DotNetNuke® Guided Tour

Overview of Modules

Your website is made up of one or more Pages.  But pages do not display the information that website visitors come to view.  This is the role of Modules.

Modules provide the information or functionality of your website in small pieces that may be combined in unique ways to make your website special.  Modules can be simple like a piece of text or an image, or they can be complicated like an insurance premium calculator or an online chat utility.

Navigation: Where do you put a Module?

Modules are placed on Pages in Panes.  Panes are just predefined areas on a page which help it to maintain its appearance.  Every page Skin has at least one pane. A skin may have several panes depending upon the intent of the designer of the skin.  Sometimes those panes are intended for specific purposes (e.g. a logo or a banner in the header of a website).

 

Content: What kind of Modules are there?

DotNetNuke® comes preconfigured with a number of standard Modules.  Many other modules are available from a variety of sources (both free and commercial).  The following list briefly describes the  preconfigured modules.

Account LogIn permits users to log in to your portal.

Announcements produces a list of simple text announcements consisting of a title and brief description.

Banners provides for website advertising through Vendors. You can select the number of banners to display as well as the banner type.

Blog enables weblogs for users.

Contacts displays contact information for a group of people such as a project team.

Discussion lists a group of messages posted on a specific topic.

Documents displays a list of documents, including links to browse or download.

Events displays a list of upcoming events, including time and location. The events list can alternately be set to render in a calendar format.

FAQs allow you to manage a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

Feedback allows visitors to send messages to the Administrator of the website. If a visitor is already logged in, their name will automatically populate the form.

Forum enables a community tool for creating and managing topics of discussion and replies.  User moderation, avatars, smileys and email notification are  supported.

Gallery displays albums of graphics and or multimedia files.

IFrame is an Internet Explorer browser feature which allows you to display content from another website within a module on your site.

Image displays a specified image. The module simply refers to the image by a relative or absolute URL, so the image file does not need to reside within your website.

Links displays a list of hyperlinks to any page, image or file on your website; or to a file, image or page on another website.

News Feed (RSS) displays news feeds on you site. News feeds provide your visitors with up-to-date, topical information on any range of topic.

Search Input can be displayed on any page.

Search Results can be displayed on any page.

Text/HTML allows you to design content in a visual editor, or add html. Includes a picture gallery of all your uploaded images.

User Account module permits Registered Users to add, edit and update their User Account details. Membership services are also managed here.

User Defined Table allows you to create a custom data table for managing tabular information. Clicking on column headings reorders the data A-Z or Z-A.

XML/XSL displays the result of an XML/XSL transform. The XML and XSL files are identified by their UNC paths in the xmlsrc and xslsrc properties of the module.

Security: Who can see or change a Module?

Modules have security settings just like Pages do.  You may have certain modules that display information on your website that you don't want just "anyone" to be able to see.  If your website allows visitors to register, you can give special Permissions to those Users.  You can enable or disable visitors access to specific modules just like you can to the whole page.

 

Modules also have a special option to Inherit View permissions from Page.  This simple option gives the module the same permissions as those specified for the page itself.  If the page permissions change, the module permissions change with them.

Appearance: How does a Module look?

Modules display content according to their functionality.  So the content of a Contacts module looks different than the content of a Feedback module.  In order to help visitors distinguish content and to enable common functions (like settings and help), modules have Containers (or wrappers) which give them consistent appearance.

For any given Skin, a web designer may supply one or more Container options.  Any container can be used with any skin, although they are usually designed to compliment the skin they come with.

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