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DotNetNuke Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to Upgrade DNN to The Latest Version

clock January 7, 2014 10:31 by author Mike

DotNetNuke is an open-source content management system ideal for creating and deploying projects such as commercial websites, corporate intranets and extranets, and online publishing portals. DotNetNuke is built on a Microsoft ASP.NET (VB.NET) platform, and is easily installed and hosted with all of our Windows Hosting Plans. If there is an upgrade available, follow the following steps to perform the upgrade.

In Preparation:

  • Back up the DNN database
  • Back up all website files
  • Check your database and website backups!
  • Download the latest DotNetNuke upgrade package:
    a. From the www.dotnetnuke.com site. You may need login credentials if you are using a non-community version of DNN.
    or
    b. Click the "Upgrade Available" button that appears when you are *not* running the latest version.
  • Create a basic html document called app_offline.htm. This page will be shown on the site while you are doing the upgrade.

See figure about no maintenance page. Users may see errors while the site is partially upgraded.

No maintenance page

Good Example - HTML page to let users know the site is offline:

This site is offline for routine maintenance. Please check back later.

To Perform the Upgrade:

  1. Upload the app_offline.htm file to the root web folder for the site.
  2. Navigate to the site in a web browser and check that the app_offline.htm file is shown instead of the usual default page.
  3. Copy the contents of the latest DotNetNuke upgrade package over the top of the existing files. All files should be copied because the package should only contain generic files ?no configuration files.
  4. When the copy is complete, rename the app_offline.htm file to app_offline.htm.save. When you navigate to the site, you will see a new construction page:
    Remove underline
  5. Access the /install/install.aspx?mode=upgrade page (e.g.www.mysite.com/install/install.aspx?mode=upgrade) using a web browser. The site will begin an automatic upgrade process:
    Automatic upgrade running

  6. On completion of the upgrade, you will see the following message at the bottom of the page. Click on the link to return to the site.
    put an underline under the link

  7. Click through the newly upgraded site to perform a smoke test.
  8. Log in to the DNN site and navigate to "Host", then "Host Settings". You will see that the site is running the newest version of DNN and that there are no upgrades available.
    Latest version and no upgrades available


Free DotNetNuke 7.1 Hosting :: Switching over from Url Master to the Advanced URL functionality in DNN 7.1

clock December 12, 2013 06:34 by author Mike

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.

image

3.  This will load the Conversion Dialog:

image

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:

image

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:

  1. Basic site operation : all public URLs work as expected
  2. Edit Mode : does the Edit Mode functionality work as before?
  3. Any third-party module functionality : do blog posts, forum threads, e-commerce pages, photo galleries etc load up correctly?
  4. Login/Logoff functions : are you able to login and log out as normal?
  5. 404 Handling : if you had 404 handling configured, check that the 404 error handling works as expected.
  6. Admin/Host Urls : are you able to do basic functions like search for a user, save site settings, etc?
  7. Custom Urls : do custom redirects you had configured in Url Master still work OK?  Are any custom URLs showing for pages correctly?
  8. Site Alias redirects : does the site respond correctly in terms of alias redirects (like example.com –> www.example.com)
  9. 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.



Free DotNetNuke 7.1 Hosting :: Switching over from Url Master to the Advanced URL functionality in DNN 7.1

clock December 12, 2013 06:34 by author Mike

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.

image

3.  This will load the Conversion Dialog:

image

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:

image

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:

  1. Basic site operation : all public URLs work as expected
  2. Edit Mode : does the Edit Mode functionality work as before?
  3. Any third-party module functionality : do blog posts, forum threads, e-commerce pages, photo galleries etc load up correctly?
  4. Login/Logoff functions : are you able to login and log out as normal?
  5. 404 Handling : if you had 404 handling configured, check that the 404 error handling works as expected.
  6. Admin/Host Urls : are you able to do basic functions like search for a user, save site settings, etc?
  7. Custom Urls : do custom redirects you had configured in Url Master still work OK?  Are any custom URLs showing for pages correctly?
  8. Site Alias redirects : does the site respond correctly in terms of alias redirects (like example.com –> www.example.com)
  9. 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.



DotNetNuke Hosting :: Tips Optimize your DNN site (SEO Friendly)

clock November 22, 2013 10:43 by author Mike

DotNetNuke has many SEO features, but some are less obvious to the casual administrator. These SEO features, however, can have a dramatic effect on how your DNN website is indexed by Google, Bing and others, and as such, can have an effect on your page rank and search results.

Here are a few DNN tips and tricks to help in your DNN’s SEO:

1. Site Map Priority
Buried within your page settings is a feature that allows you to set indexing priorities to your DNN pages. To get there (once logged in as an administrator), go to “page settings”, then “advanced settings”, then at the bottom of the window, go to “other settings”.

Here you will find the item: “Site Map Priority”. The default for this is .5. However, if your page is the home page, or perhaps a landing page, you will want to up the number to 1.0, or .9 (1.0 being the highest). This will increase the perceived importance of the page by search engines such as Google. Where is this relevant? When your organization appears in a Google search, high priority pages may be presented as sub-links to the home page more frequently. This can be critical in immediately directing visitors to key pages in an organic search result.

2. Site Settings

Here we’ll talk about one of things NOT to do when it comes to SEO in DotNetNuke. In the “site settings” of DotNetNuke, administrators have the ability to enter descriptions and keywords. By doing that, those items will then be placed in the META tags for EVERY page on the DNN website. For SEO, this is an extreme no-no, as it will confuse the search engines and reduce the relevancy and page rank of your overall DNN website. It may be an easy way to get keywords throughout your site… but it will definitely hurt you in the long run!

