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2SXC and EasyDNNNews

Posted in DNN on January 25, 2019

Better design and easier content updates in DNN

This is a follow up post to my post about "Content Design" in web design. You can read that here: Design Content that is Easy to Manage

90% of my job has to do with designing and creating content that is easy to manage for everybody - technical and non-technical people alike. The websites I build are typically maintained by marketing people, business owners, or office admins. It's my job to not only make each page / section / piece of content beautiful, I have to make it maintainable - no matter how complicated the design.

Which is why I use 2SXC and EasyDNNNews on every website I build.

Even if you're already familiar with 2SXC and EasyDNNNews, I'd like to share with you how I use them and how I choose when to use either of these great modules.

2SXC

https://github.com/2sic/2sxc

2SXC is obviously built by geniuses. The core idea of 2SXC is that it allows developers like myself to build content in DNN that can be easily maintained by non-technical users without them breaking it. By separating the content fields from the template, you can expose only content to your admins so they don't have to worry about the design. But it can be so much more than that: I can set required fields, crop photos on the fly, and change the behaviour of the layout when certain content is present or not.

Here are some of the best things I've created in 2SXC:

  1. Board Members grid with modal pop-ups: https://wimwinsk.com/about-us/board-members-and-committees
  2. Responsive packages pricing grid: https://www.pass.org/summit/2019/RegisterNow.aspx
  3. Provincial members navigator: https://aitc-canada.ca/en-ca/who-we-are/provincial-members
  4. Workshops and Courses: https://westcoastpilatesinc.com/Instructor-Training/STOTT-PILATES-Courses

You can make virtually any piece of content editable and no design is off limits. The great thing is that it replaces other modules that you would have to either buy or create: hero banners, scrollers, carousels, call to actions, pricing tables, courses and worskhops, video players, board members, photo galleries, staff listings... pretty much any type of content that you or your clients can dream up can be created with 2SXC. No longer do you have to spend money on maintaining multiple licenses for 1-use third party modules. And your users don't have to learn different interfaces for maintaining their content. It's an absolute game-changer.

EasyDNNNews

http://www.easydnnsolutions.com/modules/easydnnnews/overview

EasyDNNNews is the top selling module in DNN and for a very good reason. You might think it's simply a module for creating News, Blogs, or Events but it's so much more than that. I think it's probably underestimated for what it can do for other types of content, other than plain ol' articles. In my job, when clients ask me to build a listing with some details, I typically think 2SXC because I'm pretty good at whipping together something. But when the requirements get a bit more complicated where I need custom URLs for the details view, or tags, or categories, or to display the listings on pages other than the main page, that's where EasyDNNNews becomes the module to use.

Here are some listings that I built using EasyDNNNews (that aren't news, blogs, or events):

  1. Resource listing: https://saskdebate.ca/resources/resources-for-coaches
  2. Magazine article library: https://componentadvertiser.com/in-our-pages/library
  3. Learning center: https://aitc-canada.ca/en-ca/learn-about-agriculture
  4. Job postings: https://hqc.sk.ca/careers

Another underrated feature of EasyDNNNews is the Custom Fields feature. When the default functionality is not enough, you can always add Custom Fields to the listings and details. This feature is the secret sauce that allows for creating listings that are unique.


Overall, I love using 2SXC for pretty much every piece of content except when I want to create special listings and detail views. I know that 2SXC can do this type of thing, but it's a lot simpler and faster to set up in EasyDNNNews. On top of that, the support from EasyDNNSolutions is pretty amazing.

If you care about design, and you care about your customers having a great experience when they're maintaining their website, then I think these two modules should be part of your strategy.

I hope you can learn from my experience on why I think 2SXC and EasyDNNNews are a winning combination in DNN. If you could use some help powering up your DNN website, check out Expert DNN Development. I can help you make your website fast, usable, and easy to maintain.

Aaron Lopez

Aaron Lopez

Founder & Lead Developer at Wolf X Machina

Wolf X Machina

Next Level Interface Development for the DNN CMS

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