Welcome to 3 part series of our blog posting about DotNetNuke. We did start by talking about what DotNetNuke is all about. In part two we talked about how to install DNN using your myhosting.com account. We will end our series by showing you how to create your first DNN page. We hope you will enjoy this series. If you missed part one then please visit http://blog.myhosting.com
Creating Our First DNN Page…
As in every program, there is a bit of learning curve involved with DNN but it is nothing to be scared of.
Once you complete your DNN installation, you will be presented with a home page as shown below.
Notice that page is pre-filled with content; this means that you need to add/edit/delete this page in order to customize it for your own means.
Did you notice the boxes with dark blue borders and light blue background color? All those boxes (according to DNN terminology) are called MODULES.
Once you grasp the notion of MODULES, then you are more than half way of using and managing DNN. Let’s talk more.
Modules are containers that serve different functionality. For example the module that says “Welcome to DotNetNuke” is a Text/HTML module. Its main function is to display text or HTML code that you enter. The module that says “Links” is a links module and lets you enter links and display them in a nice way.
In order to manage these modules, you need to login as an Administrator. You can do this by clicking on “Login” link.
Once you login as an administrator you can’t help but notice that the whole page structure changes. Did you notice the control panel at the top? It may not be visible the first time you login, so do not forget to click on “Show Control Panel?” link…
Go ahead and click on “Module” drop down box and take a look at the available modules. Some of them may be too advanced for you to understand but that is OK…
Let”s say you want to add a “FORUM” module to a page. All you need to do is to select the “Forum” module from the list and then to give a title then simply to click on “Addâ” button. Then you can simply drag the module to the panel of your desire. This is how easy it is to add a module to a DNN page.
DNN comes with all the modules you see in this list but there may come a time where the module or the functionality you require may not exist in the standard list. If that is the case then there is only one site you need to visit, which is called “Snowcovered (http://www.snowcovered.com)”.
Snowcovered.com literally carries thousands of modules at very affordable prices. For example I did write a small “Finance Calculator” application for DNN 2.0 (in my early developer days of course) and sold bunch of copies for $2/piece.
Now that you have your “Home Page”, let’s go ahead and add a new page called “About Us”.
Notice the “Page Functions” section located on the top right of the page. Click on “ADD” button in order to add a page.
You will then be presented with the form below. Do not worry about what all the fields mean at this point. Simply fill it out as shown below and click on “Update” link.
At this point we are not making any changes to “Parent Page” field. Leave it as it is. This means that the page we are creating will be a parent page. If we want to create another page (say History) under “About Us” then we would have selected “About Us” as the parent page.
I did not fill out “Description” and “Keywords” fields but they are important for Search Engines so go ahead and fill them out as you wish.
The most important thing to remember while creating a page is the “Permissions”. Let’s talk more about permissions:
Access to different areas of a DNN site can be controlled through membership and user roles. This is one of the key concepts behind DNN. There are two categories of people that can access your site and they are members and non-members.
Members are users who were registered to your site. They are also referred to as “Registered Users” or “Authenticated Users”. Non-Members are also referred to as “Unregistered Users” or “Unauthenticated Users”.
There are also two types of permissions you can assign to a user or a user group. These are: “View” and “Edit”. View means viewing the page but not be able to make any administrative changes to the site or page. Edit means letting the user or user group to be able to make changes to the page.
In our case we want our “About Us” page to be viewed by anyone who visits our site but we only want Administrators to be able to make changes to the page. So we check “View Page” checkbox next to “All Users”.
Now that you have your “About Us” page ready, it is time to fill it with content.
Did you notice the dotted lines? These lines divide the page into panels. This is how you determine where to insert the modules. Let’s continue with inserting a “Text/HTML” module into ContentPane.
Fill out the modules form as shown below then click on “Add” button:
Second step after adding the module to the page is to fill it with content. You can do this by clicking on the “Edit Text”link.
Once you click on this link, you will be presented with an HTML/Text editor. This type of an editor is called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) meaning that you do not need to know how to write in HTML, just like using MS Word, you can start entering text and make changes such as font size, font color etc.
Click on UPDATE link and you will have your first DNN page ready for you and for your visitors.
I hope you enjoyed this blog, please do not hesitate to ask questions or make comments.
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