DotNetNuke Tips & Tricks

Friday, March 18, 2011 by Ian Robinson

Analyzing DotNetNuke CTP Upgrades with the IIS SEO Toolkit

Filed under: Tips & Tricks, DotNetNuke

As a community member running a well-established DNN site, I took the opportunity to test out the new DNN 6.0 CTP upgrade package today on a backup I had of dnnGallery. I also used the IIS SEO Toolkit to do some before-upgrade and after-upgrade comparisons on the website so that I could see what kind of impact it had on the website.

DotNetNuke 6.0 CTP Release

Just yesterday the DNN 6.0 CTP (link to codeplex download) was released. As described in the release announcement, the release is firmly focused around the conversion of the core from VB.NET to C#.

The purpose of releasing the CTP, which is an early preview and is not intended to be production ready, is to provide an opportunity for the wider community to test the new features in each of their own contexts.

We know environments and configurations can vary to extremes, so this “in the wild” testing is very important, especially around such a milestone as converting all of your code from one language to another.

Performing the upgrade

The upgrade went very smoothly. I restored a backup of dnnGallery locally, downloaded the DNN 6.0 CTP upgrade package (made sure to “unblock” the zip file first), extracted that over the current website, and hit the site to kick off the upgrade process. As you can see in the following screenshot (click it for the full image)– it went off without a hitch.

The DotNetNuke Upgrade report shows an upgrade from 5.4.1 to 6.0.0 with green success messages

I brought up the site and clicked around a bit – everything appeared to be good. But how do I really tell?

IIS SEO Toolkit

If you’re not familiar with the IIS SEO Toolkit, it is essentially an extension for IIS 7 that, when pointed at a public website, crawls said website downloading each resource and performs an analysis. The toolkit then presents a report with information, warnings, and violations with respect to generally accepted SEO rules. It also displays any normal website errors (such as broken links).

What I used the toolkit for in this context though, is to capture the output of the website before the upgrade and then again after the upgrade and compare the two together to see what has changed and if anything is blatantly broken or eye-catchingly different.

These reports and the resultant comparison provide a great starting point for testing – setting you up to be able to more quickly find interesting items and dig deeper into them. It will not find any issues with DNN, attribute them to a line of code in the source, and log the issue in Gemini – that is still up to you (and me). However, it does give you an interesting perspective on your site and how it changes after an upgrade.

Here is summary of one of the reports to give you an idea of what kind of information it is providing:

The SEO Toolkit shows a summary of violations and warnings, such as missing alt tags and broken hyperlinks.

When you’re viewing the list of all of the reports that you’ve run, you can select any two of them, right click, and select Compare Reports, to see the comparison.

The SEO Toolkit shows a list of two reports - one run before and one run after.


Digging in to the details of the report and investigating any issues is a bit out of scope for the purpose of this blog post, but hopefully I’ve provided a new and interesting way to perform analysis of your DNN site with respect to upgrades and given you enough information to get started.

If you currently run a DNN site, I encourage you to try out the CTP on a non-production copy of your website and investigate the results of the upgrade. Should you find any issues, you can share them with the community in the Open Core Testing forums.


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