3. Page Titles
One of the nice features about DotNetNuke is its ability to add dashes between spaced words in your page title. For example, if you title a page “DNN SEO Tips”, DNN will title the actual URL as “DNN-SEO-Tips”. This ensures that the individual words in the title will be relevant to Google.
Some administrators like to use underscores between words. For example: “DNN_SEO_Tips”. This is strongly discouraged as Google will index the entire string as one item. This means people searching for DNN, or SEO or Tips will not see your site on Google. They would only find you if they specifically put “DNN SEO Tips”. In some cases this may be a good thing, if your content is very niche-oriented. But if you’re looking to gather visitors based on more broad searches, using underscores will hurt you.

4. Robots.txt
OK, this one gets a bit technical for the casual DotNetNuke administrator, but robots.txt is an important factor when comes to SEO, so what we’ll do in this section is give you enough information that you can intelligently go to your IT person or your hosting provider to ask questions.

In short, the robots.txt function (which not accessible via the administration tools in DNN), tells various search engines such as Google what pages to index and what pages they should not. Pretty important! But, if your DNN website is with a host provider and you are operating on a shared instance (one installation of DNN with many portals), you may be operating on one, centralized robots.txt file, which may be configured to tell the robots to ignore all pages on your site!

There is a way to take control and get around this, but it takes someone with access to the server and a bit of IT knowledge. But, don’t let that stop you from finding out if your robots.txt file is configured properly.

Ask your IT or host provider:
Is your DNN website on a shared instance?
Do you have an individual robots.txt file for your specific DNN website?

That’s it a few simple tools and information on how to squeeze more effectiveness with your DotNetNuke’s SEO. Hope useful.



DotNetNuke Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Advantage Using DotNetnuke 7, Thing We Love In DNN 7

clock October 21, 2013 08:30 by author Ben

DotNetNuke is an automated content management framework that is explicitly intended to be used in intranet and extranet deployments with the open source portals. DotNetNuke contains a set of tools that enables you to build dynamic websites.

The word on the internet is that DNN 7.0 is about to drop any day now.   I’ve been following this one quite closely since the DNN World conference (a month ago now, how time flies!) and I’ve been doing extensive compatibility testing with my software.

And This top reason why you will love DotnetNuke 7 :

1. New Installation and Upgrade
There was a time when everyone seemed to agree that installing DotNetNuke was a tough task fit only for the bravest of souls.  I didn’t ever really think that way, because the whole idea of a self-installing and self-upgrading web application was the stuff of fantasy not that long ago.   I mean, I can remember the day when you had to register COM components and restart IIS to get stuff to run.  I hope you, the reader, have no idea what I just said because that means the industry has made vast gains.  DotNetNuke itself was always an easy thing to get going, but now it is dead simple and informative.

How so?  Well, the installer is a one-page set of questions, many of which are pre-answered.  And then, you click ‘go’, and it whizzes through, installs all the various parts and then gives you a new screen with a couple of options – either explore more about the platform, or just let you dive straight in and get going.  And, just like in DNN 6, when you’ve finished the install, you’re already logged in.  Nice.


DotNetNuke 7.0 now has an upgrade wizard with the same look and feel as the install wizard.  With the added feature of being required to log in as a super user account in order to start the wizard off.    Having done multiple upgrades with software testing now, I like everything about the upgrade wizard.

2. Default View Mode



DotNetNuke 7.0 now defaults to ‘View Mode’ – which, despite the fancy name – just means the content, by default, looks as it will to the site visitors.    And, because it defaults to ‘View Mode’, the old ‘View Mode’ wording/button/control – it’s gone now.  It’s just the normal view, or edit or layout views.  Simple.

3. Drag and Drop



You select the thing you want to add (Text/Html module) then you drag a copy of that to the place on the page you want it.   That’s it – couldn’t be simpler or more intuitive.  To me it is very elegant in operation because not only are you putting things where you want, but the page expands dynamically to show where the insert will be.

4. Auto Save

With the Text/Html module, your content can be auto-saved as you type.  No more lost content.  Much fewer curse words being sent in the direction of DotNetNuke installs.  A real positive step forwards.

5. Control Panel

The new DNN 7 control panel uses the concept of common, less common and user-configurable areas.  Or, in plain-speak, things you use all the time, things you don’t, and a place where you can make your own list.

Benefit Of DotNetNuke 7 for Website Developer

1. Benefit from 1000s of ready-to-use functionalities

DotNetNuke comes with many built-in features that are ready to be used in your website. By using DotNetNuke, you will be able to add rich features to your website, for free, such as discussion forums, blogs, feedback forms and much more. You can also select from thousands of commercial extensions, that will allow you to include advanced functionalities, such as image galleries, image slideshows, opt-in email marketing and e-commerce. And if you can't find what you need, you still have the option to develop customized extensions, knowing that there is a community of over 700,000 users ready to assist.


2. Easier and faster website development

DotNetNuke will make developing websites faster, whether you are using DotNetNuke as an instant website builder or as a web application framework. For more information, see our Developing with DNN section.


3. Make more money developing websites

DotNetNuke will give you a competitive advantage to win website development contracts. By showing your potential clients the many advantages they will have if their website is built with DotNetNuke, you can more easily convince people to choose your services. Shorter delays to develop websites, fully featured websites, ability to manage content easily in-house, proven technology: these arguments will certainly help you sell your proposal.



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