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Score 7.9 out of 101
50 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Acquia

Acquia is well-suited for any Drupal web platform. I think it best plays in the enterprise space, either for B2B or nonprofit/higher ed/government. Acquia is a great solution for smaller web platforms, as well, but the price is typically prohibitive in these scenarios.
Zach Ettelman profile photo

Cascade Server

Cascade CMS is great for working with large quantities of content that can then be reused across multiple sites or other apps. The workflow system is robust and completely customizable. Managing users is easy with available custom authentication options like LDAP.
John Dezember profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Security

Acquia
8.8
Cascade Server
9.9
Role-based user permissions
Acquia
8.8
Cascade Server
9.9

Platform & Infrastructure

Acquia
8.5
Cascade Server
7.9
API
Acquia
9.0
Cascade Server
9.4
Internationalization / multi-language
Acquia
8.1
Cascade Server
6.4

Web Content Creation

Acquia
7.4
Cascade Server
8.1
WYSIWYG editor
Acquia
8.0
Cascade Server
9.5
Code quality / cleanliness
Acquia
8.9
Cascade Server
9.6
Admin section
Acquia
7.8
Cascade Server
8.9
Page templates
Acquia
8.0
Cascade Server
7.3
Library of website themes
Acquia
6.0
Cascade Server
5.5
Mobile optimization / responsive design
Acquia
7.0
Cascade Server
7.6
Publishing workflow
Acquia
7.8
Cascade Server
9.7
Form generator
Acquia
6.1
Cascade Server
6.8

Web Content Management

Acquia
8.5
Cascade Server
6.5
Content taxonomy
Acquia
8.0
Cascade Server
6.8
SEO support
Acquia
9.1
Cascade Server
7.2
Bulk management
Acquia
7.7
Cascade Server
7.8
Availability / breadth of extensions
Acquia
9.1
Cascade Server
6.0
Community / comment management
Acquia
8.6
Cascade Server
4.8

Pros

  • Hosting
  • Support
  • Specially tuned environments
Eric Steinborn profile photo
  • Cascade CMS makes no assumptions about your content. Templates control how the content gets displayed.
  • Workflows are intuitive and allow for one or more people to review content before it is published.
  • The published site is static (no database connection) which allows for faster page loads and reduced risk of attack.
John Dezember profile photo

Cons

  • This is a difficult question for me to answer, as I have seen the platform mature over the past few years and they recently, 3-6 months ago revamped their admin UI web interface that addressed some of their previous shortcomings. I don't ever have any difficulty finding what I need, when I need it on the admin UI. My first suggestion would be to review their documentation in some areas, which are still linked to the previous iteration of the web interface.
  • The majority of the services offered by Acquia Cloud Hosting are built on top of Amazon Web Services. As a result, some SSL certificates do not work well, or at all if they originate from Network Soutions (which have never worked), or GeoTrust (Equifax), VeriSign, and DigiCert, which on occasion produce SSL certificates that fail to work on Acquia Cloud.
  • Recently I have found that team management has a couple of limitations when the client is the "Organization administrator," and the role of "Team administrator" is assigned to myself or a member of my team. There are some links and page options that should be available to those of us assigned the role of Team Lead or Senior Developer within the Team Management structure, but we have had to contact support to update our permissions to be granted the appropriate access. It may be a result of their recent upgrade to the site, and regardless, support was able to fix our issue the same day we submitted a request.
Sean Hanford profile photo
  • Cascade CMS is not an out-of-the-box pre-built system that you can install, turn on and expect to be serving sites and pages on day one. It's not a blogging system like WordPress, or a drag-and-drop system like SquareSpace (both of which I've used for their own purposes). You need to have someone tasked with management and system administration – and if you implement the on-premise self-hosted version, you ought to have several people. We have the university's IT shop handling infrastructure (server hardware, containers, clustering, operating systems, load-balancing, DNS, database servers, NAS/SAN drives), our Web & Design team managing Cascade CMS (system settings, sites, templates, permissions) and managers coordinating each respective academic unit (A&S, business, education, law, marine science).
Andrew Bauserman profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Acquia10.0
Based on 8 answers
Acquia Cloud fits perfectly with our workflow and they have been rock solid in reliability and support.
Aj Blosser profile photo
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 26 answers
The University is actually paying for Cascade Server, so as long as it continues to be used as much as it is, then it should continue to be renewed. We also keep adding more and more colleges, departments and office that are using Cascade all the time.
Phillip Coxwell profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Cascade Server9.1
Based on 4 answers
It is very user friendly and easy to use, especially for someone like me who is not web savvy.
No photo available

