In this article we will share our experiences with two different Content Management Systems (CMS) – WordPress and HubSpot CMS. Readers are likely already familiar with WordPress, while HubSpot CMS is relatively new and gaining ground. We’ll cover their differences and give our opinion regarding their pros and cons for building your homepage.
We’ll explain the differences between WordPress and HubSpot CMS. *Note that HubSpot is a company which has a tool that’s also named HubSpot – and that HubSpot CMS is one of the tools included in the HubSpot tool. We hope that’s not too confusing!
WordPress – smooth, flexible and rich
WordPress has always been a relatively smooth tool to use as a foundation. It’s easily adaptable and integrates with a customer’s needs and wishes. If you need a webshop, we’ll add one. If it needs to be connected to an external system, we’ll integrate it. Shall we add a forum? Why not – there are no limits!
Digitally speaking, WordPress is an old system. There are countless developers, working at different levels, who know WordPress and use it in different ways. The WordPress philosophy was founded on the blog and WordPress was first developed as a blog tool. The way WordPress is used to build homepages wasn’t developed from the perspective that it would one day be the world’s most used CMS. This happened with time. For better or worse, there are countless plugins that can be connected to WordPress. The good is that it is fast and easy to add functions – the bad being that a site can become a patchwork of third-party modules which can be unsecure and messy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
For several years, WordPress has been the world’s most used CMS. 38% of all the world’s websites use WP. Among well-known websites that use a commercial CMS, that number jumps to a whopping 63%! That said, it’s estimated that in recent years, self-hosted websites like WordPress have lost some of their market share to platforms hosted by providers using the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, such as Squarespace, Wix and HubSpot CMS.
HubSpot CMS – new and focussed on marketing
The company HubSpot is synonymous with “inbound marketing”. In fact, they coined the term and gave their fast-growing marketing platform the same name. HubSpot is a tool focussed on content marketing with the goal of growing your contact database. It’s built upon a CRM (customer relationship management), a contact database with several hubs for marketing and sales departments. It also includes features focussed on generating leads through valuable content and marketing automation. Their CMS is a later addition to this marketing platform with the purpose of enabling the full use of the platform’s functions on a website. It is therefore possible to build and work with both your site and marketing using the same system.
Three years ago, HubSpot CMS wasn’t particularly adaptable. At the time it was missing version management, which is necessary when working with professional and customised web development, and it wasn’t possible to integrate HubSpot with an external system or e-commerce. HubSpot CMS could seem cumbersome or unnecessarily complicated for building websites in, especially when you could achieve the same functions in WordPress while connected to HubSpot’s marketing tool.
HubSpot has evolved
Since then, a lot has happened. It’s now possible to work locally in your own repository and add CSS frameworks that developers are comfortable with. The tool is growing quickly and with new functions and possibilities for integration, such as e-commerce, being continuously added.
HubSpot CMS is based on creating flexible modules that allow clients to build pages and create smart content that adapts to the visitor (HubSpot monitors who visits the site). The admin system is intuitive, uses drag & drop, and is built so that an editor can easily create and maintain website content.
HubSpot’s simplicity also means that developers are comfortable working with it. Sometimes it can be good to scale down and focus on the client’s specific goals for the site. Everyone appreciates a user-friendly interface without too many add-ons.
WordPress or HubSpot CMS – what’s best for your homepage?
There are aspects in HubSpot CMS that need further development. It’s still not as flexible as WordPress from a developer perspective. WordPress has few limits and works more as a broad platform that can be shaped according to the client’s wishes, while HubSpot can feel a bit less flexible and more rigid.
The reason behind this is that the HubSpot tool is made to function as a complete marketing platform for companies that use their website to generate customers. It is therefore a bit less suitable for organisations where the focus isn’t on creating leads.
However, if you use your website for marketing purposes or as a sales tool and see the benefits of HubSpot’s other functions, then it’s definitely worth considering a switch to HubSpot CMS.
A WordPress site is basically free to have, with the main costs being keeping the site updated and protected as well as making sure you have good website hosting. These things can easily surpass the cost of HubSpot CMS, depending on what kind of website you have. With HubSpot CMS they are included in a monthly fee of around 3,000 SEK.
Note that you can maintain a WordPress website yourself and you have the freedom to move it to another server. A website in HubSpot, on the other hand, is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) hosted by HubSpot. For the most part, there are no big differences in terms of cost since HubSpot CMS includes good hosting, management and support. But using HubSpot CMS without HubSpot’s other tools is pointless, and they cost significantly more than their CMS.
HubSpot calls its platform “A platform for growth”. Their goal is for your company to grow with the platform and that you will need to buy more coverage as your company grows. That said, companies tend to allocate more and more of their budget to communication and marketing as they grow anyway.
5 pros & 5 cons
+ Open source – no license fees
+ Thousands of plugins to download or buy
+ Freedom to do what you want with your installation
+ Many developers are familiar with WP
+ Established, tried and tested
– Many “cooks” or plugins make it unstable after updates
– You are dependent on several external plugins to unlock full functionality
– You are responsible for keeping the platform updated and secure
– Founded on old, blog-focussed technology
– A relatively unintuitive (and ugly, according to some) admin interface
+ Integrated CRM, SEO and clear statistics
+ Integrated e-mail system and marketing automation
+ Many quality-assured functions in HubSpot Marketplace
+ Possibility to individualise content to individual visitors Möjlighet till personifiering av innehåll som besökarna möts av
+ User-friendly admin interface
– You don’t own the site
– A bigger decision than just CMS since many more functions are included
– You are dependent on HubSpot developing their platform
– Only for companies focussed on sales (a “+” in that case)
– Fewer developers can build in HubSpot CMS
In WordPress you are free to do whatever you want, how you want. This can include a risk for you as a client if you use one agency and then some day want to change agencies. You must trust that the agency knows what they are doing and documents their code. Signing a management contract with a serious digital agency is a must if you don’t want to risk that your side becomes outdated and vulnerable to hacking and viruses.
If your operation is built on active marketing and sales, especially within B2B, and HubSpot meets your needs, then HubSpot CMS is a strong alternative. Many companies still choose to build their website in WordPress and use HubSpot as a marketing tool connected to their site. If the purpose of your website is anything other than getting customers, you should choose WordPress or another CMS for that matter. Or no CMS at all, according to system and back-end developers here at KAN.