55 Ratings
55 Ratings
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Score 7.4 out of 100
Top Rated
102 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 100

Feature Set Ratings

  • Cascade CMS ranks higher in 2 feature sets: Web Content Creation, Web Content Management
  • Optimizely Content Cloud ranks higher in 2 feature sets: Security, Platform & Infrastructure

Security

8.0

Cascade CMS

80%
8.8

Optimizely Content Cloud

88%
Optimizely Content Cloud ranks higher in 1/1 features

Role-based user permissions

8.0
80%
19 Ratings
8.8
88%
40 Ratings

Platform & Infrastructure

7.1

Cascade CMS

71%
7.3

Optimizely Content Cloud

73%
Cascade CMS ranks higher in 1/2 features

API

7.0
70%
12 Ratings
6.8
68%
35 Ratings

Internationalization / multi-language

7.3
73%
7 Ratings
7.8
78%
30 Ratings

Web Content Creation

7.1

Cascade CMS

71%
7.0

Optimizely Content Cloud

70%
Cascade CMS ranks higher in 5/8 features

WYSIWYG editor

6.1
61%
19 Ratings
8.0
80%
40 Ratings

Code quality / cleanliness

6.0
60%
18 Ratings
7.8
78%
39 Ratings

Admin section

8.0
80%
19 Ratings
7.8
78%
40 Ratings

Page templates

9.0
90%
17 Ratings
7.4
74%
35 Ratings

Library of website themes

5.5
55%
2 Ratings
5.1
51%
15 Ratings

Mobile optimization / responsive design

7.0
70%
15 Ratings
7.7
77%
36 Ratings

Publishing workflow

9.0
90%
19 Ratings
7.2
72%
38 Ratings

Form generator

6.4
64%
7 Ratings
5.1
51%
28 Ratings

Web Content Management

6.9

Cascade CMS

69%
6.8

Optimizely Content Cloud

68%
Cascade CMS ranks higher in 3/5 features

Content taxonomy

8.0
80%
13 Ratings
7.6
76%
38 Ratings

SEO support

7.0
70%
14 Ratings
8.0
80%
39 Ratings

Bulk management

9.0
90%
14 Ratings
7.2
72%
32 Ratings

Availability / breadth of extensions

6.0
60%
11 Ratings
5.6
56%
34 Ratings

Community / comment management

4.8
48%
5 Ratings
5.6
56%
25 Ratings

Attribute Ratings

  • Cascade CMS is rated higher in 5 areas: Likelihood to Recommend, Likelihood to Renew, Usability, Support Rating, Implementation Rating
  • Optimizely Content Cloud is rated higher in 2 areas: Availability, Online Training

Likelihood to Recommend

9.9

Cascade CMS

99%
44 Ratings
8.8

Optimizely Content Cloud

88%
64 Ratings

Likelihood to Renew

9.1

Cascade CMS

91%
26 Ratings
8.0

Optimizely Content Cloud

80%
25 Ratings

Usability

9.1

Cascade CMS

91%
4 Ratings
8.8

Optimizely Content Cloud

88%
20 Ratings

Availability

6.7

Cascade CMS

67%
8 Ratings
9.2

Optimizely Content Cloud

92%
8 Ratings

Performance

8.0

Cascade CMS

80%
2 Ratings

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Support Rating

9.1

Cascade CMS

91%
10 Ratings
8.0

Optimizely Content Cloud

80%
4 Ratings

In-Person Training

7.0

Cascade CMS

70%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Online Training

5.0

Cascade CMS

50%
1 Rating
6.7

Optimizely Content Cloud

67%
3 Ratings

Implementation Rating

9.1

Cascade CMS

91%
8 Ratings
8.0

Optimizely Content Cloud

80%
2 Ratings

Configurability

9.0

Cascade CMS

90%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Ease of integration

6.0

Cascade CMS

60%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Product Scalability

5.0

Cascade CMS

50%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Vendor post-sale

6.0

Cascade CMS

60%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Vendor pre-sale

5.0

Cascade CMS

50%
1 Rating

Optimizely Content Cloud

N/A
0 Ratings

Likelihood to Recommend

Hannon Hill

Cascade Server is well suited with it's WYSIWYG editor being better than most editors that I have used in other systems. In context, editing makes adding content easy compared to the last CMS I used where you had to wing it and view the page outside of the CMS to see if it was correct. The ability mix HTML, CSS, and the Script of your choice anywhere and with ease.
The scenarios were Cascade Server is less appropriate would be in the use of compilers or programs like Visual studio. You need to go out of Cascade Server and go to other environments to perform tasks and then copy the result to Cascade Server. You can write directly in Cascade Server, but it's easier to do in and editor that is specific to a function.
Read full review

Optimizely

Optimizely Content Cloud is well suited for getting content in front of your users within a few clicks. It does take some time to get used to the UI and configuration. However, this is the same scenario with all DXPs.
Read full review

Pros

Hannon Hill

  • 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.
Read full review

Optimizely

  • It's easy and fun to use. You can take someone with no experience in content management and they pick it up very quickly.
  • It is capable of managing multiple sites in multiple languages.
  • It has good uptime. Deployments are easy and with hot-swapping, you would never know the site was being updated in the background.
  • The searching capabilities are excellent. Not only can it index your own site but other content as well.
Read full review

Cons

Hannon Hill

  • 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).
Read full review

Optimizely

  • Product Line vs Brand vs Manufacturer delineation, the website is built mainly to support brands and doesn't really differentiate when it comes to features (such as brand supplier pages) which is challenging especially when it comes to brand vs manufacturer. You might want to have both a manufacturer page and a brand page for a product which isn't really supported.
  • With a very large database (over 1.5 million products), there can be some unique bugs, such as slowness or freezing when searching for products. There are workarounds such as by using the filter button instead.
  • Could really use a "Product List" feature, so that products can be added to a list and then a customer landing page can be built for that list and email campaigns targeting that list can be used.
Read full review

Pricing Details

Cascade CMS

Starting Price

Editions & Modules

Cascade CMS editions and modules pricing
EditionModules

Footnotes

    Offerings

    Free Trial
    Free/Freemium Version
    Premium Consulting/Integration Services

    Entry-level set up fee?

