Implementation Technical Specifications for Cascade

Some of the items I put together for the technical teams at Cascade to review.

Multi-column Layouts

A request for multi-column layouts in Cascade to give us the flexibility to create diffent looks and feels.

RSS Feeds

We offer RSS feeds for our news, spotlights, and faculty working papers. Our events are powered by WordPress, which has an RSS feed as well. On our current site, spotlights aren’t part of the news. The difference is internal vs. external. A news item has a headline linking to an external source. Spotlights are articles we write ourselves. A spotlight has a headline, a thumbnail photo, optional feature photos, and a story. Even though spotlights are different, they can be a category in the news module in Cascade.

RSS Feed for Faculty Working Papers

For our faculty working papers, I recommend having an RSS feed as well. It gives readers an additional way to access the papers, which increases exposures and download rankings.

RSS Parser

We need the ability to parse RSS feeds to display content on our site. We use aggregate RSS feeds from outside sources to pull into our site. Some examples included Google News, Center news (from WordPress), and events (from our EMS Calendar). Both MODX and WordPress have plugins that can parse standard XML and Atom formats. They can be customizable to fit our needs. I thought Cascade could do the same.

Random Function

We use random functions in several cases. The most prominent one is for the image heroes on our homepage. For the technical implementation, we would prefer the execution on the server side rather than the client side. We don’t want to jam any more JS into the users’ browsers. If JS fails to load, our site will be inaccessible.

Responsive Images

For our current homepage banners, we provide two versions: desktop and mobile. Can we do the same in Cascade?

Custom CSS & JavaScript

We need to add custom CSS & JavaScript to a particular page or a set of pages under a directory (inheritance). Can we add custom CSS & JS to the header in Cascade?

Custom Meta Tags

Weworked with SEO agencies to improve our search-engine rankings. They requested the ability to add custom meta tags for keywords and descriptions to a particular page or a set of pages under a directory (inheritance). Can we add custom meta tags to the header in Cascade?

Inject Codes to Header and Footer

We worked with marketing agencies who requested the ability to add pixel trackings to a particular page or a set of pages under a directory (inheritance). Can we add codes to the header and footer in Cascade?


I mentioned inheritance in the three items above. In our current CMS, we have the option to add codes to a set of pages inherited from the parent directory. For instance, if we would like to add a pixel tracking to all of the pages under admissions, we could do so on the admission parent directory. This also works with the secondary set of navigations.

Blank Page Without Any Styling

At times, we needed to publish a blank page without any styling and it allows us to add custom styles for that particular page.

Auto-Generated Anchor Links

Let’s take a look at one of our LLM Admissions FAQs page. There are about 32 questions with answers. To help students read through the questions quickly, we use anchor links. Obviously we can do this manually, but it is super tedious. You have to:

  • Know HTML
  • Write the unordered list
  • Write anchor link for each question
  • Write ID for each H tags
  • Make sure anchor links and H tags match up.
  • In MODX, all of these are dynamically generated. MODX populates all the anchor links and injects IDs into the header of each section based on the H tags. H1 would generate an li, H2 would generate a child of li, and so forth.

    Someone without any knowledge of HTML can just copy and paste a Word Document into MODX, and MODX takes care of all of the coding. This functionality comes right out of the box in MODX. Does Cascade have this functionality out of the box or is it capable of doing this?

Bonjour Vietnam