Adammer releases Greytness, a free DNN skin

Greytness, a DNN skin that is clean, simple, sleek, and FREE! (as in beer)

ArchitectX was such a huge success, we’ve been busy with custom skin development since its release in January 2008. Greytness is our way of giving back to the DNN community which has been a big part of our success.

About Greytness

As its name suggests, Greytness is a single color grey skin (more colors soon). It includes 18 containers which can be arranged with great flexibility in its 21 panes.

Greytness is written in valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional, valid CSS level 3 code, and does not contain any tables.

Our commitment to Web Standards

Adammer is a W3C Contributing Supporter.

We hope Greytness will help developers create more DNN skins that comply with W3C, WAI, and Rehabilitation Act Section 508 standards.

Greytness is a clean, simple, and sleek skin that we encourage developers to use as a reference for techniques to create more standards compliant and accessible DNN skins.

Download at the Greytness Demo site

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
Greytness by Adammer LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license is available at

  1. July 28th, 2009 at 15:47 | #1

    Wow — Greytness is a nice and simple DNN skin with a professional look that’s lacking from most other “free” skin offers. Truth be told, I like this one even better than Arch-X. Thanks for the contribution to the DNN community, Adammer!

    • July 29th, 2009 at 07:49 | #2

      Thanks for the kind words mamlin. We hope to release additional features and colors soon. Feel free to let us know what you’d like to see in future releases.

  2. July 29th, 2009 at 12:11 | #3

    Blogged a review here:

    The main “wish-list” item for me would be additional container types: “enclosed” containers to help offset content and “background-color” containers to allow use of light-colored fonts.

    Good documentation, BTW — clean and simple.

  3. July 29th, 2009 at 19:56 | #4

    Map of the worldwide Greytness downloads 24 hours after release. There’s no question DotNetNuke is global.

  4. August 9th, 2009 at 18:12 | #5

    I am in the process of upgrading a website and Greytness (greyt kname) is just what I was looking for. I especially like the banner pane. I was able to put a rotating flash module into the pane to jazz the site up. I was wondering about one thing. Why did you put the login and logout at the bottom of the page? Even when it is at the top I have had people have trouble finding the login.

    • August 9th, 2009 at 19:53 | #6

      Hi Mike,

      I’m happy Greytness was just what you were looking for. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback since its release.

      It’s great you were able to put the banner panes to good use. We use them all the time to create unique User Interfaces from a single page layout.

      Why did you put the login and logout at the bottom of the page?

      Great question!

      On Greytness, we put the login/logout and account links at the bottom of the page to reduce their visibility and free up space for other UI elements. On portals with large numbers of active users, I usually recommend adding the “Account Login” module visible only by “Unauthenticated Users” near the top of strategic pages (such as the home page). This creates a very visible Login element for the end user but once they’re logged in, it disappears and relinquishes valuable page real-estate.

      You can create very dynamic and fluid UIs using DNN module permissions. Give it a shot. And thanks again for your feedback and kind words.

  5. August 29th, 2009 at 19:10 | #7

    After researching and testing many DotNetNuke Skins and if you have a low budget I recommend the following free skin
    Greytness by Adammer –

    I posted an entry on my blog to promote this skin at:

  6. September 6th, 2009 at 15:38 | #8

    Greytness is Greyt, I installed it a week ago and my site never looked better. I am still in the procress of tweaking it. there are so many ways you can modify and customize it.

    visit to see Greytness modified

  7. November 3rd, 2009 at 12:35 | #9
  8. November 22nd, 2009 at 21:10 | #10

    I’m new to DNN and installed your great skin. However I’m having an issue with the search. When I click the search icon the page posts back but doesn’t do anything. Do youhave any tips you can provide? Thanks again for the skin!

  9. November 22nd, 2009 at 21:22 | #11

    @ BBuff ,
    It may be that DNN has yet to index your content. But more likely, you have inadvertently deleted the page that contains the “Search Results” module.

    1) Create a new page titled “Search Results” if it doesn’t already exist.
    2) Add a “Search Results” module to the page.
    3) Make sure the page is visible to all users.

    That should be all you need to get the DNN Search operational.

  10. November 23rd, 2009 at 05:52 | #12

    Thanks Adam! You’re a genius. The page already existed from the default install but didn’t contain a Search Results module. I really appreciate the help.

