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What is missing in DNN 9? Lots, take a look and see what you’re missing!

DNN9 appears to be an evolutionary leap forward for the DotNetNuke CMS, but while there are many advances, there are some big misses of features that somehow got left behind, or at least hidden away so that finding them for someone who isn’t a DNN expert (such as myself, if I do say so) is impossible, unless of course you read this blog, then you’ll be on your way to utilizing DNN9 in ways that the average Joe could only hope to.

Overall the trick is to navigate to either the /Admin or /Host pages, from there you can find most of the older DNN interfaces for doing things on the platform.

This blog applies to sites that have been upgraded from previous versions of DNN. If you did a fresh installation of DNN9, without an upgrade, you likely will really hate life because the ADMIN/HOST pages content far less useful functionality on a fresh installation.

Things that you can’t find (but might still be there, if you upgraded from an older version of DNN)

  • Filtering Users by Email (the Persona Bar user search doesn’t appear to look at email address). To access the user management navigate to /admin and then choose the User Accounts option, good luck if you aren’t on an upgrade though.
  • The “Recycle App” and Clear Cache options in the Control Panel. Sometimes there are simply things that you need to do in the database, such as delete a module that is supposedly on a page, but DNN won’t render, and it is constantly logging errors (looking at your “Messaging” 5.6.3 module). You can access these by navigating to the bottom of the /host/hostsettings page. You can also access these now from the Persona Bar under Settings/Servers, towards the top of that screen.
  • Upload Files into Subfolders via the Rich Text Editor. The upload controls within DNN 9, in the Rich Text editor don’t appear to allow for choosing a location where the files go, and they always seem to go into the root of the portal, not ideal. You can however choose the “Browse” server control, and then from there, choose a directory and upload a file.
  • Managing Skins/Themes In the early days of DotNetNuke, Skins and Modules were installed and managed separately, there was not a notion of “extensions” though they were both extensible tools. Sometime around DNN 4 I believe they were both treated as “extensions” where you could go one place to install, uninstall and manage. That’s how Skins and Modules have lived in DNN for the last 8 or 9 years. Until DNN 9. If you want to Install a Skin/Theme, you have to go to the Settings/Extensions page in the Persona Bar, the same place you would install a Module. If you want to UNINSTALL a Skin/Theme though? Good luck, it doesn’t appear that you can uninstall a Skin/Theme anywhere in DNN9. If you upgraded you can still access the Host/Extensions page, but if you didn’t upgrade, sorry, you’re SOL.
  • Translating to other Languages. The interface for translating languages in DNN9 is much more difficult to use than prior versions. If you've upgraded try going to the /Admin screen and going through the old interface.
  • Google Analytics Configuration. In earlier versions of DNN you could configure your Google Analytics account. To get this working you may need to add the Google Analytics module to a new "hidden" page somewhere.
  • Disabling the DNN Copyright in the HTML Source - Looks like the ability to disable the DNN Copyright in the HTML Source of your pages was removed in DNN 9, inadvertantly. You can still remove it with a quick SQL script "Update HostSettings set settingvalue ='N' where settingname = 'Copyright'" from the SQL console.
  • Site Templates - You can no longer create site templates using the Export functionality, and you can no longer use those created templates to create NEW sites. 



This will be an ever-growing blog post, so feel free to comment with things that you have found are no longer available that I haven’t discovered yet!

Recent Comments

Google Analytics is one I remembered which was removed and they is no clear way of adding it to the Persona Bar.

Posted By: Gerald Ncube on Sunday, January 8, 2017 6:49 PM

You can still filter by email in the user search but due to partial word search restrictions that may not be obvious. To verify that you can search by email, go to Settings >> Site Settings and open the Search tab. Enable Partial Word Search and save your settings. Give the indexer a minute to catch up and then go and perform a search using an email domain like or some other domain that you know is used by a user. You will see the users table get filtered appropriately. The issue really comes down to how wildcard searches work in DNN/Lucene. By default, DNN will add a '*' wildcard to the end of any search. This means you have to know the starting characters for any string you are searching for - and this applies to emails as well. With the partial word search feature enabled, then the wildcard is effectively added to both the beginning and end of the search term. You can delete Skins/Themes the same way you do for any other extension. Just go to the extensions page and select Themes as the extensions type. At that point you should see a delete icon for any skin that is not in use. Note: I did have to do a page refresh after I installed the skin in order to get the delete icon to show up. This is a bug in the "extensions" page as that should appear as soon as you install the theme. Also, to help find where things might have moved in the new interface you can checkout the following page in the Documentation center -

Posted By: Joe Brinkman on Monday, January 9, 2017 10:56 AM
"Upload Files into Subfolders via the Rich Text Editor." This is terrible. It would be nice for each module to be able to have a default file folder location.
Posted By: Brad Bamford on Monday, January 9, 2017 7:10 PM

We have a module that allows configuring Google Analytics for free in DNN 9 (see our blog post and we are working on a PersonaBar version of the module.

Posted By: Jan Jonas on Saturday, January 28, 2017 3:17 PM

DNN 9 version have something smoothing out to do. It is much more contemporary user experience but yes still some important features are missing in this version like store/forge integration is missing in DNN 9.

Posted By: Lucy Kaith on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:59 AM

What happened to Portal Level themes where you can have a unique theme for a portal under the portal folder? Looks like you can only view and apply themes that are in the Portals\_default folder\Skins folder

Posted By: Ola Olaf on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:41 PM

There is something wrong with the filtering on the Users panel. Authorized and All filters do not show any users for me. Only when I set filter to Superusers do I see my one user. Anyone else experiencing this?

Posted By: Gray Hamilton on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 10:27 AM
Portal Level Themes - go look at Site Settings / Site Behavior / Site Aliases. You can now tie the Alias. Which for Canonical sites should be more useful than per-Portal.
Posted By: Jeremy Farrance on Monday, May 8, 2017 5:57 PM

Thanks for giving us some helpful information, this is one of the few places I was able to find any. After using DNN since 2003, I can't even find the host menu on my new DNN9 install. This speaks volumes. The product seems worse than Wordpress now. By trade I am an EMR analyst and programmer, this reminds me of what happened to McKesson a few years back; after health systems invested tons of time and money in their system, including third party integrated solutions,and they decided to shift everyone to a far less robust product in their line up. Health systems figured if they had to practically replace what they had, they could go shopping. This is why I am now an Epic certified developer instead of a McKesson analyst. The only other thing I can figure is they want to discourage use of the community version of the product.

Posted By: Beth Vest on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:08 PM

It seem the DNN 9 does not show edit pencil icon in iPad for superuser, while it is showing in website. Please confirm this issue and if so then it will be resolved in new version.

Posted By: Sourabh Malani on Friday, June 9, 2017 5:59 AM

Thanks for giving us some helpful information

Posted By: thomas white on Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:06 AM

Hi! Thanks for the brief overview of what legacy items could potentially break with the upgrade to Version 9.1. I've also noticed that our former LEFTMENU is no longer working our website. The source still exists in DNN, but it's just not showing the menu. Any ideas how this can be fixed?

Posted By: Jennifer Bartolome on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:26 PM

Search or filter in PersonaBar > Users by (complete or first characters of) email address does not work - tested on DNN 9.0.2

Posted By: Sebastian Leupold on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:19 PM

What happened to Host Lists - am I missing something? Can't find this feature.

Posted By: John Lojko on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 12:43 PM

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Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

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