3.2. Design

This section focuses on overall design for DNN websites. The objective of this chapter is to get you thinking outside-the-box and to dispel the myth that a DNN website has to look a certain way. In this chapter you learn:

  • The definition of a skin and information about the individual components that make up a complete HTML-based skin package

  • A comparison of HTML-based skins vs. ASCX-based skins

  • Skin content structure and the placement of dynamic controls

  • Limitations and best-practice guidelines when creating or converting website designs for DNN

As you learn about skin components, I'll provide samples of early and current skin designs to demonstrate how skins have evolved over the past few years, so you have a good understanding about what is possible. After you've completed this chapter, you'll put all of the knowledge you've learned to use in Chapter 4 by designing and creating an entire skin package from scratch. But before you get into the actual implementation, I'll present a thorough overview of the skinning process, and what is involved.

3.2.1. An Introduction to Skinning

The term "skinning" has many different interpretations depending on the audience. At the most basic level, skinning provides you with a static layout but allows you to change colors and styles and possibly override images with your own custom graphics. The term "skinning," as it relates to DNN, refers to the ability to customize every aspect of the user interface without changing the actual content. ...

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