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Skinning best practices

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  • 4/7/2015



Skinning best practices

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Note: this wiki also contains other pages on Best practices


  • Consider using the new manifest Skin Component capabilities that were introduced in 5.0 rather than using the legacy skin installer.

  • Change the favicon.ico for your site. The current default DotNetNuke favicon.ico is 15kb which is too large (this will be resolved in a later release). DotNetNuke upports setting a Tip: Favicon icon per portal, which will allow you to select a smaller file (saving bandwidth) as well as personalising your site(s).

  • Measuring page load - It’s important to measure the timeline of what happens when pages load. Fiddler is an excellent tool to help with diagnosing speed issues and highlighting areas to optimise. Alternatively firefox users might consider Google pagespeed,Firebug or Yslow

  • Image type - use PNG rather than GIF. PNG8 works all across major browsers and delivers smaller file sizes

  • "Crunch" PNGS - PNG stores image in "chunks" many of which can be safely deleted. Tools such a pnhgcrush can be used to reduce image size e.g.
    PNGCRUSH -rem alla -brute -reduce myimage.png mysmallerimage.png

  • JPEG metadata - JPEG files can contain metadata which has no use on a website such as comments or EXIF data (e.g. camera information, thumbnails, geolocation data). Tools such as jpegtran will strip this to reduce image size

  • CSS Sprites - CSS Sprites allow a site to combine multiple images into one to reduce the number of page requests. This is most useful with similar sized images e.g. an icon set. You can generate your own CSS Sprites via a tool such as CSS Sprites

Additional references
Yahoo image optimization presentation


  • Don't use the SOLPART menu, it's a legacy component that has been superceded by DNNMenu in the core, as well as a lot of menu alternatives. It's only kept in place to support the large number of skins that used the SOLPART skin object, or assumed solpart as the default. For alternative options see the Navigation Providers section.

Additional references thinkofdesign have a fantastic online skinng reference covering both skin objects and containers.
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