How To Migrate A DNN Website To WordPress

If your DNN website shows its age, you may be considering switching to WordPress. Broadly, WordPress is a lot easier to use, more customizable, and more in line with modern standards for websites. But you might also be worried about what it will take to make the switch from DNN to WordPress.

There are tools and plugins that will allow you to migrate your DNN website to WordPress with just a few clicks. However, these tools are often imperfect given the differences between the core architecture of each system. Doing a manual migration can be time-consuming, but it will often result in a much better outcome.

At Inclind, we understand that not every organization has the time, skills, or inclination to handle the technical tasks associated with running a website. We work with clients to help them design, build, and maintain their websites. Reach out today to talk to our WordPress developers and designers about migrating your site from DNN.


Why Migrate from a DNN Site to WordPress?

DNN - which stands for DotNetNuke - is a content management system (CMS)  that is popular among companies with some website development skills. It offers a lot of customization and access control, which means it is a good option for membership organizations. However, it has become less popular over time and isn’t as well supported as bigger CMS alternatives.

By comparison, WordPress started out primarily as a blogging platform. Today it is the most-used CMS in the world, due in large part to its ease of use. Generally, you start with a theme, and then add plugins to customize your website and add functionality. 

If you don’t have a lot of tech skills - or developers on your staff - then WordPress is probably a logical choice to manage your site easier. But even if you have coding and website development experience, there are good reasons to migrate from DNN to WordPress.

As fewer people use DNN, developers have become more responsible for their sites. Unlike WordPress - which has a huge community of developers who create plugins and fix errors and vulnerabilities - with DNN, you are increasingly on your own. 

WordPress also has several advantages over DNN. This includes compatibility with Google Analytics and email automation software. It also has many plugins available to make things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) easier. WordPress plugins are frequently updated and patched, which makes for a more safe, secure, and functional site.

How to Migrate from DNN to WordPress

Several tools and plugins are available to help you migrate your DNN site to WordPress. Generally, you will need to:

  • Choose a tool or plugin;
  • Create an account;
  • Input your DNN website URL;
  • Add your new WordPress website URL, admin login and password;
  • Choose the content that you would like to migrate; and
  • Complete the migration process.

However, these tools don’t necessarily work for all websites. DNN and WordPress operate on different architectures, which means that you might need to put in a little more time and effort - or engage the services of a website developer - to complete the migration properly. Otherwise, you might find that you are missing data, forms, images, and/or text after the migration is complete.

Evaluate Your Design

The first step in the process is to evaluate your current design. Most DNN sites use a “skin” and are built using panes - much of which is outdated and not keeping with current best practices. Instead of just migrating your design over to WordPress, this is a good opportunity to choose a new WordPress theme. This can ensure that your page is mobile-friendly, has a modern aesthetic, and that page load times are optimized.

Migrate Page Content

Next, you will need to migrate page content. Migrating by hand can be tedious, but it gives you the opportunity to optimize your pages for SEO, organize the content appropriately, and eliminate or update stale content. You will have to go through each page manually and analyze it before copying it to the new site.

Update Forms

If your DNN site has forms, you must build new forms on your WordPress site.  DNN sites use specific tools for forms that don’t translate to the WordPress CMS. There are lots of different plugins, like Gravity Forms, that make creating forms easy.

Add User Roles For (Membership Websites)

If you have a membership organization website, then you may need to manage user access (i.e., allow individuals access to certain pages). WordPress has plugins that will allow you to add new roles and control what each role type can do on the site.

Install WordPress Plugins To Replace DNN Modules

Finally, depending on how your site is set up, you may need to install WordPress plugins to replace DNN modules. This includes everything from page performance plugins to email automation, SEO, and social networking. Some features, like blogging, are automatically built into WordPress.

If you aren’t familiar with WordPress, then this process may be challenging. WordPress is easier to use than DNN but still has a learning curve. If you have any concerns about migrating your site - particularly if you are worried about losing data or your site going down - then your best option is to work with a website design and development team. They can make the transition as seamless as possible for you, and ensure that your website’s migration is smooth.

Work with Inclind For Your DNN To WordPress Migration

While there is a lot to like about DNN, its declining popularity means that it simply isn’t as well-supported as other CMS like WordPress. If you have made the decision to move your site from DotNetNuke to WordPress, there are tools that may make the process easier. However, because these tools don’t always work properly, a manual migration is usually the best option.

The website designers and developers at Inclind have experience with all types of CMS - including WordPress and DNN. We understand how important our clients’ websites are to them. Our goal is to make migrating your website - and maintaining it in the future - worry-free. We can also help you redesign your website to modernize it and make it more functional.

If you're interested in knowing more about our web design, development, and support services, we are always here to chat with you. You can fill out our online contact form or hit the live chat button to speak to one of our experts about your DNN to WordPress website migration.

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