DotNetNuke Upgrade (5.0.x) – The Long Way

The following steps have been written for a remote shared hosting environment, and have been used in a DNN 5.0.1 to 5.1.1 upgrade.

  1. Backup your website files;
  2. Backup your database file;
  3. Download the lasted package;
    1. Most folks use the “Update” package, but others seem to prefer the “Install”
  4. Backup and then Verify/Modify your web.config (Step not need in DNN version 4.6.2 and above)
    1. Database connection strings in <connectionStrings> section
      1. Data Source=(your server name);Initial Catalog=(your db name);user id=(your db user);password=(your db password);” providerName=”System.Data.SqlClient”/>
    2. Database connection strings in <appSettings> section
      1. Data Source=(your server name);Initial Catalog=(your db name);user id=(your db user);password=(your db password);”/>
  5. Backup and Modify <add key=”AutoUpgrade” value=”false” /> in web.config from true to false;
    1. Change this to prevent accidental upgrade from an outside source during your Upgrade file transfer [Reference Link]
  6. Add the a file named “App_Offline.htm” to your root directory;
    1. By adding this file, it will take your site off line. [Reference Link]
  7. Replace/Move the Unzipped files into the active site;
    1. Some Hosting environments allow one to Upload a Zip file and then Unzip to over write the existing files.
    2. Manually replace files/directories.
      1. Unzip the Update/Install package on your Local Hard drive
      2. Use something like FileZilla to view and move files and directories
      3. This can take 45-60 minutes
      4. Allows one to get a better understanding of the internal “plumbing” of DNN
  8. Backup and Modify <add key=”AutoUpgrade” value=”true” /> in web.config from false to true;
  9. Rename or Delete “App_Offline.htm” to your root directory;
    1. One can just add the “.bak” extension and leave the file in place for future use.
      1. Example: “App_Offline.htm.bak”
  10. Browse to
    1. During this process, all new web.config changes are added [Reference Link]
  11. The Upgrade window should appear, and give a progress status line for each item or event that is happen.
    1. This takes approximately 5-10 minutes.
  12. Your done!
    1. Total time: 60-75 minutes

Additional Resources:

DotNetNuke – “Chat About It” Forum – “Upgrade Steps

– There are additional links within this thread

Mitchel Seller “DNN Saint” – Main Website

– This site has a TON of great DNN related info!


- Andrew
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