Getting started with EasyDNNnews
The installation of EasyDNNnews module isn't different from the installation of any other DNN module. After you have installed EasyDNNnews module, 6 new modules will appear on the list of installed modules. They are EasyDNNnews, EasyDNNnews Calendar, EasyDNNnews Categories Menu, EasyDNNnews Search and EasyDNNnews Widgets.
EasyDNNnews is the main module whose function is to add and display articles, manage articles and the entire content, set up all the important settings and there are a whole lot of other functionalities.
Other modules that come with EasyDNNnews module are also called satellite modules, for their functionalities are linked with the main news module. Let's see what these modules' functionalities are. EasyDNNnews Calendar module is used to display published articles in the calendar and the archive.
EasyDNNnews Categories Menu module displays article categories.
EasyDNNnews TagCloud module displays tags used in the articles and makes it possible to search through articles that contain key words.
EasyDNNnewsSearch module makes it possible to search through published articles.
EasyDNNnews Widget is a module that allows for some advanced types of displaying and filtering articles, but this module's functionalities will be the subject of some future article.
Now that we've become familiar with the modules coming with EasyDNNnews, let's start putting our blog page together.
Let's suppose you have successfully installed your module, but haven't used it yet. First we go to Modules menu, where we'll locate the main news module and add it to the page. Click on Modules menu, then Add new modules. Find EasyDNNnews module and drag it to the page. In older versions of DNN, modules used to be added in a slightly different way, but if you're a user of an older version of DNN, you surely know how to add modules to the pages in these versions.
If you've installed the module's commercial version, you need to activate the module before you can use it. Enter the Invoice ID you got when you purchased it and click on the Activate button. The Trial version of the module doesn't need to be activated, and you can use it without any limits for the next 15 days.
When you add the module to your page for the first time, you'll notice the text Start adding articles. Click on that text in order to initialize starting settings and prepare the module to be used.
After the module has been initialized, it starts featuring a toolbar with the buttons Add article, Article manager, Dashboard and Settings. Clicking on the Add article button opens the interface for adding and editing articles.
In title field enter the article's title. Subtitle is an optional field, and you can leave it alone. Then we choose one or more categories we wish to add the article to. After installing the module, only one category will be present here – Uncategorized – and you can add more categories in the Category manager.
In the summary field we add a short text to be displayed in the list of articles.
In the content field we add the full text of the article that will be displayed when we open the article.
In the article tags field we can add one or more tags, separated by a comma. Tags are key words or terms that describe the article.
After adding tags, we get to Gallery panel, where we can add images into the article directly from our computer. Click on the Add gallery button, then the Select images button.
…then the Select images button.
Select images from your computer and click on the Open button. This will display thumbnails of images you've selected in the Gallery panel. Now all that is left to do is click on "Start upload" button, and images will be uploaded into the article.
One of the added images can be marked as a main article image. The main article image is used as an introductory image, and it will serve to create thumbnails for the article's display in the list of articles.
Finally, let's save the article by clicking on the Save article button, or any other Save button.
We can see that our first article has been added. You may notice that the image we've marked as Main Article image is displayed along with the article on the list of articles, and the introductory image in the article has been displayed as well.
All the images we've added are located at the article's bottom. If you're using integration with EasyDNNgallery module, instead of the default gallery you can choose between several different displays and themes.
But let's go back to our EasyDNNnews module. The next button on the toolbar is the Article manager.
In the Article manager we can perform various actions on articles that have already been added. Here we can open an article to edit it afterwards, we can delete it, localize it into other languages and similar. In the Article manager you can also see some information about the article, such as publish date, expire date, last modified date. It can also be seen who the article's author is, and there is brief statistics and the article's status. If we click on the Show filter settings, we can filter articles in the Article manager. This is especially useful when there is a large number of published articles, so filtering helps us to easily find just the articles we need. Let's go back from the Article manager to our news module. We can close the Article manager by clicking on the Close button.
The next button on our toolbar is the Dashboard. The Dashboard is a control place, and from here we can perform all activities and manage everything.
Let's just briefly explain all the possibilities of the Dashboard. Clicking on Add article opens the interface for adding and editing articles, that you're already familiar with. You're familiar with the Article Manager as well.
In "Approve articles" you can approve articles that need approval before they are published. In "Comments" you can manage all comments on articles. In "Category manager" we add new and manage the existing article categories.
In "Tags" we manage all tags published in articles.
In "Tokens" we can create custom tokens that can be used in templates and text. "Gallery management" can be used if EasyDNNgallery module has been integrated, and it opens the interface for gallery management in EasyDNNgallery.
In "Author profiles" you can add profile information about the article author, such as biography, links to social networks, profile picture and more.
In "RSS import" we can add a feed from another site, whose articles will then be loaded into EasyDNNnews module.
