Choosing the right Content Management Systems (CMS) for a business’s project management seems difficult considering wide availability of open source packages available at present. Providing a comprehensive overview of two most popular products, namely DotNetNuke (DNN) and WordPress, would enable readers to make an informed decision about choosing the right one.

Origin and Framework

DNN, a project initiated by Shaun Walker of Perpetual Motion Incorporated, was released in 2003.

WordPress, a blog content writing platform, received the Packet Open Source CMS award in 2007 which made it widely accepted for content publishing.

Technical Parameters

Both are open source, DNN is an ASP.Net based framework written in Visual Basic Net, designed for dynamic websites and web application that can be freely expanded.

WordPress is PHP and MySQL based publishing platform written in PHP.

Setup and Usage

WordPress is seemingly easier and cheaper to set up because of LAMP technology stacks.

While DNN, which is Windows based, tends to be expensive to setup.

However,DNN has the ability to interface with Windows NTLM based authentication and Active Directory and makes an ideal choice for intranet websites.

Concept and Features

WordPress was created as simple blogging publishing system, while DNNwas intended to handle complicated web applications.

DNN comes with add-ons like mass uploading and resizing built-in images, whereas WordPress supports only third party macros.

DNN offers prototyping, macros and zip, built into the distribution, whereas WordPress has none of them.

WordPress lacks performance management options, such as database replication and load-balancing. All of these are fundamental to DNN.

WordPress lacks in-line administration and content scheduling, thus makingit more complicated to administer, whereas DNN's built-in reporting and document management system makes its administration easier.

However, WordPress is easier for a single person to install and administer than DNN.

Content Editing

DNN is powerful and easy to use (once installed) with easy administration, while WordPress requires users to enter a separate Admin area for editing content.

WordPress is fast, easy to use and to customize codes. But not considered a CMS.

DNN’s skins, default layers and modules seem to constantly improve, as also the skinning engine is extremely flexible and easy to use.


DNN's official market place is DNN store , erstwhile Snow Covered, offers a wide variety of free and paid functionality. WordPress has an official extensions directory hosted on its main website, although the plugins seem less business orientated.


DNN and WordPress both, allow centralized themes. A good skin provides an attractive visual vital to website aesthetics. WordPress has a directory of themes on its website, containing around 1,200 free templates. The DNN store serves as a marketplace for DNN themes, and its superior classification system makes it slightly easier to find templates.


WordPress 2.x has had a lot of unpatched vulnerabilities, totaling 29, since its conceptualization, whereas DNN 5.x had only 7 ever, and all of these have been resolved now.

DNN has security and authentication principles, with audit trails, NTML and Kerberos authentication readily available. Session management and SSL logins are also better supported in DNN than WordPress.

Security groupings for DNN are also flexible.


WordPress and DNN both have large development communities providing them with technical documentation and discussion forums. DNN also offers multi-version framework, allowing on-line and phone-based technical support.

Ease of Updates

WordPress has an extremely impressive one-click upgrade path for most of its core functionality and add-ons, while DNN's manually applied updates cannot match with WordPress’s.


Both, WordPress and DNN are good options for creating websites, business or personal. WordPress is considered to be a light framework and more suited to small-scale blogs. WordPress’s security and lack of features limit its application for business websites. DNN is considered a difficult and expensive set up option. However,DNN makes up for it through Windows authentication method integration, as well as having incorporated performance management features. The two versions of DNN, Professional and Elite, offer better support for business critical applications. Overall, DNN stands out as a better long term website hoisting option for medium and large businesses.