When you visit a website, what is the first thing that you see? Yes, you got it right - the design, the layout and the basic appearance of the web page. In short you might say the “skin” of the website. A beautifully designed and interactive skin can completely transform your online experience and present new ways to enhance the look and feel of the page and create navigational ease for the user. 

Skin Development in DNN:

Now of all the various web application development tools out in the market, DotNetNuke is one of the easiest and most user-friendly tools available that don’t require much “rocket science” for catering all your web development needs. DNN provides exciting and ingeniously designed solutions for creating, modifying and enriching your online experience. 



So in DNN, you can either use pre-developed skins available on the online “DNN Store” or you can develop a skin yourself according to your own taste and preferences. 

Now the question rises, how can someone become a great DotNetNuke Skin Developer? You will hear many people say that DNN skin development is a piece of cake and you don’t need much technical know-how about designing a great website. That is actually true but it also should be noted that sometimes even the very highly specialized developer can create a mediocre skin.  So come on and let’s see some of the most important must-do’s for becoming a great skin developer. 

The Must-Haves:

The first and foremost thing you must have is an elementary understanding of ASP.NET platform, the simple knowledge about HTML and the basic know-how of preparing and packaging of the skins. Skins are made up of a bundle of HTML files which contain the content of the website, the navigation menus, and other such functionalities. In order to make the site more visually sensational you must use a variety of unique images, styles sheets (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript along with the HTML file.



Well I don’t need to get into the itty bitty details about coding. Trust me, the technical specifics can be learned easily, but expressing your creativity through your design in a meaningful way is a completely different dynamic. DotNetNuke provides hundreds of different options and tools to help you express your inner artist. So to make the most of DNN you must first realize the basic aesthetics for your webpage. 

Let’s Get Creative:

The skin or layout is the main foundation of your website. It will guide the user through all the sections of your webpage and show the visitor what is most important on your page and what he/she can gain from it. 

Therefore, you will need to invest a lot of your time (and brain-power) to come up with the best design layout that defines your content in the most perfect way possible for your visitors.

“Content” is key to making a site successful. So don’t just jumble it all up; you must make the layout extremely creative, visually exciting and interactive so that the content of your website is presented in the way that puts your visitor in awe and makes his/her visit a memorable one.

Make creative decisions about the right placement and usage of your navigation bar, menus, submenus, buttons, image slideshows, transitional effects, scrolling options, grids, and whatnot. Make sure your webpage has a fun and friendly layout instead of an extremely rigid and formal one. Make the user feel more open and comfortable rather than making him/her feel claustrophobic. 

While designing the website the skin developer must put himself/herself in the users’ shoes. Ask yourself these questions: Why have I visited this website? What do I want to see first? Is it easy for me to navigate through this website? Are the most important key elements easily accessible? Was visiting this page useful for me? Will I want to visit this page again? Do I want to add this website to my Favorites Bar?

When you come up with the right answers, get to work and make the most of DotNetNuke’s capabilities, and make the highly effective design that not only you but the whole world will love.