If you are planning to start using the new Advanced URL functionality in DNN 7.1, and you have an existing license for the Url Master module, there is a conversion path. This converts all of the Url Master redirects, portal alias settings and configuration settings over to the DNN format. The Advanced functionality is heavily based on the Url Master codebase, but they are not exactly the same. Many changes have been made in order to properly integrate the product into the DNN Core.
Therefore, I suggest that people test the switch-over carefully, and make sure that they have checked that redirects, third-party modules, and all other URL-related functionality works correctly. I strongly recommend that people do this in a 'localhost' test environment if they have the capability. If not, you must take a backup immediately prior to doing the conversion and be prepared to revert to the backed-up version of the site if the tests do not pass.
This process applies both to the DNN Platform (formerly DotNetNuke Community Edition) and those who have upgraded DotNetNuke Professional Edition to Evoq Content. While the DNN Platform has very few UI configuration locations for the Advanced URL Settings, the functionality is fully operational once the Url Master settings are converted.
Please note : you need to have a fully licensed version of Url Master in order to activate the conversion functionality, except if you are running on ‘localhost’, in which case it will work with an unlicensed version.
The actual process of conversion is very simple:
1. Upgrade your Url Master version to 2.8
2. Go to the Host->Friendly Url Settings page, and find the 'Convert to DNN Advanced Urls' button.
3. This will load the Conversion Dialog:
Click 'Start Conversion' when you are ready to do the conversion.
4. The conversion process will run, and then show a summary of the changes made:
The figures in the boxes apply to the entire DNN installation. Check through the numbers to do a 'sanity check' and make sure that the figures seem correct. You can then close the dialog – the conversion is complete and your site is now activated in DNN 'Advanced' mode. Note that because this requires a web.config change, the site will automatically restart when the process is complete. The 'close' button triggers a page refresh to complete this process.
5. Check functionality on your site to make sure that the conversion has worked correctly. A brief set of tests should include:
- Basic site operation : all public URLs work as expected
- Edit Mode : does the Edit Mode functionality work as before?
- Any third-party module functionality : do blog posts, forum threads, e-commerce pages, photo galleries etc load up correctly?
- Login/Logoff functions : are you able to login and log out as normal?
- 404 Handling : if you had 404 handling configured, check that the 404 error handling works as expected.
- Admin/Host Urls : are you able to do basic functions like search for a user, save site settings, etc?
- Custom Urls : do custom redirects you had configured in Url Master still work OK? Are any custom URLs showing for pages correctly?
- Site Alias redirects : does the site respond correctly in terms of alias redirects (like example.com –> www.example.com)
- User Profile pages : if you had vanity user profile URLs activated, do they still work correctly? Are the profile pictures showing correctly, can users post updates, edit their profiles?
This is only a brief list to get you thinking; you should execute a comprehensive test plan to make sure the site is working as expected. Your SEO depends on making sure there are no surprises and everything is working as before. In the vast majority of cases, there should be no difference in behaviour or functionality, but it is imperative that this be tested and confirmed. While I have tested this functionality to make sure a like-for-like conversion of settings is working as expected, it is impossible to test the entire universe of Url Master installations.
6. When the conversion is finished, it’s up to you whether or not you uninstall the Url Master module. You may wish to keep it installed as a backup for the short term in case you find a problem with the conversion process. You can run the conversion process as many times as you like – it has been designed to be run repeatedly without causing any issue, to allow for iterative checks. Each time it is run, the settings are taken from the Url Master configuration and applied to the DNN install – thus any changes in the DNN installation may be overwritten each time you do this.
Anyone using Custom Module Providers for the Url Master module – the settings specific to Custom Module Providers are not converted during this process. Any Custom Module providers will have to be replaced like-for-like with a DNN 7.1 specific Extension Url Provider which provides the same functionality, and the settings specific to that provider will have to be carried across.