In "System notifications" we can set up sending notifications about new articles, approval requests, notifications about new comments, et cetera.
In "Custom fields" additional fields are created that can be included into your articles.
Now we come to "Settings". From the view of hierarchy, there are two types of settings in EasyDNNnews. The Module settings are settings only valid for the module we set up individually, while the Default settings are valid across the entire DNN portal for all news modules. We will discuss settings in more detail later.
In "General settings" it is possible to set up jQuery options, the number of article revisions saved in history, we can set up the appearance of page title, and it is also possible to switch on the option to manually add DNN roles into permissions of EasyDNNnews module.
In "Cross portal sharing" you can set up the options of sharing articles with other DNN portals.
In "API connections" we set up connections with Twitter and Facebook to enable articles to be automatically posted to social networks. Now that we've got familiar with the Dashboard, let's get back to the news module again. The last button left in the toolbar is Settings.
As you can see, the Settings of EasyDNNnews module are organized by sections, and you can determine for each section whether to use Default settings or Module settings. Clicking on one of the sections opens a panel with options.
Module settings are settings valid only for the current module, and Default settings are valid for all the modules on the portal. Such organization of settings allows us to combine Default settings and Module settings. So, for example, in the section Permissions we can use the Default settings valid for all the instances of the module, while Main display settings can be switched to Module instance settings to set up the options that will be valid only for the current instance of the module.
If we wish to use Module settings for any particular section, it is necessary to switch settings to Custom settings. Since EasyDNNnews is a really powerful module, there are lots of options that can be set up. However, to begin using the module, it is NOT necessary to set up all the options. Let's start by getting you familiar only with the most important and the most frequently used ones.
Section 1 – Permissions. Here you can accurately set up permissions available to users, such as who can add articles, which categories can they add them to, as well as who can see all the articles or just articles from certain categories. Here you can also set up additional permissions, such as the option to download document from within articles, option to comment on articles and similar.
Section 2 – Main display settings. Here you can set the main option of article display, such as type of display, the number of articles per page, selection and setup of pagination and similar.
Section 4 – Filter articles. In this section we set which articles will be displayed in this instance. EasyDNNnews is a centralized module, which means that all articles are available in all instances, but in this section we can accurately determine which articles will be displayed here.
Section 6 – Template and theme selection. In this section we select themes for the list and article details, as well as HTML templates to be used.
To just get familiar with the module, you can leave the default settings, you don't need to set anything up in order to publish your first articles. However, to get familiar with all the possibilities of the module, we recommend you to study all the sections of settings. If you position your mouse above the letter “i” and next to each individual option, that option will be explained to you in a tooltip. This is a good way for you to become familiar with the module's possibilities really fast.
And finally, all the changes we've made in the settings need to be saved.
Next we want to organize our articles in a better way, add a category menu, calendar and archive, tag cloud and a search engine. For that, we'll use satellite modules that have been installed along with the main EasyDNNnews module.
First we'll add Search module that searches through articles. Click on DNN menu Modules. Find the module EasyDNNnews Search and drag in onto the page.
Click on Edit settings. Here you can set up many options related to searching, but for the time being you can leave all the default settings, just select a theme and display style.
Save the settings by clicking on the Save button. After that, the Search module is configured to be used.
Next thing we want is to add the module for displaying categories. Click again on DNN menu Modules, select Add new module and look for the module EasyDNNnews Categories Menu. Drag the module onto the page.
Click on Edit settings.
Here too we can leave all the default settings, we'll just select the theme and display style. Now we have a categories menu on the page.
Now we want to add a calendar and archive. We open click on the DNN menu Modules, select Add New Module, find the module EasyDNNnews Calendar and drag it onto the page.
Click on Edit settings.
In the options we'll select the display of calendar and archive. Then we'll select the theme and display style. Finally we save the settings. Our page now features a calendar and articles archive.
Blog pages usually feature the popular tag cloud, so that's what we're also going to add. Just like with all the previous modules, we drag EasyDNNnews Tag Cloud module onto the page.
We click on Edit settings.
We'll leave all the default settings, we'll just select the theme and display style. And finally, our blog page contains all the elements that a good blog page should have.
In our example we haven't tweaked any settings, we've left all the default settings as they were. However, you've become familiar with the basic functionalities of the module. If you dig a bit deeper into the settings, you'll notice that the possibilities of tweaking are very generous indeed, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of uses. EasyDNNnews is a great blog tool, but its possibilities by far surpass the mere functionality of a blog module. EasyDNNnews is being used by many serious portals and magazines around the world. It is also a great solution for events, announcements and all kinds of documentation. Thanks to its custom fields, EasyDNNnews makes a perfect tool for various Internet directories and classifieds. If you have any questions or need assistance for any reason, feel free to contact our support team.
Thanks for reading.