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A Fair Review of the Top Web CMS Platforms - DNN

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Dot Net Nuke

DNN

DNN Corp. (Parent Company: ESW Capital) Founded: 2006
Head Office: Austin, TX URL: www.dnnsoftware.com
CEO & Tenure: Andy Tryba, Since August 2017 Platform Type: ASP .NET
License Model: The DNN platform is an open source .NET CMS and the foundation of DNN's Evoq Content product offering. Evoq is available on-premises, third-party hosting providers and cloud as an annual subscription.
Starting Price: DNN open source platform is Free. Evoq Content is $2,999 per instance per year. Current Version: DNN 9.1.1 / Evoq 9.1.2
Online Demo: Yes Trial Version: No
Customer Training: Yes Certification Training: Provided by certified partners only
Integration Partners: USA – 12, Canada – 1 Professional Services: Yes
License Renewals: Installation or Upgrade Assistance is a one time, phone-based installation or upgrade session with a DNN technical support engineer. This session does not include assistance with the upgrade of third party software apps or the creation of custom software code.
Support: Online and Phone Support, available Monday through Friday with a maximum response time of two business hours. DNN Support Packages are available for both DNN Platform and Evoq customers and starts at $150/per month/instance.

Introduction

DNN is one of the leading open source web content management platforms for building professional websites with dynamic content and interactive features. With over 700,000 web sites deployed in production and thousands of third-party extensions available for immediate installation, DNN makes it quick and affordable to develop a commercial website, a community portal, or an intranet solution.

Evoq Content is an enterprise CMS built for marketers to deliver today's modern web experiences and backed by a vibrant ecosystem of implementation partners and provides hundreds of commercial, third party modules in the DNN Store. Evoq Content gives modern marketers everything they need to create compelling and engaging digital experiences.

Executive Interview

Top 10 Features

  • Extensibility
  • Granular Permissions
  • Security
  • Multi-Site Management
  • Permissions and Workflow
  • Vibrant Community and Ecosystem
  • Integrations
  • Gamification Engine (with API)
  • Personalization
  • Flexible Content Layouts
Complete List of Features

Key Modules & Connectors

  • Liquid Content & Visualizers
  • Evoq Engage
  • DNN Store
  • Asset Management
  • Marketo & MailChimp Connectors
  • Google Analytics  
  • Intranet Solution
  • Digital Marketing

Strengths

  • DNN offers an efficient way of creating and managing content pages without the need for IT assistance, to a degree. The software offers a host of professionally made, reusable layouts, so that you can create a page in just a few clicks.
  • Extensibility seems to be DNN’s focus, with an open API and a full commitment to backwards compatibility. In addition, DNN Store provides one of the largest collections of commercially supported, third-party modules, from hundreds of vendors.
  • DNN delivers individual features as a service, delivered from our Microsoft Azure cloud. This provides a multi-tenant SaaS capability for customers, whether their WCM is on-premise or in the cloud. 
  • DNN’s multi-site management is architected in its platform's core. It's not a bolt-on, like you find in other WCM systems. You can manage hundreds or thousands of sites from a single instance of Evoq.

Weaknesses

  • GDPR Readiness
  • DNN does not have as many native marketing capabilities as their competitors. Their approach is to provide built-in connectors to other technology products such as Marketo and MailChimp. 
  • Although the process of upgrading can be problematic at times, DNN’s support staff can usually figure out the problem and fix the issue.

Differentiators

  • DNN is open-source with both free and paid editions. 
  • There is a very extensive developer community, where you can find thousands of available modules and hundreds of DNN themes available for free and purchase. 
  • DNN offers extensive documentation covering all aspects of the system, and the popularity of DNN means there is a wealth of support available. 

GDPR Initiatives

DNN has a large contingent of users in Europe and they also have a lot of customers who do business in Europe, so GDPR is a key issue DNN is currently addressing. Their Technology and Developer EAGs are leading this effort. 

Roadmap

As an Open Source project, the DNN Platform is developed in the open with input and participation by the community. Click here for list of upcoming releases and proposed dates along with the major focus areas for each release.  DNN will be working with the community to further flush out and refine the roadmap to give everyone visibility into what is planned for the CMS platform.

Additional Video Interviews

Customer Comments

In what ways are you utilizing the platform?
We utilize DNN as our primary web application framework and content management system. We run a large community approaching 35,000 members from over 120 countries. Our approach was to fully integrate our interactive community directly within the COPD Foundation website, where all our online resources reside. This provides a very engaging, interactive and comprehensive user experience, which is essential for user adoption and retention.

What would you say are your biggest business goals using this platform and in what ways are you seeing results?
One of our strategic goals is to find new and interesting ways to further engage our online audience and continue to grow the membership of our online community. The ability to integrate our online community within our primary website has been an integral component to that process. In addition, the extendibility and flexibility DNN provides allows us to extend the core platform with commercially available, third-party modules and the development of custom solutions. This extendibility enables us to innovate and implement new features and functionality which continue to engage our site visitors and community members and provide them a rich user experience.
— Vincent Malanga, COPD Foundation

Integration Partner Comments

Are there common business/digital challenges your clients are facing you find the Evoq platform really helps with?
DNN Evoq Content remains one of the best values amongst the many CMS platforms, and its Liquid Content functionality meets the content creation and delivery challenges faced by BlueBolt’s clients.

Please describe the ideal client/business for the platform that you would recommend it to over the other platforms your organization works with.
BlueBolt recommends and implements DNN Evoq Content when an organization needs to dynamically publish content to varying end points. By doing so, DNN allows BlueBolt to deploy increasingly complex web solutions.
— David Risner, Bluebolt Solutions


Are there common business/digital challenges your clients are facing you find the Evoq platform really helps with?
The most common business issues that we encounter with customers are poorly search optimized websites that either need technical work in order to unblock the site from being effectively indexed by search engines or need keyword research and optimization of on-page content to improve organic search rankings. They also, oftentimes, need help building tools that allow a clean and user-friendly interface for customers to be able to interact in a self-service way with internal system information (from say an ERP or MRP system).  Many of the software vendors for these types of solutions “claim” to have customer portal solutions, but most are designed and written by programmers for programmers and are very difficult for end customers to use. That’s where SteadyRain and DNN Software come in.

Please describe the ideal client/business for the platform that you would recommend it to over the other platforms your organization works with.
I think the ideal customer for a DNN Software solution is a marketer who has a team of people that are used to working with standard design tools and want to work with their CMS in a similar, visual way.  I’m not just talking about a WYSIWYG editor for soft content on the page, but a team that is looking for intuitive tools that allow marketing to really OWN the management of pages and content for their public-facing solutions. I think this same concept can easily expand to Human Resources and/or IT professionals who are looking for a more cost-effective Microsoft-based solution for an internet than other products on the market.  Each of management and the wide variety of user permissions make Evoq a natural fit for internal communications and the power of Engage for communities can easily be leverage for internal use as well as external use.
— Thompson Knox, SteadyRain
 

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Gary Eisenstein

Gary Eisenstein

Gary has been working in the IT industry for over 24-years and is a Principle Analyst at CMS-Connected. If you would like to receive additional advice or consultation on selecting a “best-fit” Web Content Management solution, Gary can be reached at gary.eisenstein@cms-connected.com.