D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Fun with DNN

Monday, May 1, 2006 8:13 PM

I was doing up a DNN site and had some fun lessons learned.

Lesson 1: Making DNN look good isn't as hard as it looks.
Most of the editing I ended up doing to make the site look un-DNNish was within a few ascx files and the css files. Of course, if you want some custom stuff that requires modules, that's a whole other story. Luckily this site didn't need too much as far as custom coding went. I was able to drop in an ad-rotator to swap out the banner image on the fly pretty painlessly, and changing the menu was somewhat painless (although there are TOO MANY CSS FILES in DNN).

Lesson 2: If you're moving a DNN site (v. 4.x , sql 2005 database and using vs.net 2005) developed locally to WebHost4Life, follow these steps:
Step 1: Install DNN 4 using WH4L's install service.
Step 2: Upload your database to the Database server via ftp and have the tech support at WH4L attach it for you.
Step 3: Upload the files that you changed to the web server (css files, ascx files, etc.)
Step 4: Give the NetworkService account read and write access (might not need to do this...but you also might have to)
Step 5: In the web.config, there's a line there under system.web with the title “machinekey” and the attributes “validationKey”, “decryptionKey”, “decryption”, and “validation”. I had to copy the line from my local web.config to the web.config on the server, otherwise all my passwords were returned as wrong (and not being able to login as admin to alter content defeats the purpose of DNN a bit)
Step 6: You may need to set the version of .NET for your directory to 2.0 manually

Lesson 3: Don't be afraid to rank your request as 'urgent' (2) with WH4L
I wasted alot of time waiting to get my database attached. Part of this was a tech support goof that didn't know what he was talking about. Luckily he was the exception to the rule, as WH4L has some great tech support people on staff! (Thank you Fai, George, Tristan, and Alex F.!!!) I do wonder if I would have solved my issue a bit faster if I had listed the priority as 2 instead of 3 (1 is “SERVER DOWN!”, 2 is urgent, and 3 is inquiry), but that's more about how their systems assign responses in the que. So for next time, if I need a database attached up there (and I'll be putting in another request for that this week), it'll be a 2 on the priority scale.

So yeah...site is up and one more item to cross off my list. And now...back to hockey. w00t!




# re: Fun with DNN

What ad rotator did you end up using? 10/30/2010 2:46 PM | Mark Stouffer

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