DNN has always had a myriad of extensions to meet almost any business requirements. So many that it’s always a challenge to decide on one module from many competing products.
Consider the following checklist before clicking on “Checkout” for your next DNN Module(s):
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Your site is your store front, and it’s imperative that it’s always accessible. DNN Modules that overlook SEO considerations have the potential to not only decrease your SERPs ranking but to remove them altogether from search results.
DUPLICATE CONTENT: Make sure that the module does not duplicate content. For example, if the module uses query parameters such as www.yoursite.com?ItemId=12 or www.yoursite.com?article=dnn-module-features then every unique URL should have a distinct Page Title, Meta Description & Keywords.
The single most effective SEO consideration is to ensure that the module integrates with your Friendly URL provider and creates friendly URLs. This is no longer a concern with introduction of improved URLs beginning with DNN 7.1.
Make sure AJAX is limited to back end interaction and not used as a primarily driver of content. Automatic content fetch on page scroll is great but if not implemented correctly would result in content that’s not indexed by search engines. If the module uses AJAX extensively then ensure that the URL Hash (such as www.yoursite.com#section-1) is changed with every change in content presentation, and Hash URLs exist in static/root document to be indexed by search engines.
The average web users’ attention span is under 7 seconds, so it’s crucial that the DNN Module is performance optimized and renders as quickly as possible.
CACHING: Every DNN Module should implement caching to replace frequent round trips back to the database and / or file system.
CLIENT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
Confirm that the module integrates with DNN API to request jQuery or jQuery UI framework rather than injecting their own scripts, which results in increased page size and conflicts across other modules and components.
- USER EXPERIENCE
It’s a given that the DNN Module must have the required features that meet your business requirements. It’s imperative that it also has a satisfying user experience.
INTUITIVE USER INTERFACE: Make sure the User Interface is intuitive and easy to follow. If you as the admin/integrator can’t accomplish basic tasks without looking over documentation again and again, then it’s likely your clients / end users will be calling you over and over again as well.
WELL DOCUMENTED: Make sure the module includes documentation with easy to follow screenshots and/or videos.
EXCELLENT SUPPORT: Any software is as good as its support. Make sure the support is prompt and competent to address your business requirements. It’s always a good idea to start with a pre-sales question.