CMS Comparison: MODX vs. Cascade

Our website has about 2,500 pages, which included approximately 1,900 public pages. Most pages are straightforward, but a handful of pages are dynamic, including the directories for faculty, staff, and administrators. The faculty working papers are also managed dynamically with the ability to filter by authors and dates. The course descriptions are dynamically generated.

Here are the breakdown costs between the two platforms:


  • Cloud subscription: $1,595
  • Custom domains (up to 25): $55
  • Uptime+: $900
  • CDN & WAF: $240

Annual cost: $2,790

Cascade CMS

  • Cloud subscription: $20,000
  • Optional cloud development instance: $6,600
  • Annual maintenance fee: $1,750
  • Public server: $5,400

Annual cost: $33,750

Initial costs for Cascade CMS

  • Quickstart implementation package: $21,000
    • 120 hours of professional services
    • Homepage
    • 2 internal page types
    • Newsroom implementation (individual news page, monthly and yearly index pages, syndication on the homepage)
    • Emergency alert banner implementation
  • On-site training: $10,000
  • Professional services (40 hours at $200 per hour): $8,000

Initial costs: $42,000

Total cost to get started (not complete migration): $75,750

Cascade CMS claims that many schools had switched from WordPress and Drupal to its platform because of its security features. Fortunately, MODX CMS has a solid record on security. Our site has been powered by MODX CMS since 2006 and we have not run into any security issues.

Clearly, I don’t see any advantage, benefit, or reason to switch from MODX to Cascade unless we have $72,960 and laborious time to waste.