Blogging Software & Platform for ASP.NET

 

It's a common question, especially for those unfamiliar with the ASP.NET ecosystem and community: What is my best option for blogging in ASP.NET?

 

Last Monday Wil Reynolds and Emma Still (some internet savvy, talented marketers) had this same question, yet many of the answers suggested spinning up WordPress in an IIS environment. While this is a good solution for some, there are situations in which the blog requirements (whether coming from your Client, your IT department, or otherwise) specify ASP.NET as the framework of choice.

In this post, I'm going to give a brief overview of 3 options for ASP.NET-based CMSs and blogging platforms in order from the most robust to the most simple.

 

DNN - Most Robust

dnn asp.net blogging optionThis CMS, newly rebranded under DNN Software (formerly called DotNetNuke Corporation), has a fresh look but stays true to its market-leading performance and functionality. As a DNN Gold Partner, here at Clarity we've obviously made investments of time and resources into this content management system. That is because we've identified it as the best choice for a truly comprehensive and powerful ASP.NET platform. To be clear, many of DNN's advantages lie in its ability to run multiple portals, intranets, web apps, integrated websites, and more. You can do all of this on a single installation, which is beneficial for large companies that have many web properties.

A Great CMS, but What About Your Blog?

So what does this mean for your blog? DNN is one of the best solutions on the market for spinning up an ASP.NET website for content creation. However, there's a caveat here: If you already have a standing website that you're restricted from changing, DNN may end up falling into the "overkill" category. In the past, because of its modular nature, Clarity has used third party extensions to achieve the blog functionality that our Clients need. (Please note: DNN has made a recent effort to roll in more native blog functionality into the core platform, and of course we will adjust this strategy if it seems like the right fit.)

Our favorite third party blog module has traditionally been EasyDNNnews, which carries a significant amount of functionality that other platforms require multiple plug-ins to achieve. If you're looking for a complete website and blog solution, the DNN + EasyDNNnews combination is a big winner for many businesses including many of our Clients. With that said, the necessary installation, setup, and configuration of a robust CMS plus a third party module just to achieve a blog section to supplement your website is what some would consider overkill. This choice is simply going to come down to the requirements of each individual project.

You can find more information about DNN at dnnsoftware.com.

 

Orchard - A Good Middle Ground

orchard microsoft asp blog softwareOrchard is an open source CMS developed and backed by Microsoft itself. It still requires some configuration and customization, but Orchard provides a simpler spin up process as it has a core blog module that is ready to go virtually as soon as your site is spun up. While the community is not as large and there are less third party modules, it is a lightweight option that can be easier to launch. The combination of moderate functionality and speed to writing content makes Orchard our "middle ground" choice.

The advantages for Orchard include:

  • Less lead time to having a working blog
  • An extremely lean platform with great performance
  • MVC architecture, which allows for better and easier maintenance

Is Orchard Extensible?

In short: yes. However, the community is still small, which means if you want functionality beyond the bare bones of a simple blog you may need to dedicate development resources to building it for you. You can check out some of the packages that are currently offered by the Orchard community at gallery.orchardproject.net.

You can find more information about Orchard CMS at orchardproject.net.

 

BlogEngine.NET - Most Simple

blogengine asp.net blog simple platform optionIn the spirit of listing ASP.NET blogging software and options in order of increasing simplicity, it only makes sense that the BlogEngine.NET is mentioned here. This platform might be the quickest ASP.NET blog to set up and the easiest to maintain. Of course, it is not the most robust or extensible but its certainly a good option with great features that most blogs need (advanced commenting, categories, tags, simple article listings, ratings, social & share functionality, etc.).

An Extremely Easy Platform to Use

On top of being easy to set up and configure, BlogEngine.NET is even easier to use. Stripped of the unnecessary functionality of other more robust CMSs, there are no distractions from the main goal of your site: blogging. More than the two other options on this page (and for that matter, all of your ASP.NET blog options), BlogEngine.NET is truly a plug and play platform.

You can find more information about BlogEngine.NET at dotnetblogengine.net.


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