Sunday, April 08, 2007

Freestyle Entrepreneur Outgrows TypePad...DotNetNuke Here we Come

In my spare time, I operate a small business / entrepreneur blog called The Freestyle Entrepreneur (affectionately known as TFE) with my cousin. We started it about 6 months ago to help entrepreneurs and to try and make a profit. I'm handling the technology, the marketing, and a bit of the content. Other than this personal blog on Blogger, TFE was my first foray into serious blogging.

After much investigation, I placed us on TypePad using their top-tier offering. It's a very reasonable $15/month given the value of what TypePad (or SixApart...also makers of Moveable Type) provides. To be clear, TFE isn't really outgrowing TypePad, we've outgrown blogging.

This isn't to say, "Pfffft, blogging? We mastered that in 6 months! Whatever!". Quite the contrary. We've refined our approach and identified blogging is just one piece of what we're about. We're taking a more holistic approach with a more newspaper/portal feel with blogging assuming just one piece of our offering.

With this new goal/approach in mind, the technology department (me), set off to find a new, more appropriate platform. After much research, I've decided on DotNetNuke 4.5 (just released) with a SQL Server Express 2005 backend and a stock template presentation. My criteria focused around:
  • Clean, easy to navigate, easy to administer/maintain
  • Comfortable, mainstream technology with a large developer community
  • Readily available, reasonably-priced hosting
  • Broad functionality and flexibility
Given this criteria, I narrowed it down to OpenPHPNuke, Joomla, Mambo, Moveable Type, and DotNetNuke. All met my criteria with Moveable Type bringing up the rear (no cut to MT but it's really more of a blogging tool than a portal/CMS platform and it takes a good deal of tweaking to make it do CMS).

The site CMS Matrix won me over to DotNetNuke. Someone put serious effort into this site. It's excellent! One can choose from dozens of CMS platforms and compare them side-by-side against dozens of features. Seeing a "Yes" next to almost all features for DotNetNuke won me over. Additionally, I've been using the .Net platform since before Beta 2 of version 1.0 (2000).

This isn't to say we're dumping TypePad either. Their blogging tool works great and we may just keep the blog there but build up a bigger site around it. Not sure yet.

I'll post soon with background on setting up the platform and our progress...

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