What users are saying about
10 Ratings
50 Ratings
10 Ratings
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Score 3.6 out of 101
50 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Freedom CMS

It is much more suited to a user or company who doesn't like to tinker or make wholesale changes to their site. If you just need to make basic updates in text and post articles, blogs then Accrisoft Freedom is a good bet and very secure. If you want to try out different integrations, page layouts, embedding things and generally tinkering with your site then Accrisoft Freedom wouldn't be a wise choice.
Chris Theisen profile photo

Cascade Server

Even though we know that switching servers would be a HUGE project (especially for our small team) I can't wait to get started. Cascade just doesn't keep up with open source options. I'm very tired of telling people "that's a great idea for our website, but we can't do it with Cascade."
No photo available

Feature Rating Comparison

Security

Freedom CMS
8.9
Cascade Server
9.9
Role-based user permissions
Freedom CMS
8.9
Cascade Server
9.9

Web Content Creation

Freedom CMS
7.6
Cascade Server
8.2
WYSIWYG editor
Freedom CMS
7.7
Cascade Server
9.7
Code quality / cleanliness
Freedom CMS
8.6
Cascade Server
9.7
Admin section
Freedom CMS
8.0
Cascade Server
8.9
Page templates
Freedom CMS
8.3
Cascade Server
7.4
Library of website themes
Freedom CMS
4.3
Cascade Server
5.5
Mobile optimization / responsive design
Freedom CMS
7.2
Cascade Server
7.7
Publishing workflow
Freedom CMS
8.8
Cascade Server
9.8
Form generator
Freedom CMS
7.8
Cascade Server
6.8

Web Content Management

Freedom CMS
7.8
Cascade Server
6.6
Content taxonomy
Freedom CMS
8.3
Cascade Server
6.9
SEO support
Freedom CMS
7.8
Cascade Server
7.2
Bulk management
Freedom CMS
7.4
Cascade Server
7.9
Availability / breadth of extensions
Freedom CMS
7.7
Cascade Server
6.2
Community / comment management
Freedom CMS
8.0
Cascade Server
4.8

Platform & Infrastructure

Freedom CMS
Cascade Server
8.0
API
Freedom CMS
Cascade Server
9.6
Internationalization / multi-language
Freedom CMS
Cascade Server
6.5

Pros

  • The new all in one image editor is nice. You can upload images and then handle all of the editing needs within Freedom or through their connection with Pixlr. It makes it much more streamlined than managing outside of a CMS.
  • Freedom is set up so you don't have too much access to the backend, which for a majority of users is a good thing. Whereas you can break a lot of things within Wordpress or other open source tools, Freedom ensures your site keeps working because you can't fool with it too much.
  • The ability to change the colors and branding on a page based on the page settings is nice. For companies with sub-brands within an umbrella it helps carry the branding through better than a site that only offers a static header section for each page in the site.
Chris Theisen profile photo
  • Very easy-to-use. I trained over 200 users, and never once heard someone say that it was difficult to figure out. People generally left the training excited to get started managing their content.
  • Technology independent. We were able to put any language into it that our customers required: .NET, classic ASP, PHP, static HTML.
  • Customer Support. The Hannon Hill team was truly amazing when it came to helping their customers, including us. They always went above and beyond to fix issues, help customers figure out complex methods for using Cascade Server, and general support.
  • Annual User's Conference. This was a great event that brought Cascade Server enthusiasts together, and the entire Hannon Hill staff was present and available for customers to talk 1-on-1 with.
No photo available

Cons

  • Their preview setup for reviewing page changes prior to pushing them live is not good. You basically have to push things live to see how they will look, then go back and tweak it, while the changes in progress are live on the site. They need a sandbox, or a better preview feature within the backend so you dont have to keep pushing changes live to test out functionality.
  • Integration with outside tools is non existent. Instead of trying to force people to use their modules or features it would make much more sense to more easily integrate with leading tools in niche spaces.
  • The UI is pretty old. It could use a big refresh. Things like drag and drop builders and functionality should be standard these days. This is also a plus for non tech savvy users as it keeps their page structures to what works without letting people tinker. But if you want to tinker and be a higher end user Freedom isn't the best bet.
Chris Theisen profile photo
  • No inherit control over types of content that users can upload such as pdf, jpg, or other files. This has to be done via regular expressions. It's also possible for users to create files/folders that don't use web-safe naming conventions.
  • Requires an experienced XML/XSLT developer to implement and structure. Because it's so flexible it's also very complicated to implement a structured solution that allows users to maintain content without getting frustrated with layout and formatting challenges with the WYSIWYG.
  • The system doesn't support the latest XML/XSLT standards so you must use a lesser known scripting language Velocity to accomplish more advanced tasks.
Jason Slater profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Freedom CMS1.0
Based on 1 answer
We switched to WordPress; it was out of my control.
Mark A. Buckawicki profile photo
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 26 answers
Changing systems would require too much effort. Our institution is using Cascade Server, WordPress and Drupal but we only serve 2200 students so we have 1 too many content management systems. Reflecting on current technical resources we would like to drop down to 2. This effort hasn't moved forward because of the extensive work required to migrate content and train users in a new system.
Jason Slater profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 4 answers
It is very straight forward. It's a very clean interface.
Graham Lewis profile photo