  11. December 3rd, 2009 at 17:59 | #13

    Thank you .I try many times.But still can’t make the menu Switch language.Thank you still

  12. December 3rd, 2009 at 19:06 | #15

    @ Adam Humphrey
    No, 50$ is almost my monthly living expenses.Maybe I can change the menu control to default and make it look like as the menu of Greytness2.But I consider it not a good habit to alter Other People’s Works…Maybe I can make a new skin by myself based on the default skin.By the way ,I can learn something about dnn.
    Thank you for replying me 🙂

    • December 3rd, 2009 at 20:07 | #16

      Please feel free to make any changes or modifications to the Greytness skin code. One of the main reasons we released this skin under the Creative Commons license was to give people a starting point for skin development. Also, a couple people who downloaded the skin have successfully modified it to re-enabled the default DNN menu as well.

      You may want to check out Drop-in upgrade for SolPart and DNNMenu. Although it looks as though it also requires third-party localization modules.

      Please let me know if you need anything else. Always glad to help!

  13. December 3rd, 2009 at 20:49 | #17

    Adam Humphrey :
    Please feel free to make any changes or modifications to the Greytness skin code. One of the main reasons we released this skin under the Creative Commons license was to give people a starting point for skin development. Also, a couple people who downloaded the skin have successfully modified it to re-enabled the default DNN menu as well.
    You may want to check out Drop-in upgrade for SolPart and DNNMenu. Although it looks as though it also requires third-party localization modules.
    Please let me know if you need anything else. Always glad to help!

    Thank you very much.You are a very very very good person:)

  14. Chuck
    March 2nd, 2010 at 14:24 | #18

    Thank you for providing a free skin/container ‘Greatness’. I am a new DNN user and was looking for a skin to modify and to understand. Your contribution helps a lot for people like me who is trying to get their feet wet in skinning.

  15. Nathan
    April 15th, 2010 at 19:28 | #19

    Love this skin!! 1 Problem I’m having when I login as host I cannot see the admin or host links … is that normal?

    • April 15th, 2010 at 19:37 | #20

      Hi Nathan,

      Yes, we removed the Admin and Host menu items from the Greytness horizontal menu as they can now be accessed from the links in the top right corner of the control panel (using DNN 5.x).

  16. Julie D
    May 9th, 2010 at 01:00 | #21

    I love using this skin! I use DNN for work and for my husband’s business, so I work with skins in various price points. I find that Greytness is superior to many of the paid skins – a clean template ready to let my content be the focus.

    Great job, and thank you!

  17. May 25th, 2010 at 00:16 | #22

    I wish DNN would adopt Greytness as their default skin. It is so good. Cleanly coded. Easy to modify. Fast and just seriously good-looking. Thanks for making it available under Creative Commons. I now use it as a starting point for all my new projects.

  18. August 18th, 2010 at 01:33 | #23


    Just a note to say I’ve used Greytness as a base for our club website – There are still some other changes to tweak, but they will happen as I learn more about html etc.

  19. October 10th, 2010 at 11:42 | #24

    Excellent skin and very kind developper.

    Thanks !

  20. November 16th, 2010 at 13:55 | #25

    It nearly killed my site when I tried to reorganize some pages using the admin ‘Pages’ module. I never was able to recover… Was able to recover by using another skin (by/from Nina…)

    I liked it well enough to be back looking at your for-sale/professional skins. Looks like you do nice work. Let me know if you fix Greytness or guarantee Arch-X or elemento don’t have the same issues.

    • November 16th, 2010 at 14:05 | #26

      Hi Bob, Can you give me a little more detail about the problem you had with Greytness? This is the first I’ve heard about a potential problem using the Greytness skin on the Admin/Pages page.


  21. November 16th, 2010 at 16:11 | #27

    @ Adam Humphrey

    Sure can. I can send you a link so you can see it on my screen if need be, as well.

    Pages could not go beyond two tiers; the third tier disappeared from the menus.

    For simplicity call the main menu bar the ‘root’ hierarchy. There could only be one item [Home, for instance] in the ‘root’ level. I had to make peers of that one item sub-pages on the settings to have them appear as peers on the menu bar. Changes to ‘none specified’ using Settings would not be saved.

