Several months ago, I was very honored to participate in a preview of a new product that I was being told to not say anything about. They wanted it to be a big surprise. I could tell through the IM that we were communicating on that excitement doesn’t begin to describe how happy and proud they were of it. How could I resist? I agreed to take this new “top secret” product for a test drive, and see what it did.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post. I received no compensation of any kind for this blog post.
As I remember it, I was only told that this product allowed people to manage their DotNetNuke® skin. Oh boy was that an understatement! Basically, Nucleus allows you to manage nearly all aspects of your DNN skin right there in the web browser window. That’s right! You simply login to your website, and with a very slick and web 2.0 feel, you change background colors, images, and all other kinds of attributes without have a tick of knowledge of CSS, web design, or anything else.
Don’t believe me? The smart folks behind this product even made a very telling video that demonstrates how easy this product is to use!
Amazing, isn’t it? I was blown away using it. The video does the product little justice in terms of how satisfying the end result is when you get your skin changed. The tools it provides makes all of your standard design changes so EASY to do. I am always impressed when a first generation software product is this slick, this easy to use, and works completely as advertised. Fantastic job, guys!
How does this work? Well, in their own words, it’s a skinning framework. There is what appears to be a 2-part install. The Reactor skin or Nucleus by itself does nothing. However, when both are installed and on the same page, you end up with a dynamic skin. Simply install both, and drop an instance of the Nucleus module on the page, and you’re ready to go! If you don’t exactly like the layout of the Reactor skin, don’t worry. There’s more skins coming that will be Nucleus compatible.
What is “Nucleus compatible?” Well, in order for the Nucleus module to be able to manage how the skin works, the skin must be designed with very specific considerations in mind. That’s beyond the scope of this post though. I just wanted you to know about this product.
As of this blog post, this product isn’t free and can only be purchased with 3 different license options. You can buy it from Snowcovered, starting at $99.00 USD. Honestly, that is a steal for the amount of power this product gives you. I would have expected to pay much more than that. However, I hope that we will see a less featured community version in the future for those without budgets and hobbyists, etc.
If you’re not a designer and cannot afford to hire one, Nucleus should definitely be on your radar for possible solutions.