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server6.7
Based on 4 answers
Amazing customer service and VERY customizable.
Graham Lewis profile photo

Performance

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server8.0
Based on 1 answer
Does a great job.
Collan Davidson profile photo

Support

Freedom CMS8.2
Based on 1 answer
This rating is based on personal experience only. I believe majority of people would say their support is top notch & 10/10. The only reason I am personally am giving it lower is because I consider my self a much more advanced user of Freedom than their typical Solution Provider developers. Because I am advanced, I troubleshoot my own issues pretty in-depth before I even contact Accrisoft support. Therefore sometimes I feel it takes longer to get the researched & specific answer I need vs. a simple support question would.
No photo available
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 5 answers
The support staff are all well-versed in Cascade, respond in a timely fashion, and provide excellent service.
Andrew Bauserman profile photo

In-Person Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server7.0
Based on 1 answer
Training was helpful.
Collan Davidson profile photo

Online Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server5.0
Based on 1 answer
Still needed that physical help
Collan Davidson profile photo

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 4 answers
Making sure that our export from our previous CMS was correct was crucial. If it wasn't, we would have been in a world of hurt. Thanks to the import tool Hannon Hill created, everything went great and all pages were successfully imported.
Graham Lewis profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Compared to every similar products/CMSs I have used, nothing competes with Freedom CMS. It's far more intuitive, far easier to use as a developer (and as the client), easier to customize and better to maintain and assist our clients. Hands down the best CMS solution I've found for me, my work and our clients.The only 2 in this list I might recommend over Freedom would only be circumstantial: if you are an medium to large e-commerce business (or your client is). ShopSite & Shopify (or Magento, etc) would probably be a better option. Freedom does have some e-commerce included, but I would recommend Freedom for small e-commerce businesses, or businesses where e-commerce is not their main focus, but they'd like to include some on the site.
No photo available
We knew we didn't have the department size (i.e., human resources) or time to work with open source products like Drupal and Joomla, and while we still use WordPress for offshoot blogs by some departments and programs, we needed a more robust CMS that would centralize design and not jeopardize the brand. Of the many companies that came to campus to demo their product, Hannon Hill was the most reasonably priced with the best plan for helping us catch up to the competition and get started.
Christopher Davis profile photo

Scalability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server5.0
Based on 1 answer
I used it only a few times.
Collan Davidson profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Better Customer Service. Everything in Freedom is standardized & easy for our clients to use. It's also easy for our support team to handle any support tickets because there's not a thousand different plugins for one thing, e.g. 1000 different form plugins, there is just ONE forms module that is identical to all of our clients.
  • Increased Employee Efficiency. All of our development team is unified within Accrisoft Freedom. Any one of us can jump into another's project at any time and know how it's built and how to update or edit anything. Even with custom modules that one developer might not have known another created. Freedom is very intuitive and for example, to continue with custom modules point, all custom modules are built using the same process, so it's easy for developers to edit and know exactly how it's working in minutes - even if they haven't seen it before.
  • High Client Retention Rate. We have only lost a handful of clients throughout the many years we've been using Freedom CMS with our clients. And the majority of those that we did lose, were for reasons not related to the website - or beyond their control - e.g. a parent company insisting to use the parent company's CMS solution, even though our direct clients/contacts wanted to stay with us and told us later that they wished they could go back to Freedom because of how much easier and better it was.
No photo available
  • I provide the Support on campus for Cascade Server. If I ever get an issue that cannot be solved I know I can easily contact Hannonhill and they will get my issues solved. For this my customer service on campus has greatly increased and makes it easier for me to troubleshoot.
Casey Gates profile photo

Pricing Details

Freedom CMS

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Cascade Server

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional
Additional Pricing Details