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Foreword

Foreword

Do you need a website? This question is as old as the World Wide Web itself and as the Internet has evolved to become an integral part of our everyday lives, websites have become critical requirements for almost every significant initiative we undertake today. Whether you have a product or service to promote, a social group you want to interact with on a continuous basis, or just a personal philosophy or stream of consciousness you wish to share with others, websites provide you with a virtual space which is highly available and accessible by people around the world.

Reducing the justifications for a website down to a few simple items may help make the benefits more obvious... People will look for you online. Sooner or later, someone is going to type your name or organization into a search engine and it will be highly beneficial if they are able to find you. Websites are inexpensive. The cost of domain names, web hosting, and web publishing software makes a website a very economical, yet valuable, investment. Websites are great advertising. No other medium has the potential to reach so many consumers for so little cost. A website is a worldwide presence. On the Internet, it doesn't matter whether someone is next door to you or on the other side of the world, they can view your website just the same as anyone else. Your website can generate revenue. E-commerce has minimal overhead and there are a multitude of ways to make money online. Your website can save you time. Distributing information through traditional channels takes time and effort but since everything online is digital, the delivery is simple and instantaneous.

Perhaps you already have a website? If so, how often are you updating it? If the answer is "not very often", you very likely have an out of date website which is causing you more harm than good. Not only will visitors notice the stale content and lack of activity, they may judge "the book by its cover" which could result in damage to your reputation as well as reduced confidence in your products and services. Driving visitors and potential customers away from your website is only part of the problem; your overall search engine rankings will also go down as Google and other search engines will index your site less regularly. In light of the these issues, it's actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes you look bad.

So what is the key to maintaining a healthy website? Well, creating and updating a website has traditionally been a complicated task. In the past you may have needed to pay an expensive web designer to publish your content changes to your website. Or, if you worked in a large organization, you may have needed to route all of your changes through the IT Department or internal Web Master who was responsible for updating web properties. Regardless, the overall process was cumbersome, which often resulted in the website being neglected for long periods of time, reducing its effectiveness.

However, things have changed dramatically in the past decade. The task of creating and maintaining a web site has become much simpler and you no longer need to be computer savvy or highly technical to get online. The innovation which has removed much of the early complexity of building websites is the emergence of low cost, highly functional software applications known as Web Content Management Systems (or WCMs).

Web Content Management Systems provide administrative tools through a standard web browser interface, eliminating the need for users to install or update sophisticated software on their desktop systems. The administrative tools are simple and easy to use and allow users to make immediate changes to the content of their website anytime, anywhere. Advanced permissions are usually available as well that allow you to designate specific portions of the site for administration by specific groups of users and not others. WCMs typically use a templating system which provides standardization in the website appearance and helps keeps the content properly separated from the visual characteristics and graphics. Many WCMs also offer tools to manage search engine optimization to help make your site more discoverable by consumers. WCMs are generally quite economical which make them highly accessible to individuals and organizations of all sizes.

DotNetNuke® is a full-featured Web Content Management System for the Microsoft Windows platform. It is built upon a secure, extensible, high performance web application framework focused on addressing the broadest set of online business requirements and most innovative web trends. DotNetNuke® is an open source solution and is currently available in two editions: a free unsupported Community Edition, and a more feature-rich Professional Edition with commercial technical support provided by DotNetNuke Corporation.

In this book, Chris and Patrick have done a great job of explaining the rich functionality of DotNetNuke® from an end-user perspective. After a thorough explanation of system installation and setup, they dive into the details of how to build a variety of different websites each with varying business requirements—from a Personal site, to a League site, to a Small Business site. The book would not be complete without a solid discussion on Security and it is rounded out with an enlightening chapter on Tips and Tricks, most of which were discovered through real-world, hands-on experience by its authors. So, if you are interested in creating a new website, or migrating a legacy website to a modern platform, and you wish to utilize the highly versatile DotNetNuke® Web Content Management System, I highly recommend this book as I believe it provides the insight and guidance to allow you to achieve your goals.

Shaun Walker

Co-Founder & Chief Architect

DotNetNuke Corporation

http://www.dotnetnuke.com

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