Upgrading Your Website to DotNetNuke 7

25 February, 2013 Content ManagementDotNetNukeHostingTechnologyWindows

DotNetNuke 7 … A Worthy Upgrade

– Tony Valenti

As everybody knows, DotNetNuke 7.0 was released on November 28th and is a great new upgrade to DotNetNuke.  If you haven’t already, take a look at our blog post about the improvements to the user experience and more.

Upon the release of any major version of DotNetNuke, we recommend that all new websites are deployed on DNN7, but we also recommend that existing sites hold off for about a month to make sure that the new version is solid and stable.  This is good advice no matter what hardware or software you implement.

One of the big criteria that we encourage customers to use to determine if they should upgrade or not is whether we have upgraded our own website.  Like many of our customers, our website is core to our business and we have a very thorough process that we go through when upgrading our website.  We have an entire development server that we use for all of our changes and QA processes so we make sure that everything works perfectly before we push into production. [Some other image perhaps?] DotNetNuke Hosting at PowerDNN

Before we ever recommend, we do it ourselves
Whenever a new version of DotNetNuke comes out, we upgrade our website on the development server.  Then we go to every page on our website and make sure it looks right.  We test every form and module on our website and make sure it works as well. When we upgraded to DotNetNuke 7.0, I was immediately impressed by the new look on the admin site.  It is much sleeker and more professional.

Once we got the CSS kinks worked out, it was time for the more rigorous testing.  Every form on our site needed to be tested.  This included signup forms, analyzers, and a good number of other related items.

As it turned out, one of the modules that we had on our site was using a piece of code that was deprecated and had been removed in DotNetNuke 7.0.  In order to resolve this problem, all we had to do was upgrade to the module to its latest version (which was DotNetNuke 7.0 compatible) and the issue went away.  However, with the upgrade, a few CSS classes changed and we needed to make a few adjustments.  Nothing was seriously “broken” but a few things definitely did not look right. Server Error Image

Once we had everything where we wanted it, we spent the next few days making minor tweaks to our website.  One of the nice things about DNN7 is it has some really slick looking CSS styles and we really felt like we should take advantage of those new classes (Tool Tips, for example).

Tool Tips Old and New

 

 

 

Good to go, but practice “safe upgrading”
All in all, we were really pleased with how smooth the upgrade process was.  If you’re looking to upgrade your DotNetNuke website, simply be prepared to do the following:

  1. If you are on a pre-6.0 version of DotNetNuke, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of version 6 first before upgrading to version 7.
  2. Upgrade your Skin to a DotNetNuke 7.0 compatible version.
  3. Upgrade any custom modules to DotNetNuke 7.0 compatible versions.
  4. Test, test, test your website … then test again.  Nothing beats human eyes looking and reading word-for-word and human finger typing into every form.

If you are a PowerDNN customer and you’re ready to start the process of getting upgraded, we are here to help.  Simply open a ticket asking us to upgrade your website or use the PowerDNN Control Suite to do the upgrade yourself.  We have a knowledge base article that can help.