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Getting rid of the admin area of your application

One difference that I have always liked about DotNetNuke versus Drupal and Joomla is that the admin interface is built into the website not a separate area.  When Kevin and I researched all of the top Content Management Systems three years ago we decided on DotNetNuke over Drupal and Joomla this was one of the deciding factors.



Are goal was to make sure that our clients could easily edit their website and build upon it themselves if necessary and DotNetNuke had the easy content management out of any of the major players at the time.  When you edit content with DotNetNuk you login, you go to the page you want to edit or work on and the tools you need are right there.  This is not true for the majority of other content management systems, including the most famous blog engine Wordpress.



Having clients go to a /admin area where they login and work with their website in a different view, where pages are called nodes or tabs, and they have to look at notes and documentation to remember where to go when they login to add a new page, or a new piece of content can be frustrating at first.  The learning curve is steeper.



I think that this approach should be adopted on ever more applications other than public websites. Even web applications can benefit from building their administrative interface directly into their application rather than taking users away to other screens to manage the content in their drop down boxes or configuring a screen.  It takes a little more work as a developer to make it user friendly and intuitive but it will greatly increase your applications adoption and require less ‘how to’ documentation.  


Some applications provide training and videos in the application the first couple times you login until you start working on it and editing the information.  Then they assume that you are understanding it and it is tucked away.


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