A Responsive Skin
The first obvious change is the look of the site. I have created a new responsive skin for my site based on – you guessed it – Twitter Bootstrap. Twitter Bootstrap appears to be the #1 framework these days for developing responsive websites, and its fairly easy to integrate into a DNN 7 skin. My new skin is based on Twitter Bootstrap 3. The skin is quite basic and looks like a typical Twitter Bootstrap site. It was very easy to incorporate Bootstrap into a standard DNN skin and I am thinking of writing a blog to demonstrate how easy it is.
The Latest DNN Version
My old site was running DNN version 6.2. I had upgraded to ensure that the site had all the security fixes, but my old hosting provider only supported .NET 3.5, without physically moving my site to a different server and different hosting plan. I wanted to use some of the new features introduced in DNN 7 and DNN 7 required .NET 4 so I needed to move my site.
A New Host
After playing with Azure Websites for a few months, I decided it was time to move my blog to Azure, especially as I was facing a decision on moving my site anyway. This site is using a Shared instance (this is the cheapest version of Azure Websites that supports custom domain names) and from my experience so far with other Azure Websites the performance has been far superior to my previous Windows based hosting plan at approximately the same price (~$12-15/month). Its easy to install DNN in an Azure Website as DNN is available in the Azure Website App Gallery. Again I feel a blog coming on to show just how easy it is to get your DNN site up and running on Azure. One of the big benefits (to me) is that the Azure Portal is an awesome tool for managing web sites – much better than most hosting provider control panels, and as I manage a number of sites I plan (eventually) to move them all to Azure where I can. Expect to see some blogs on Windows Azure.
The Latest Version of DNN Blog
I am using the latest version of the DNN Blog module. This module has undergone a complete re-write in the latest version, and introduced a number of new features that I like. While all content in the module is now associated with a particular blog module instance, other instances can consume content from another instance by configuration. In addition a module can filter the content displayed by author and category, so I expect I will eventually add extra pages to the site with a filtered set of the content – DNN Module Development is one section I can envision. I believe it would be even better if it supported filtering the content by tag – then it would have all the features necessary for an article manager.
The move took me a few weeks to complete as I needed to move all the content from my old site to the new one, and so I haven’t blogged for over a month, but now the move is complete I can get back to regular blogging.