What is a "Core Module" in DNN?


Whether you're reading various blogs, books, or forum posts, you might hear the term "core module" when referring to DNN CMS.  This article will help you learn more about what that is, and what the various core modules are in your DNN-based website.  


The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:

  • None

Getting Started

There are no prerequisites to follow along with this article.

What is a "Core Module" in DNN?

Simply put, a core module in DNN is an open-source module (a.k.a., extensions, app, plugin, etc.) that is preinstalled in DNN when you first run the application.  These modules are often serving a very critical functionality or feature requirement for the majority of website owners, such as the HTML module itself.  This module is the most widely used module by anyone, because it allows non-technical people to create and manage the content that visitors see.  

In most cases, the core modules should remain installed on your DNN website.  

Core Modules

Below you'll find a comprehensive listing of the modules in DNN that are known as core modules.  

Module Description
Authentication Allows you to manage authentication settings. 
Console Displays children pages of the current page as icons or links for navigation.
DDR Menu DotNetNuke Navigation Provider.
HTML This module renders a block of HTML or Text content. The Html/Text module allows authorized users to edit the content either inline or on a separate administration page. Optional tokens can be used that get replaced dynamically during display. All versions of content are stored in the database including the ability to roll back to an older version.
Html Editor Management

A module used to configure toolbar items, behavior, and other options used in the DNN HtmlEditor Provider.


The journal module is a running status update of various activities on your website, similar the home page of some social networks. 

Member Directory

The Member Directory module displays a list of Members based on role, profile property, or relationship.

Message Center

Allows users to message each other via their profile.

Razor Host

The Razor Host module allows developers to host Razor Scripts.


Allow users to create a new user account on the website.

Resource Manager

This module allows you to manage files on the server

Search Results

The Search Results module displays search results.

Social Groups

DotNetNuke Corporation Social Groups module

Telerik Removal

This module allows you to remove the DotNetNuke Telerik Web Components library from your site.

Users and Roles

Administrators can manage the security roles defined for their site. The module allows you to add new security roles, modify existing security roles, delete security roles, and manage the users assigned to security roles.


Displays profile information to end-users, based on the permissions of the module, page, and respective user profile privacy settings.  

Legacy Core Modules

While the above list is an accurate one today, if you're reading through older articles and/or discussing modules with a veteran member of the DNN CMS community, they might understand core modules to also or alternatively refer to the comprehensive set of add-on modules that used to ship with DNN back in the day of DNN 4.x and earlier.  These modules allowed you to create all kinds of content, but each were not critical to the entire DNN ecosystem.  They were later removed in DNN 5.x, and moved to their own respective open-source repositories. 

These modules are all still actively maintained by the DNN community.  

Module Description
Active Directory Allows you to integrate Active Directory into your website to authenticate visitors. This is a great module to use for intranets and extranets. 
Announcements Used to create content such as press areas, blogs, and other kinds of announcements. 
Blog Quickly allows a website owner to create a blog section on their website. 
Documents This module allows authorized visitors to see and potentially curate a list of specific documents on a page. 

The events module is a calendar-based module that helps website owners maintain a calendar of events of any kind.  (Still contains legacy Telerik, and is a security risk.)


Creates a list of custom frequently asked questions (FAQs) on a page. 


A configurable form module that helps visitors to contact you.  

Form & List

This is one of the earliest structured content modules available for DNN. You can use this module to create content of various types.


The community forums module makes it easy to setup a way for your visitors to community with each other in a community setting.  This has replaced the legacy "forums" module and is formally called the Community Forums module. 


This module helps you create a media gallery for visitors to see and interact with. 


This module allows you to embed another web page into an existing page on your website, by leveraging the common <iframe>, but with additional options and security.  


The links module simply lists links of whatever kind you wish, such as files, other websites, and other pages on your website. 


The lists module is used to manage the lists inside of DNN. These lists include swear words, regions, and other types of content that are already in your DNN website. 


Embeds a Google Map onto a page on your website. 


Allows you to embed media of any type on a page on your website. This could be dynamic/complex content using the underlying oEmbed API (e.g., YouTube, Twitter, etc.), images, and video.  

Module Creator*

Helps a superuser to create a module within DNN, without ever opening Visual Studio.  This module should be used sparingly, if at all.  

News Feeds*

Also once known as the RSS Feeds module, it consumes any XML feed and displayed the output, based on the XML itself or while also using a custom XSLT (that needs to be written for any individual XML feed).  This module is meant for RSS feeds, primarily.  


Allows you to mass send a newsletter to members of the website.  


This module helps you to expose reports to visitors on the website, from nearly any data source.  Though, some may require writing a new visualizer plugin for the module. 


This module makes it easy to create, categorize, and display a collection of any content, in a configuration-friendly way. 


As it suggests, this module will allow you to create a survey with unlimited questions for your visitors to complete.  


The vendors module is mostly a legacy module, that allows you to create and maintain a custom advertising campaign (ads) on your website.  


If you need to create a wiki on your website, this module makes it possible, using a wiki-like language syntax.  


This module functions almost identically to the News Feeds module above. 

* This module has not been recently maintained. 

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