Dot Net Nuke Gives You the Tools You Need to Build a Robust Website, for Free

In the early days of the Internet web developers used Windows “Notepad” and other general purpose text editors to code HTML and Javascript for web pages. It didn’t take long for companies like Coffee Cup, Microsoft and others to begin selling HTML editors that simplified the process. Front Page, for example, became an overnight best seller when it was released in 1994, and has only recently been retired. Today, with more and more software moving to the cloud, more powerful tools for building robust web sites are available. Key among these is Dot Net Nuke.
Dot Net Nuke, also known as DNN, is a web-based software development and content management system. As a development system, it gives you the tools you need to quickly create web sites ranging from simple to extremely sophisticated. As a content management system (CMS), it enables non-technical users to update, manage and maintain information posted on the site. As such, DNN meets the needs of the developer and the customer. It allows fast and easy updates to information, changes to the appearance of the site and even allows the addition of new functionality–such as payment processing, newsletter creation and distribution–through stand-alone modules that can be activated when needed. Some time ago this writer created kmwp.org using Dot Net Nuke, which has been successfully managed by its users and administrators for the last year–without even a single call for support.

Getting Started

DNN is available in three editions: Community, Professional and Enterprise. The Community edition provides the quickest, easiest way to get started with DNN. It is entirely free of charge. While you can download it to your PC, that’s not necessary. The easiest way to use DNN is to have it installed on a web server using a web hosting company.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of web hosting companies offer DNN hosting services. You can find a list of the here. Note that a DNN host must be running Microsoft ASP.Net and a suite of Microsoft components. Hosting companies that specialize in DNN provide the Microsoft pieces as well as the Community edition of DNN. Typical annual costs for a DNN host range from around $50 to $200.
Yet there’s an even easier, cheaper and quicker way to get started with DNN: Simply sign up and create a free “sandbox” account on the Dot Net Nuke site. The account remains active for two weeks, allowing you to get familiar with DNN, build a web site and, if you wish, to migrate it to your own host later.
If you are thinking about becoming a web designer, or simply building a web site that can be managed over the long term by non-technical people, Dot Net Nuke deserves your review. It powers some 600,000 web sites today and puts the tools you need into your hands at a very modest cost.


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