Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about BlogEngine.NET.

Can BlogEngine.NET be installed within an existing website?

Yes. Install it in its own folder and configure the directory it resides in as an application in IIS.

Some hosting providers may not allow the level of trust used in BlogEngine.NET by default. If you receive an error similar to:
  • "Parser Error Message: It is an error to use a section registered as allowDefinition='MachineToApplication' beyond application level.",
You can try one of the following to resolve the issue:
  • Comment out the "trust" line in web.config
  • Ask your hosting provider if they can configure the directory where BlogEngine.NET is installed as a virtual directory.
  • Ask your hosting provider to verify that the directory has been configured as an application in IIS.

How do I update the "About the Author" section of the blog?

In the default Standard theme, edit the content of this section by clicking "edit" in on the side bar of your blog.

An alternative way to display About the Author information is to create a 'Page' in the control panel. The Title of the Page can be About the Author. Enter information about the author in the WYSIWYG editor. Once the page has been created, you can add a link to the About page on your blog. This can be achieved by adding a Page List widget, or by adding a TextBox widget with a hyperlink to the About page, or by editing your theme file (site.master) and adding a hyperlink to the About page.

Is BlogEngine.NET open source and completely free?

Yes. BlogEngine.NET is built by passionate developers who have too much spare time, just to make an open source blog engine to give away absolutely free.

Is my mother able to use it?

Yes. We have gone to great lengths to make BlogEngine.NET as easy as possible to use – both from an end user as well as a developer or theme designer's point of view.

What are the demands for the web server?

The only thing needed to run BlogEngine.NET is a web server that support ASP.NET 2.0 and write permissions on the App_Data folder.

What database is it running on?

None. BlogEngine.NET uses XML to store all posts, pages etc. by default. However, if you prefer to use a database, BlogEngine.NET includes a "DbBlogProvider" that allows you to store data in databases which support standard SQL -- MS SQL Server, MySql, SQLite and Vista DB among many others. Configuration changes necessary to store data in a SQL Server database can be found here. If there isn't a data provider already available, you can easily write your own provider. We have enginereed our framework to make this very easy and simple to do.

How can I switch where data is stored (XML to Database or vice versa)?

If you're just starting off with BlogEngine.NET, all of your data will be stored in XML files in your App_Data folder. Some web hosts such as GoDaddy who have an automatic BlogEngine.NET setup option, might setup your blog so data is stored in a database instead. If your blog is new, you don't yet have any data, and you want to switch from XML storage to Database storage, find out how here.

If you have an existing blog and you want to switch the backend your data is stored in (switch from XML to Database or Database to XML), a BlogEngine.NET Provider Migration tool is available!

Can I customize the design of the blog?

Yes. If you don't like the themes provided with BlogEngine.NET, you can modify an existing one to match your taste or create a new one from scratch. Creating themes for BlogEngine.NET only requires basic knowledge about ASP.NET and HTML. Additionally, BlogEngine.NET takes full advantage of ASP.NET 2.0's master page structure. Find out more about creating themes.

I have trouble. Can you help out?

Yes, as long as the trouble is BlogEngine.NET related. For information about the use of BlogEngine.NET or how to create themes, you can find almost everything you need in the Documentation. For issues, suggestions and discussions please visit the Discussions.

How is BlogEngine.NET licensed?

BlogEngine.NET is licensed under the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL), which basically means that you can do anything you want to the source code as long as you release it under the same license.

I want to contribute to BlogEngine.NET. What do I do?

We welcome anybody who wants to contribute. Please read our contribute page to find out how you can get involved.

How do I reset lost admin password?

If you are using default XML provider:

1. Get to your website (usually by FTP to your web server).
2. Open /app_data/users.xml in the text editor, for example notepad.
3. Remove password from your admin account, meaning:

change from:


If you are using SQL then instead of XML file update DB table:
UPDATE be_Users SET Password = '' WHERE UserName = 'admin'

4. Restart web site, easiest way is to open web.config and add a space to the comment and save it. Comments are:
<!-- anywhere between tags like these -->

Now you should be able to log in as admin/admin.

If you don't have Admin account in the users.xml file, add new user tag like so:

<LastLoginTime>2007-12-05 20:46:40</LastLoginTime>

Once logged in as admin, you can delete and create again any user account from admin panel.

How do I allow only logged in users to post comments?

Set up role for self registration

1. In the admin panel, go to Users -> Roles and create new role, for example "Commentors".
2. Hover over "Tools" for this role when it added to the list and select "Rights".
3. On the "Rights" screen, hover over "Copy rights from" and click "Anonymous role".

Revoke "Create comment" right from anonymous

1. In the "Roles" screen, hover over "Tools" for anonymous and select "Rigts".
2. In the comments section, uncheck "Create Comment".

Set up self registration

1. In the admin panel, go to Settings -> Advanced and under "Security Settings" section check "Enable self registration". This will add registration option to logon screen.
2. In the "Initial Role" dropdown, select "Commentors" role created in the first step.

Whith this in place, only logged in users should be able to post comments.

Last edited Feb 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM by rtur, version 19


Okeanij Apr 21 at 6:44 PM 
There is no "Enable self registration" in "Security Settings"
1. In the admin panel, go to Settings -> Advanced and under "Security Settings" section check "Enable self registration". This will add registration option to logon screen.
see screenshot -

sacsdu Jan 21, 2015 at 7:06 AM 
@vtankaria download the source (be3.1 is here: and have a look.

amit_agrawal41 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM 
To reset lost admin password, the solution provided to clear the long encryption key is not working in my case. may someone provide some more help on it.

vtankaria May 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM 
i have recently started working with blognet.
i want to customize the postview.ascx page in my theme .
so that when i am at home page . i can see the post , but not their comment count , tags . as i go to that post page . i should be able to see the Tag, Comment count etc.
How can i do that . please help ?

jfrojasdelrio Oct 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM 
You guys are amazing. Thanks for all the hard work. It is amazing for me this kind of hard work available for free to the developers community. I know this will benefit everybody at the end thou you all should be rewarded by corporations and individuals for this remarkable job.
Again, excellent.