One question we frequently get asked by copier dealers and managed IT providers is, “Should we build our website on HubSpot or WordPress?”
At Convergo, we manage websites on a variety of platforms including WordPress, HubSpot, and Drupal. Like anything, there are pros and cons to each option. The goal of this article is to give you a framework to make a great decision.
What Is a CMS (Content Management System)?
Today’s websites are built on Content Management Systems (CMSs). These platforms manage the content of your website and the design of the pages. Unlike the old days where editing a website required coding skills, a CMS makes it easier to edit pages and add blog articles.
Think of your CMS like the operating system on your computer. You are likely either a Mac or a PC user. Both Mac OS and Windows do the same thing. They just do it differently.
Most website CMS are open source, meaning they have been developed by computer enthusiasts and are free. Open source website CMS platforms include: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source CMS. WordPress began as a blogging platform. It has since evolved to a full website platform. Today WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms because it is free, has many affordable pre-designed templates, and a large number of developers.
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a sales and marketing automation platform that integrates all aspects of a company’s online presence: website, blogging, emails, landing pages, automated nurturing, social media, chat, and more. The platform also includes a CRM and a powerful suite of sales prospecting tools. Best of all, HubSpot integrates with dozens of other sales and marketing platforms like Salesforce.com, Compass Sherpa, and CEO Juice -- to name just a few.
HubSpot pioneered the inbound sales and marketing movement, recognizing that today’s buyers conduct much of their buying process online. The HubSpot platform was built to help companies capitalize on these trends.
What Is HubSpot CMS?
One option for HubSpot users is to host their company’s website directly on the HubSpot platform. In this case, you would move your website to HubSpot from the existing WordPress, Drupal, or other CMS.
Benefits of HubSpot CMS
- Everything In One Place. Having your website, blog, email, and social platforms all in one place makes the life of a marketer much easier. When it comes time to post a new landing page or call-to-action, simply push a button and your content is live on the website. If you’re hosting your website on another platform like WordPress, you have to log into WordPress and manually place the code for the call-to-action or landing page on your website. This requires some HTML coding knowledge and can get complicated.
- Smart Content. What if your website could adjust content depending on who is visiting? Once you know some data about your website visitors you can customize content on web pages to focus on their needs. For example, if you knew that a visitor was from the healthcare industry, you might adjust the content on your home page to include an image of a multifunction system in a hospital, a welcome paragraph focused on how you help healthcare, and three healthcare case studies.
- Security and Page Load Speeds. HubSpot websites incorporate the latest security certificates. The site security is professionally managed. Powerful servers ensure fast page load speeds--something important to both Google and end users. If you host your website on WordPress, you need to make sure you have security protocols and software updates in place, otherwise you could introduce security issues. You also need to make sure your website is hosted on a business-class server to ensure fast page loads, not a budget hosting plan.
- Locked In. If you build your website on and open source CMS like WordPress, there are many different hosting providers. When your site is built HubSpot, you can’t move your site between hosting providers. To move away from HubSpot, you’d need to have your website redesigned. However, if you are committed to inbound marketing and HubSpot, this shouldn’t be a drawback, because once you deploy calls-to-action, landing pages, and other inbound strategies on your WordPress website, you’ll be tightly integrated with HubSpot, making it costly to move.
Limitations of HubSpot CMS
- Smaller Design Community. There is a smaller community of HubSpot CMS designers. However, this community continues to grow.
- Design Constraints. You’ll find a growing library of website design templates from HubSpot. But it’s nowhere near the thousands of WordPress templates. However, the smaller number of template layouts is not necessarily a drawback. HubSpot templates have been designed with inbound marketing and lead conversion in mind, which means there is a better chance they will be effective. There are many pretty WordPress sites built by graphic designers that look great but may not be effective in converting leads.
- Cost. The HubSpot CMS is offered at a premium cost over traditional web hosting services. However, when you factor in the cost of professionally managing your web server and updating security, the additional cost for HubSpot CMS is negligible.
Benefits of Hosting With WordPress
- Large Design Community. There is a massive community of web developers that build on WordPress, giving you limitless partnership options. While this sounds good, the danger is that most of these partners are graphic designers that know how to make things look good but may not understand the fundamentals of online marketing and sales. The last thing you want is pretty website that is ineffective. If you do choose WordPress, make sure to find a marketing partner that knows sales and marketing to help you Get Found, Get Leads, and Get Appointments!
Drawbacks of Hosting With WordPress
- Security Risks. Being popular isn’t always great. WordPress sites tend to get targeted by hackers. So, if you host on WordPress, don’t take the cheap way out. Make sure to engage a partner like Convergo that can manage your WordPress security updates and plugins along with regular backups. If you don’t do this and your site gets hacked, you could be offline for a significant period of time while you pay someone to rebuild your site from the ground up.
- Managing Multiple Platforms. Each time you add a new landing page or call-to-action in HubSpot you’re going to need to log into your WordPress site and paste the code in the appropriate places. This adds a layer of time and cost to the process.
There are many important considerations when it comes to your website and inbound marketing platforms. The best place to start is with your business goals and marketing strategy.