    Optional

    Additional Details

    Optimizely Content Cloud

    Starting Price

    Editions & Modules

    Optimizely Content Cloud editions and modules pricing
    EditionModules

    Footnotes

      Offerings

      Free Trial
      Free/Freemium Version
      Premium Consulting/Integration Services

      Entry-level set up fee?

      Optional

      Additional Details

      Pricing Info

      Likelihood to Renew

      Hannon Hill

      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.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Since I work on the implementation side of things, and do not directly own licensing for Ektron CMS, I have to base this rating off of how I think it will be received or presented to customers looking to start a new site deployment. I try to remain CMS agnostic, though my specialty is with the .NET and Microsoft stack. Because of the experience I have working with Ektron, I tend to be more forgiving with the shortcomings as I am familiar with how to work around them or past them from experience. Being familiar with the community available also helps, as you become familiar with the best approaches to find solutions to your issues. Each product has it's ups and downs and all of them are only going to be as good as the company or development team implementing them can make them. This is EXTREMELY important to remember when choosing a CMS, as it can make or break your expensive investment.
      Read full review

      Usability

      Hannon Hill

      Cascade CMS is completely usable on mobile devices, we can train our content editors in a single 2-hour session, and we support 1,000 users with a very small team.
      There is a level of complexity for the system administrators, site managers and web programmers who implement templates and content types. But the complexity is neither arbitrary nor inconsistent – and once learned provides a powerful environment within which we can develop robust sites that are beautiful and powerful, yet easy for our content editors to manage.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Excellent software with tools and professional functions that facilitate the work of our entire marketing strategy. What I like the most about Optimizely [Content Cloud] is the recommendations and support that it provides us with its reports and metadata obtained over the years to optimize our electronic commerce, campaigns, and digital content.
      Read full review

      Reliability and Availability

      Hannon Hill

      Amazing customer service and VERY customizable.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Unplanned outages or errors are fairly rare in our instance. And when there are issues, they're usually fixed fairly quickly
      Read full review

      Performance

      Hannon Hill

      Does a great job.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      No answers on this topic

      Support Rating

      Hannon Hill

      They have always regarded any question or problem we encountered as very important. We have never felt that they ignore or downplay any issue and not once has anything been left unresolved. They also hold an annual conference where users are invited to attend and share their experiences and wisdom with the entire Cascade community. And with the care and support the provide, we all feel a part of that community.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Working with Ektron Support has always been a pleasure. They are quick to respond, extremely knowledgeable, and truly care about resolving your issue. I have never once been disappointed with their response.
      Read full review

      In-Person Training

      Hannon Hill

      Training was helpful.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      No answers on this topic

      Online Training

      Hannon Hill

      Still needed that physical help
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Ektron is one of the best solution for .Net platform. Over the years have improved the performance issues that the previous versions had. My only complain is right now you can't do Page builder pages if you choose to have a MVC architecture
      Read full review

      Implementation Rating

      Hannon Hill

      The key to any CMS implementation is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Proper planning with Cascade can increase your satisfaction exponentially once the site migration/creation is complete. When all is said and done, your implementation can make your site run like a Yugo or Maserati. Be smart and deliberate in your decisions. Drive the Maserati. It is already paid for.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      No answers on this topic

      Alternatives Considered

      Hannon Hill

      We selected Cascade server seven years ago, and the CMS environment at the time was clearly different than it is today. We decided to go with a vendor solution rather than a free solution because the long term cost in hosting a free solution is not, in fact, free; we've found Cascade to have been an excellent choice for us.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      Among all the CMS products that I've tested, Episerver had a stronger coupling with an e-commerce product (Episerver Commerce), and that was the main reason we went with it. Besides that, the main reasons why I wouldn't go with each, would be mainly: Joomla:
      • Many plug-ins in the marketplace were very poorly written, managed by very small/one person shops, and held very little reliability for a commerce solution.
      • Ability to adapt to business demands was very low.
      Salesforce:
      • Very high cost for implementing; commerce model didn't suit our business model well.
      Umbraco:
      • Didn't suit our traffic needs. While the CMS support was similar, the integration between Epi CMS & Commerce provided a better experience for our users.
      Read full review

      Scalability

      Hannon Hill

      I used it only a few times.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      No answers on this topic

      Return on Investment

      Hannon Hill

      • Initially, ROI was positive - because we completely redesigned the website when we implemented Cascade.
      • Over time, the inability to keep up with the latest interactive tools has reduced visitors time on site.
      • Also over time, the difficulty of use has led to less buy-in by backend users, leading to outdated pages, little timely information, and lower visitors.
      Read full review

      Optimizely

      • Ektron has cost our non-profit huge sums of money with little to no return. Most of our web initiatives have been put on complete hold as we have begun to outsource most of our work to third parties as our website is a mishmash of technologies and patchwork fixes.
      • Ektron has slowed down workflows considerably and all of our content editors refuse to produce content they do not absolutely have to, resulting in the web content manager (me) taking on most tasks or retraining people on a continuous basis.
      Read full review

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