- 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.
- 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.
Accrisoft constantly is upgrading and improving features in Freedom and always eagerly helps if any support issues arise. Freedom allows us to offer our clients, blogs, news, events, unlimited webpages and forms, menus, membership login areas and so much more - all easily updated and maintained by our clients. The greatest feature I believe is the custom modules that we can create to have any field(s) we want and to display those field values however we want for our clients. Freedom might not have a pre-built staff directory module, but it's a name field, bio field and photo/image field away for us to easily create one for our client - and allow the client to easily input and update.
The other great thing about Freedom is we never have to worry about open-source-style plugins that break when upgrading the CMS or developers that no longer support their plugins. All of Freedom's modules, including the custom ones, always work on every CMS version update. Freedom allows us to put our client's minds at ease with their website and focus on what they do best - running their business.
- Users and Access. Freedom has a great system setup to create unlimited users for the back office & full control over access. Do you want someone to only be able to access News, Events & Web Pages? - No problem. Do you want someone to be able to access everything except the Billing Module - No problem.Do you want someone to be able to access/edit ONLY the "Volunteer" category of Web Pages - Great! No Problem.
- Custom Modules. Freedom has a great amount of pre-built modules that do a lot of great things. Custom Modules, however, takes that to the next level. Anything you can dream of for your client's needs, can be created as a custom module. You, as the developer, have full control over what fields should be created for a custom module, what types of fields are they (text, radio buttons, WYSIWYG editor, image, etc), and how those field values are used in a lister of ALL items added to that Custom Module & how they are used in a detailed view of one specific item in that Custom Module.
- Hosting & Security. All Freedom sites include the licensing & hosting with easy to update Domain module for us developers to change the virtual host domain at any time.
- Features and Usability. All of the modules offered (including custom) & the whole interface of the CMS as a whole is hands down one of the easiest to use & intuitive CMS's that I have come across. Our clients (and us) love it.
- Cost and Licensing. Personally, we've never had a problem with this with our clients - we sell the value and our clients understand the value of using Freedom over other CMS options. We also will only work in Freedom - so our clients don't have an option. However, there is a monthly cost to license the CMS - which also includes the hosting. Yes, there are free options for CMS's out there - however even with those you have to find hosting. Accrisoft has different tiers of server sizes and monthly costs accordingly depending on you or your clients needs.
- Minimal Themes. Accrisoft only has a small amount of themes available to deploy with your site. They probably have around 10-15, pretty modern and responsive themes that you can use to start a new Freedom installation with, however, if you typically deploy and install themes for your clientele - instead of custom sites, Freedom may not be for you. As you know some other CMS's can have hundreds or thousands of themes. With that said, they allow their solution providers to create themes and use site backups to transfer exact copies of existing sites to another Freedom server. So if you create your own starting templates you can always deploy and start with something - not completely from scratch. I personally don't think this is a problem at all, but am mentioning it for others to know about.
The only thing I believe Accrisoft Freedom is not as well suited is for large e-commerce sites. Accrisoft Freedom actually has an E-commerce module and can do products and online sales, however if this is the majority of what your business does (or your clients' businesses), I would recommend an E-commerce focused CMS.
For almost all other circumstances I can think of though, I would recommend Accrisoft Freedom - ma and pa shops on up to a corporation.
- Hosting and maintenance is taken care of. Due to it being proprietary software, everything is built to work together.
- Simple to use. Basic functionality for websites is built in without having to dig through thousands of potential options.
- Development is straightforward...no backend languages required. So if someone wants a unique layout for a portfolio, it's very simple to add a new content type and build the new layout using basic html and css.
- Creating layouts could be simpler. For example, if you have a sidebar on different interior pages, it isn't very intuitive to have something different on each one. Having the ability to control what is in different regions of pages would be beneficial.
- The Commerce modules aren't quite there yet. We have had issues with reliability and if it's not built in by default, you can't use it.
- Documentation could be better organized. There has been a lot of mixed articles from past features that no longer exist, and for some things there just isn't any documentation at all. I have had to create complex layouts that had I known a shortcode existed, it would have made my life much easier.
Unless you know what it is capable of out of the box, it may not be the best starting point. I would recommend it only for smaller clients who are not picky about how something works. If they would like membership, I wouldn't recommend it unless they only want to use it to hide certain pages, or for something very basic such as email subscriptions. If all they want is a simple site that is very easy to maintain and requires little attention then yes, this is a good solution for you.
Freedom CMS Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Freedom CMS
Accrisoft Freedom offers separate, color-coded management interfaces: the green interface is used for building websites and managing HTML and CSS layouts and the Blue Interface allows non-technical users to add and maintain content. Freedom's Blue Interface utilizes the TinyMCE Editor, an open source WYSIWYG editor, and it features many modules for adding content to Freedom websites. Accrisoft Business Tools, a software product provided to Accrisoft Freedom resellers, features three additional interfaces: Red, Purple and Orange, for administration, server control and accounting, respectively.
The built-in Email Marketing module pulls data from other modules so that marketers can send campaigns to lists generated from other parts of the site, such as event registrations. The Freedom Forms module allows building custom forms for applications, event registrations, donations, and lead capture. That data can be exported or integrated into the shopping cart for advanced e-commerce applications. The built in shopping cart allows businesses to deploy an integrated e-commerce. This extends to event registrations, allowing organizations to sell registrations to events and accept credit card or e-check payments online.
Freedom also has built-in modules for Blogs, Event Calendars, Press Releases, Podcasts, Forums, Directories, RSS, Affiliate Programs, Billing, and Polls, and integration with social networking sites. Freedom's multi-user, role-based access features and workflow module augment security and editorial control.
Freedom CMS Technical Details