One of the best things I love about the DNN platform is the ease of building, releasing, and updating Extensions for your website. If you need custom functionality you can either build something yourself, or likely find something that someone else has developed previously that might fit your needs.
If you are an extension developer for DNN (previously DotNetNuke), you have many options for how you can get those modules into the hands of potential customers. If you want to get your modules into the hands of as many different users as possible, you can’t just stick to one distribution mechanism, you need to reach out and try to get your extension available in as many places as possible.
Some of the ways for distributing your modules include: 1) Hosting on your own website, 2) Hosting on GitHub, 3) Hosting on Codeplex. The often overlooked one however, especially for free and open source modules, is 4) The DNN Store.
The Store is a great marketplace for DNN extensions, and while it primarily is used to “sell” extensions, there was even a time free extensions were discouraged or even removed, that is not the case anymore. You can list your extensions, modules, skins, or even providers, to get your products out in front of more customers. Some of the benefits of doing so
- More exposure – Besides searching on Google, the Store is the single most accessed place when people are looking for an extension for DNN.
- Customer downloads - By uploading your extensions to the Store, people can “purchase” them, with $0 pricing. This allows for those customers to easily find those downloads again in the future, as products that they have purchased and download them again.
- Customer updates – You can put out a new release of your extensions, and using the Patch tools provided within the Store you can easily get that patch out to customers as well.
- Customer email option - After someone purchases one of your modules, you can have the Store automatically send them an email with information related to the module, resources on how to use the module, what your support policy is, etc.
- Customer list – One of the biggest benefits of people purchasing your extensions, you can build up a customer list. What you do with that list might vary.
- Referrals – Finally, and one of the biggest items, is the ability to earn some cash from your free extensions? How you might ask? Referrals, if you link to the Store with referral codes included in the links, if a customer actually pays for a module, in addition to downloading your free extensions, you can earn a percentage of that sale. You won’t likely get rich from this, but if you do things right you can get yourself a bottle of Jack Daniels here or there!
One thing I would highly suggest, if you are selling modules, DO not use the Store as a way to get people to “try” your modules, and then point them to your own website to do the selling. That is just not cool.
Please be sure to check out some of my free extensions in the Store: HammerFlex and DNNCHAT being the two most popular extensions I have there. And yes, to be upfront, those links have referral codes embedded in them!