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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
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

I have used Pantheon for almost as long as I have used Acquia. Many colleges and universities will use sub-sites in Drupal either as a separator for each department, or possibly for targeted marketing campaigns. One of the biggest reason we tend to use Acquia over Pantheon for these clients is that Pantheon does not support Drupal sub-sites. So, there is an added cost to the client each time they want to spin up another site based on their base Drupal installation. The admin UI for Pantheon is similar to Acquia's, but they take a more hands-on / hands-off approach when it comes to core Drupal upgrades. Pantheon uses their own software called Terminus to help interface between the developer and the server. By them managing the Drupal core files, you, as a developer just need to understand that you can not update your copy of the site locally, when an updated version of Drupal is released. All of your custom and contributed modules are your responsibility (as they should be), but you just need to be aware that your commits will be rejected if they contain core Drupal updates.
Sean Hanford profile photo
There are several fine CMS products on the market, and each serves its purpose. For our needs, Cascade CMS is the best alternative.
While Cascade CMS is neither open source nor free, Hannon Hill is open to customer feedback and feature suggestions, provides serious documentation and support, and is very open-handed with their roadmap, devoting a full keynote session to it during the annual user's conference.
(Beware the notion that any CMS is "free" – it's likely as "free" as a puppy or kitten. The purchase price will likely be trivial in comparison to implementation and maintenance costs.)
Cascade CMS utilizes a fully-baked publishing model that isolates the CMS system where editing is performed from front-end web servers which may experience intermittent traffic peaks. This also allows us to upgrade the CMS without taking our front-facing servers offline.
Managing 1,000 content editors in 600+ groups with 200,000 assets published across multiple domains is a cake-walk for Cascade CMS. It's been a while since I evaluated other products on this criteria – but 10 years ago when we chose Cascade CMS, the competition didn't seem to have this level of robustness.
Andrew Bauserman 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

  • With Acquia Cloud, I no longer need to implement my own home-grown deployment system and stay up-to-date on the latest LINUX security vulnerabilities or upgrade my web server software, as all of that is managed by Acquia. That in itself can save a single developer 50% of their time when compared to self-hosting.
  • Again, as I recommend the platform, I have no direct involvement in the actual cost of the hosting solution, I still benefit as a developer by using a solid mature software solution that delivers exactly what is promised.
  • My team offers Drupal and Wordpress solutions for Higher-Education institutions. Over the past couple of years, we have put together a list of recommended hosting providers for both Drupal and Wordpress. On the Drupal side, we only recommend Acquia and Pantheon and as-such, we are able to share our knowledge with other team-members using the same vendor. As a result, we have compiled a number of tips and artices we publish on the team's wiki. Put in the perspective of ROI, working with a known entity, the consistency reduces the time-to-market of many of our site builds as we have established relationships with our counterparts at Acquia and we know its strenghts and limitations.
Sean Hanford profile photo
  • Cascade Server filled a major void for us: allowing non-technical customers to manage their own website, without having to rely on paying a developer. This allowed us to compete with other companies by having a value-add service that ultimately could save the customer money.
  • Cascade Server allowed our Digital Marketing team to easily manage their website optimization efforts without having to always utilize the development staff.
  • By having a well-known CMS, it allowed our company to introduce other services (hosting, digital marketing, IT support) as additional value.
No photo available

Screenshots

Acquia
Cascade Server

Pricing Details

Acquia

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
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