    Using the ‘Pages’ function/module under Admin role got things so screwed up I had to punt totally; I had to load another skin to ‘recover’. This one you might have to see to believe.

    There is a chance it is my site as I just went through a nightmare upgrade, which is why I went to Greytness to begin with… Other skins work OK, though.

  22. November 16th, 2010 at 16:19 | #28

    Also, HOST and ADMIN menu items/dropdowns do not appear at all on the menu bar. I believe this to be the same problem as the ‘only one root item’ above, since they appear as ‘root’ items on the ‘Pages’ hierarchy.

    • November 16th, 2010 at 17:04 | #29

      @Bob, It sounds like something went awry with your upgrade. I have seen one other person who had an issues similar to this after an upgrade. It may be that the DNN database didn’t get upgraded appropriately for menu hierarchy. And since our skins use a custom SEO menu module, it’s important that the database have the correct data with regards to menu item hierarchy.

      Perhaps you can try a fresh DNN install and Use the Export/Import Portal Template feature to get this issue resolved.

      FYI: (Included to help you understand our menu structure but not a fix for the issues your having)
      The Greytness skin is specifically designed to support 0-3 menu levels. 0 = top level, 1 = sub page(s), 2 = sub sub page(s), 3 = sub sub sub page(s)

      Home (level 0)
      …Page 1 (level 1)
      ……Page 2 (level 2)
      ………Page 3 (level 3)
      …………Page 4 (level 4)

      The menu will display levels 0-3 but not level 4. If you want to enable support for additional levels you will need to change the appropriate .ascx skin file. Look for the tag and change the Level property to something other than Level=”0-3″. You will also need to adjust the CSS to support the additional levels as well.

      You should also notice the ExcludeTabs=”Admin,Host” in the tag. Greytness removed the Admin and Host menu items because they are no longer needed due to DNN 5.x displaying these links at the top of the page. They were just taking up space.

      If you’re still having issues please use our contact form to open a support ticket.

  23. November 16th, 2010 at 18:56 | #30

    @ Adam Humphrey
    I believe you are correct. I have a fresh/virgin 5.5.1 site and installed Greytness and cannot duplicate the problem there.

    Import/Export Portal is new to me. Will try.

  24. November 17th, 2010 at 05:04 | #31

    @ Adam Humphrey
    Correction: You were correct; right on the money. My db had some bonkers stuff in it. A couple of negative numbers for order and ‘gaps’ in levels (like a level 1 with its sub items as level 4). One had a 5 digit number in one field…

    Thanks so much.

  25. Dewey
    November 21st, 2010 at 15:39 | #32

    My NavMenu is not showing anymore. When I view the HTML source there is no rendering of the menu. I’m not sure what caused it to not show, but there has been no DNN upgrade to cause this. What else can I look for?

    • November 21st, 2010 at 15:51 | #33

      @ Dewey, The most likely cause is the removal of the skins HTML comment:
      Adammer menu technology licensed through

      Due our licensing terms this HTML comment needs to be part of the *.ascx file in order to enable the NavMenu. Let me know if you’re still having problems with the NavMenu after adding the HTML comment back to the skin or if this fix worked for you.

  26. Dewey
    November 21st, 2010 at 16:12 | #34

    @Adam Humphrey
    That fixed it. Thanks, Adam.

  27. Hany Darwish
    March 16th, 2011 at 10:30 | #35

    GREYTNESS is a great skin and it looks like there is more to share about the menu template feature could you share this information with us as i think that all of us are interested to learn more about the menu customization feature using the template property 🙂

    thanks very much for the professional free skin very clean and pro code 🙂

  28. August 18th, 2011 at 13:17 | #36

    Greytness 2.5 and DNN 6 are a great combo. Nice job on the fixes.

  29. March 28th, 2012 at 09:52 | #37

    I am new to the Greytness skin and new to DNN. I installed Greytness on my home page and the login/register code disappeared. I don’t want to go back to Dark Knight as I just LOVE the Greytness skin, but could you tell me what happened to the login/register when I changed the skin? I am assuming it has something to do with my login.aspx or something like that but don’t know.

    Thank you for your help! LOVE the skin!

    • March 28th, 2012 at 10:50 | #38

      Hi Chris,

      I’m happy you’re loving the Greytness Skin! The login and register links can be found in the right portion of the footer.

