptop – I have several partitions, so this shouldn’t be a problem just to reload the windows section.

So, this is the first time I have attempted this, and I have to say I was very nervous! – I went through the procedure and it spent a while wiping the drive & re-installing my backup – until it reaches the end when it is verifying the disk and says there is a problem and freezes.

By this point I am almost having a heart attack – ok, I restart, windows begins to load and then goes black and that’s it….

I have 2 partitions of windows installed, so I try to load up the other version which should be ok, it does exactly the same and goes to a black screen…

Oh – Has it just wiped absolutely everything?

I am now almost vomiting, this laptop has so many projects on its untrue, I was starting to feel as though I had lost a lifetime worth of work. – What was I going to do? I’ve got the DNN Creative Magazine next issue to complete and all my work has been erased?!

Luckily the second version of windows I didn’t really care about, so I just re-installed windows onto that partition, once I had got a working copy of windows on this partition, the other partition with all of the important data started working again just like magic.

Phew, I’ve just got to catch up on a couple of bits and I’m up and running again. – This little problem ended up taking 2 days to fix, for what should have been a simple 5 min reload from a backup.

And all because of one tiny little email. I’m running a firewall, Antivirus, Spyware all with the latest updates and the little cutie virus still got in – you’ve got to love them.

Whats todays lesson? – Create a DAILY backup, create a DAILY backup, create a DAILY backup, repeat after me . . . .

Oh yes and – Copy that backup to another drive incase the backup becomes corrupt!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DotNetNuke Modules

Well it’s been a busy two weeks, I’ve been contacting DotNetNuke Developers who have created modules that work with images, while also contacting various people for issue 3. I’m not going to say yet what this covers, but it is very exciting!

I now have a range of modules to review from galleries to random image modules.

One thing that has really surprised me over the past month and a half is the initial quality of the modules I have been reviewing – especially with the Snowcovered modules that you purchase.

I am conducting very detailed reviews, checking all of the functions and making sure that the module operates as you would expect, while also offering further tips that may help users to get the most from the module.

During these reviews, I have come across occassional bugs, which really surprised me. I always have a high expectation when I buy software that the product is completely 100% bug free. (I have found this rarely to be the case however no matter what type of software you buy - ie. Microsoft Windows!)

The service I am providing to the DotNetNuke community could however help with the quality of the modules – why?

Well, I always assume that the “Bug” is my user error and that I haven’t set the module up correctly. I contact the developer with a particular question, and if it turns out it is a bug, in most cases I have received an updated PA file within the day. I regard this as a fantastic service from the developer.

Of course, I then continue my review, and the bugs do not show up in the review and the community are presented with a fully working module which does exactly what they expect.

I guess bugs are missed by Developers, in all software types and if I can help the Developers in this way I think it’s a good thing. There are not many industries where you can approach the original software developer, report a bug and have it fixed in a day, and that is one thing that I especially think is important about this community, we can talk to each other, share ideas, and offer help to each other, this is something that I think will make DotNetNuke strong and help it to survive over a long period of time.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

DNN Creative Magazine launched for DotNetNuke

I have launched an on-line magazine for DotNetNuke® - below is a recent press release:

A new monthly online magazine has been launched for web designers using DotNetNuke®. It has been created to help web designers get the most from their DotNetNuke portals.


DotNetNuke® ( is a portal content management system (CMS) ideal for creating any type of website from commercial web sites, forums, blogs, photo galleries, corporate intranets and extranets, and online publishing.

DotNetNuke® is provided free, as open-source software with a community of over 125,000 users. It allows individuals to do whatever they wish with the application framework, both commercially and non-commercially.

DNN Creative Magazine Features: (

DotNetNuke Module reviews: using flash videos to demonstrate the modules in action and to provide flash tutorials covering installation, configuration and getting the most from the modules.

DotNetNuke Tutorials: covering how to operate DotNetNuke from beginners’ guides to advanced web design tasks.

DotNetNuke Articles: providing further insights into the essentials of web design such as Search Engine Optimization within DotNetNuke.

"From web design projects, I realised that I needed to teach my clients how to operate DotNetNuke, as well as teach them other web related techniques, such as how to promote their DNN websites to search engines."

"Each of my clients have specific requirements for their websites, which usually involves researching all of the various modules that are readily available, checking them for stability, usability and working out the best methods for implementing the modules, or programming a module from scratch. This takes a long time and it is this information that I want to share with the community of DotNetNuke." - Lee Sykes – Director of Operatiions

Issue 1 is packed with useful information and comes with 237 minutes of video tutorials and reviews.

Visit: DNN Creative Magazine for DotNetNuke (