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. 
  • Allow Syndicate - If your module supports SearchItems, you used to be able to syndicate (RSS) feeds from that module, but with the deprecation of Search Items in DNN 9.1 this no longer works. You can still "syndicate" but you get no results :( 



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

Comment Avatar

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 Jan 2017
Comment Avatar

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 gmail.com 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 - http://www.dnnsoftware.com/docs/administrators/control-bar-to-persona-bar.html

Posted By: Joe Brinkman on Jan 2017
Comment Avatar
"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 Jan 2017
Comment Avatar

We have a module that allows configuring Google Analytics for free in DNN 9 (see our blog post https://weweave.net/blog/configure-google-analytics-dnn-9-dnn-google-analytics-advanced-free/) and we are working on a PersonaBar version of the module.

Posted By: Jan Jonas on Jan 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Mar 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Mar 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Apr 2017
Comment Avatar
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 May 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Jun 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Jun 2017
Comment Avatar

Thanks for giving us some helpful information

Posted By: thomas white on Aug 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Sep 2017
Comment Avatar

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 Oct 2017
Comment Avatar

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

Posted By: John Lojko on Jan 2018
Comment Avatar

Hi Chris, What's happened to the '51 degrees' device detection capability in level 9? ... Seems to have diappeared... HAs it gone the way of Telerik? regards, Duncan.

Posted By: Duncan Ion on Mar 2018
Comment Avatar
Duncan, I don't know if the capability was removed, though I can't recall where the configuration is anymore.
Posted By: Chris Hammond on Mar 2018
Comment Avatar

I am kind of new to DNN. I think DNN added a nice feature "Structured Contents" but they need more work in it. Specially to stay consistent. In Visualizer when user hits the save button but still wants to continue working it completely kicks the user out to the man window and you have to do several clicks to get to the place where you were working. I would suggest DNN should add "save and close" and make the "Save" button to save only like in "Content Types" where they have "save, save and close and cancel buttons. I am waiting when DNN is going to make "structured content" publicly available as I heard in DNN Summit at Denver in Feb 2018.

Posted By: Muhammad A on May 2018
Comment Avatar
AAGRRHHHH! I use them infrequently, but when we need them, the whole-Portal TEMPLATE and ability to export a portal template and import/apply it to another portal through the Site Wizard has been an invaluable feature of DNN since version 4 (or 3?). It had even been improved recently in DNN 7 (or 8?) so that it allowed you to choose which items, which pages, which roles, etc you wanted to include in the Portal Template when creating it. We would use it to set up a starter frame for a site/portal and then copy that to dozens of other blank Portals which needed to start from the same starting point and structure. I can't believe it's gone!
Posted By: Ryan Moore on Jun 2018
Comment Avatar

Finally got the patch for using Email as Username, but the RC 9.2.2 still lacks OAuth support for the authentication providers. Any help here is greatly appreciated as I am speaking out for everyone that has not been able to have anyone log in since August of 2017. I have so many portals I updated and a few I was wanting to officially launch, spending so much time setting up now I am gazing at code trying to figure out what is causing another null reference. I am so far behind schedule it is scary... I have pushed as far as I can and I will keep looking at it to see if I can figure this one out. It was a simple fix for the registration I believe as it was barely a half line of code that fixed it. Be a hero help out the guys trying to start up. I had a thriving community that has stalled out and died entirely on more than one website... I upgraded not knowing the issue now it is a joke to think of how much time I have spent troubleshooting it is disheartening. Thanks DNN Corp for messing up my entire year! I was hoping to buy Evoq content or basic at least since Engage is way out of my range currently as a startup. I been using DNN since 4 and since 6.2 I had so many people tell me to leave this CMS.. and I kept sticking with it thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel. This really has destroyed all my goals for 2018!

Posted By: Cody W on Sep 2018
Comment Avatar

Users cannot find all users regardless of what value is typed in. I have tried last name, first name, user name and display name as well as email address. I have only seen this with a couple of records. Of course, that person cannot create a new record because his email address is already in the record we cannot access.

Posted By: JoAnn Schlosser on Nov 2018
Comment Avatar

Thanks a lot sir

Posted By: Kathy Jackson on Dec 2018
Comment Avatar

hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

Posted By: Eve Hunt Eve Hunt on Jan 2019
Comment Avatar

Ver 9 Problems trying to figure out how templates are now modified/applied to a page I have modified the ascx file... can not figure a way to apply to a site page. Where do i find this option. Is it gone???

Posted By: kim peter on Jan 2019
Comment Avatar

Hello Chris, I want to create a virtual directory in side the DNN site with asp.net site. Is this possible? What are the steps to make the sub-site work?

Posted By: Prasanna Hiremath on Sep 2020
Comment Avatar
In the older versions of DNN when you set the "Allow Print" option in the Module settings a "normal" user would see a printer icon that allowed the to print the page. In DNN-9 It seems that a "normal" user does not have the ability to see the "Print" option. In order for the user to see the print option, they must be given "Edit" permissions and then they must know to click the "pencil" button in the lower left of the screen. Am I missing something???
Posted By: Chuck Rizzio on Oct 2022
Comment Avatar

In the older versions of DNN when you set the "Allow Print" option in the Module settings a "normal" user would see a printer icon that allowed the to print the page. In DNN-9 It seems that a "normal" user does not have the ability to see the "Print" option. In order for the user to see the print option, they must be given "Edit" permissions and then they must know to click the "pencil" button in the lower left of the screen. Am I missing something???

Posted By: Chuck Rizzio on Oct 2022

Add Comment

Please add your comment by filling out the field(s) below. Your comment may need to be approved before it becomes visible.
Enter your first name for display with the comment
Enter your last name for display with the comment.
Enter your comment here.
If you can't type DNNRocks in, you can't post, plain and simple.
Submit Comment Cancel

Chris Hammond

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, software developer, photographer and car guy. Chris focuses on the latest in technology including artificial intelligence (AI) and has spent decades becoming an expert in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke (DNN) development. You will find a variety of posts relating to those topics here on the website. For more information check out the about Chris Hammond page.

Find me on Twitter, GitHub and LinkedIn.