In 2006, I was busy working for Midas International as the Director of Software Development. The software I was working on, R.O. Writer, had its own website that the Midas IT department controlled, however, Midas IT was always busy making changes to the main corporate website and internal intranet projects and didn’t have much time to support our needs. Frustrated, I began a search for a new content management system (CMS) that would allow our support staff (the non-programmers) to be able to update the information on the website when we needed something done. That way, we would not have to wait for someone in IT to get around to our request. My criteria for a CMS was simple – it had to be a Microsoft ASP.NET solution running on a SQL server backend as that was the expertise we already had in house.
So, a quick search of the available solutions out there uncovered DotNetNuke. I found a website integration company that could help me with my DotNetNuke install, skin design, module choices, and implementation of the core features. Within a short period of time, we had a new look for our website and the ability to maintain our own content – Success!
Around the same time, I became involved personally with a local organization that was in need of a new website, so I volunteered. I used DotNetNuke for this new website for a couple of reasons: it allowed me to learn more about the ins and outs of DotNetNuke and how everything worked, as that would be a benefit to my day job; I wanted to give the group a way to edit the content on the website themselves, as I didn’t want to be the sole person that had to make the changes for the group; finally, DotNetNuke made implementing new functionality on the website quick and easy.
I found my first skin on Snowcovered, along with so many additional features and functionality. I quickly added a volunteer form, photo gallery, a PayPal donation module and several other modules. These inexpensive modules combined with the built in core modules of Text/HTML, announcements, feedback, documents, links, etc. made for a really great website.
So why a .NET content management system? Well, it has been said that no CTO has ever lost his or her job for recommending / going with the big players out there. If they recommend IBM / Microsoft / Oracle they are fairly assured that they will be able to successfully complete their projects without risk of making a bad technology choice. So, when looking for a solid Content Management System, I decided to pick one that was utilizing the technologies from Microsoft. Windows/IIS/SQL Server is a very powerful combination that powers many great websites. Also, having a strong development background with Microsoft technologies didn’t hurt my bias towards tools that played in the same arena.
After completing those projects and beginning a few more, it became apparent that it was time for me to leave corporate America behind. Susan and I launched J&S Tech Designs and we began building websites full time. We joined our local Chamber of Commerce where we met some great people. In 2008 Susan and I met Don and Kate Gingold at a Naperville Chamber of Commerce small business committee meeting. A couple of years later after working on several projects together at the height of the recession, we decided to join forces and we formed Sprocket Websites. Read more about the Sprocket story here…
Today that first website that I built is still up, running, and is being actively maintained by the group long after I departed. They just contacted me about doing a new look for them, but that is beauty of DotNetNuke –it should be easy to make the changes they want and keep moving forward. My decision in choosing DotNetNuke was one that allowed me to develop a great website that fit my needs and permitted me to work with some great features and functionality. It’s hard to find problems with a system that provides so many solutions.
Do you have a success story that begins with DotNetNuke? How does DotNetNuke help your business? What positive impact has DotNetNuke had on your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.