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DotNetNuke, Blog

Styling the DotNetNuke Form and List module

Image: Styling the DotNetNuke Form and List module

The are lots of very powerful forms modules available for DotNetNuke, but many of them seem like overkill for what we are usually looking for. The Form and List module often meets our functional needs when we are looking for a simple form module but in the past, I was disappointed with the look of the forms it produced.

The Form and List team, (mostly Stefan Cullmann), has done a nice job of adding features to improve the styling options. In particular, I like the ability to use CSS and Separators/Fieldsets for form layout.

Stefan wrote a brief blog showing how he styled the Feedback Form on the formandlist.com site. We used that as our starting point for a membership form we created and found we needed some additional tweaking to get the form looking just right...

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Blog, Business, E-Commerce

E-Commerce Discussion Points

Questions to ask before starting an E-Commerce project or online store

The perceived project size is just the tip of the icebergFar too often, clients and developers vastly underestimate the complexity involved for their simple online store or E-Commerce project. It might seem basic: show some products/services, add them to a cart, make payment, & ship... The reality however is often much more involved. Options, discounts, gifts, shipping options, referrals, and more combine together in a way that the complexity can quickly grow exponentially. With this complexity, custom-built solutions or online stores built by individuals prove inadequate or get so convoluted as features are added they become impossible to administer, maintain, and update.

Sometimes a few PayPal buttons or a basic shopping cart will meet your needs. But usually, you really need a really well-architected solution that has an active and strong development team behind it, a nice array of features, and an extensible architecture that will allow it to grow to meet the needs of the customer. Fortunately, the are some really great open-source E-Commerce solutions(Magento and NOPCommerce are two of our favorites) and affordable commercial E-Commerce offerings (AbleCommerce is our current favorite) available.

The key, is making sure that early in the process, you are properly anticipating the current and future needs of the client. This article lays out the list of que Read More... DotNetNuke, Blog

Giving your IIS Worker processes a proper identity

For debugging and troubleshooting performance issues As part of hosting of DotNetNuke sites, I often take a look at the processor and memory usage of the various processes running on our servers using Task Manager. Prior to recent changes though, I didn't really have any way to really know which of my sites was really having the biggest impact as all I could really see was a list of the worker processes (w3wp.exe) associated with the app pools. The UserName for each w3wp.exe process was Network Service. I did notice that one of the worker processes, averaged around 14% of the overall utilization while most of them averaged 0% percent with an occasional bump up to 1% or 2%. I figured this must have been one of the busier sites we hosted. I was wrong... Read More...
DotNetNuke, Blog

Setting up SmarterStats against a multi-portal DotNetNuke installation

Image: Setting up SmarterStats against a multi-portal DotNetNuke installation Log Based Analytics provide a new perspective

We use Google Analytics extensively for tracking and analyzing website statistics. It does a great job of providing really useful information in a way that anyone can understand. Plus, its very easy to setup and has the power to let advanced users segment and drill down through the data to get even more detailed information. But, we've found it's a good idea to get another view of your visitors and traffic using a tool that provides information based on Log Analysis. Log based analytics let your see things that simply can't be tracked by script-based analyzers like Google Analytics.

As a big fan of SmarterMail, we decided to give SmarterStats a try. We've been using SmarterStats for awhile on several of our bigger sites but we also wanted to be able to use it on a few of our portals where we have multiple sites installed on a single instance of DotNetNuke. Before we could do this, we needed to do several things first to get this to work right...

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DotNetNuke, Blog

Making Ventrian's Simple Gallery Responsive

Ventrian has been making great DNN modules for many years now. Some of the modules though are beginning to show their age a bit and are using markup heavy techniques that were at one time common but can now be replaced with much cleaner CSS for most browsers. In particular, the Ventrian Gallery module wraps each photo in a table that has a cell for every corner and every side so that fancy borders can be added around the photos. This technique results in lots of extra markup and causes issues if you're wanting the gallery to be responsive (adjust to the users viewable area). It is actually fairly easy to make a few changes to cleanup the rendered HTML to allow for more modern and lightweight techniques for styling. We'll go through the steps... Read More...
DotNetNuke, Blog

Adding PayPal button to DotNetNuke

Don't get duped into buying a module just to add a PayPal button to your DotNetNuke website. Paypal will actually generate the code/HTML you need for you and then you can just paste that text into the Source view of a Text/HTML module.

Here's some sample code that you can modify with your own information:


But, if you log in to your PayPal account, there's a section where they will generate this code for you with a variety of options.
Blog

Determine if SmarterMail 16+ is being used as an open relay

Look at Reports -> Message Traffic. Look at the total number of messages being sent  under Trend mode. Then switch to Domain mode and verify the numbers are similar. 

Search your Delivery Logs (Manage -> Troubleshooting -> View Logs) for "Sending remote mail" and verify all the email addresses involved are valid for your server. 

Check your Spool - you may have a bunch of emails trying to go to invalid email addresses.

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