Recently I got chatting with Mitchel Sellers, a very well respected big-cahoona in the DotNetNuke World about the different options available to your typical small to medium size business. Let’s face it, in this economy every cent matters. Author of “Professional DotNetNuke Module Programming”, Mitchel has been kind enough to guide many a DNN newbie through the DNN learning process as well as the odd experienced developer too! J Here’s what Mitchel had to say about DotNetNuke for small businesses. Thanks Mitchel! ~ David McKillen.
It is a pretty well known fact now that to run a successful business that you need a presence on the internet, regardless of the industry or desired marketing groups. Mobile devices that are always connected, online telephone directories and more cause more and more people to be using the internet to find the company they need, and if they cannot find the information they are looking for they will just move on. Sadly many business owners are taken aback by the costs that are typically associated with creating a truly interactive website, or the complication of managing the new website. Sure, a forum would be great, as well as a blog, but how much money is a local mom-and-pop painting company going to put into setting up an online presence?
This is where an application framework like DotNetNuke can come in and save the day. DotNetNuke is an open source application framework that is fully extensible with a vast array of third-party extensions available for many common pieces of functionality. How does this translate to building a website for small-medium business? Well, when you take the core framework which is available at no-cost, you get the foundation of a website. User management, page management, content editing, security and more, all in a format that can be managed by users with all levels of computer experience, from here you can then use the extensive third party marketplace to add the extra functionality needed to finish off a site.
DotNetNuke provides extensibility points for functionality in the forms of Modules, Extensions, and providers as well as design in the form of skins and containers. An extensive third party market exists for both at SnowCovered.com, the preferred marketplace for DotNetNuke extensions. From here users can choose a design that fits their business design, desired content layout and desired end result. In many cases a commercial skin offering can be a great starting point and can be purchased for $100 or less. From here, modules such as a Forum module for online discussions and blogging modules can be purchased again for little to no cost depending on the functionality desired and size of the site.
What does this translate to? A cost effective way for a small-medium business to setup a web presence that is robust in functionality, but kind on the bank account.
So what about large business or those that grow? Well this article focuses on how DotNetNuke can help the small to medium sized business minimize costs while still delivering robust functionality, but an important part to remember is that DotNetNuke is an application framework. This means that if you start small with DotNetNuke, you have laid the groundwork for a system that can be further expanded as your business needs grow, if additional custom functionality is needed for integrations, advanced website functionality or anything else you can imagine you have a framework to build upon, where you have to focus on just the needed functionality. Larger organizations or those with more ambitious goals will simply start out with a more involved development process to build out a more complex solution combining third party and custom solutions inside of a single package.