      Please refer to this comment for an explanation of why we chose to put these links in that location.

      Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need anything else.

  30. March 28th, 2012 at 15:16 | #39

    @ Adam Humphrey
    Well… that is ingenious! Great idea! I’m not sure I would have even thought to look down there! Yet another reason I simply love this skin!

    Thanks so much for your quick reply! Looking forward to rolling out a fabulous DNN site!


  31. Shantanu
    July 14th, 2012 at 03:47 | #40


    I saw the Greytness demo site and loved the skin but I am running into the problem given below and would really appreciate it if someone can help me.

    I am a DNN newbie and have finished installing a new website(DNN 6.0). I downloaded the zip package for greytness and installed it and all went fine. I saw the preview and applied the “charcoal full width” skin replacing the existing “DarkKnight” skin. I also set the “appearce” options to settings in admin and host to use greytness.

    The problem is that all the admin and host settings pages show the Greytness theme correctly but all the content pages continue to display the DarkKnight theme.

    Please let me know how I can set the skin so that it is consistently displayed over the entire website.

    Sorry for the long post. 🙂


  32. Shantanu
    July 14th, 2012 at 04:22 | #41

    @ Shantanu

    A update on the above post – I tried to set the skin independently for each page but the following error was displayed
    “Could Not Load Skin: /Portals/_default/Skins/Greytness2/Charcool_FullWidth.ascx, Error: Could not load file or assembly ‘DotNetNuke.Web.Client’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.”

    I even downloaded the dnn source files and pasted the dll “DotNetNuke.Web.Client” into thebin directory for my website installation but the error stays.

    Any help on this will be highly appreciated.


  33. July 16th, 2012 at 10:29 | #42

    Hi @Shantanu,

    This seems like an odd error to be getting on some pages but not others. If you have set the default skin to Greytness and all your Admin and Host pages are working fine then it seems like there may be something in one of the modules on the pages that are having issues.

    Usually, if there is an issue with the skin it won’t work at all on any page not just a page here or there.

    Can you create a new page and see if you get the same error? I’m leaning towards there being some module that is causing some issues.

    Let me know if this helps and if I can be of any further assistance.

  34. July 20th, 2012 at 05:40 | #43

    @ Shantanu
    Hi Shantanu.

    I’m having exactly the same problem. Very new to DotNetNuke. The Admin page shows the skin, but the rest of the site continues to show Dark Knight. Please help. I LOVE the skin!!!

  35. July 20th, 2012 at 10:38 | #44

    Hi @Martin,
    As @Shantanu discovered, a brand new install of DNN comes pre-populated with a few pages. Each page has set a page skin in its settings. You can adjust each page to use the “Default Skin” by following these steps.
    1) Log in
    2) Navigate to the page you wish to change
    3) Hover your mouse over the “Pages” link in the top admin section (grey bar)
    4) Change the “Skin” drop down box to <Use Default Site Skin>
    This will change the current page skin to use the default skin which I’m assuming you’ve set to Greytness.
    Let me know if you have any additional questions.

  36. woogon
    September 11th, 2012 at 06:44 | #45

    Hello, Adam.
    Do you have a plan to upgrade your Greytness skin to be of HTML5/CSS3?
    Thank you.

    • September 11th, 2012 at 08:47 | #46

      Hi @woogon,

      Greytness is using some CSS3 styles such as box-shadow. Feel free to use as many CSS3 styles as needed. The skin is fully capable of rendering CSS3 styles.

      It is very easy to change the DocType of Greytness to use HTML5. You just need to modify the .doctype.xml files in the /Portals/_default/Skins/Greytness2 directory.

      Example of HTML5 DocType:

      <SkinDocType><![CDATA[<!DOCTYPE html>]]></SkinDocType>

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  37. July 26th, 2013 at 05:03 | #47

    hi there!

    are you releasing a DNN7 version of Greytness? is 2.6 tested with DNN7?

    It’s a great versatile skin that my client loves, but DNN7 and new OS/SQL beckon also…


  38. July 26th, 2013 at 21:15 | #48

    Hi @Tim,

    Yes, Greytness v2.6 is DNN 7 compatible.

  39. January 12th, 2015 at 22:51 | #49

    I fell in love with Greytness…Why is this skin not responsive?!

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