Hubspot versus WordPress


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Choosing a software program that's right for you is one of your first critical decisions in starting a website or a blog. Listen to what Hubspot Partners had to say about the pros and cons of Hubspot or Wordpress.

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  • Mike...Thanks for the LIKE. Very kind of you. Best, Larry
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  • I intended no harm...Please point me to the forum rules you feel like I violated by publishing the conversation on Slide Share...Or, if there is a general feeling of violation of forum rules by the group members, I'm happy to delete this ( I would consider one other person as a 'consensus').

    You raise an interesting point. The last thing I want to do is violate an expectation that what is said in this forum stays in this forum.

    Looking forward to your reply.

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  • I'm surprised to find this entire thread posted here. It feels like a violation of the forum rules - but I'd have to check to be sure. I contribute a fair bit in the Hubspot Partners Forum on LinkedIn and never with an expectation that it'll all be lifted for something like this. Some partners have shared some IP here as well. I posted asking folks for permission to excerpt. And would only excerpt from those who opted in after that request (and there were several, but definitely not all).
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Hubspot versus WordPress

  1. 1. Hubspot Partner Forum Discussion on Linked In: “Wordpress v. Hubspot”     1  
  2. 2.   2  
  3. 3. 55 comments • Jump to most recent commentsJon Nugent | Business Intelligence Solutions • We recentlymoved off HubSpots CMS to a Joomla website with aWordPress blog. The variety of designs and capabilities ofthe Joomla and WordPress templates is astounding whencompared to HubSpots CMS.The opportunity to take advantage of current HTML5 andresponsive technology with Joomla and WordPress isunquestionably an advantage for us. We have the ability toredesign landing and blog pages and WordPress emailtemplates that arent relegated to 3 columns and canincorporate mobile technology.WordPress is so easy to use and learn.Follow ThomasThomas Zoebelein • I agree. Im redesigning my websiteright now and Hubspots CMS just doesnt cut it, Ill probablyput it on wordpress as well. Havent made a final decisionyet though.   3  
  4. 4. 1Rebekah Donaldson • Im floored by this perspective beingvoiced by HS partners. HSs value proposition is a heck ofalot stronger than is being acknowledged here.Im short on time so Im pasting here something emailed toa client recently:>> Lets call a solution constructed around WordPress "B"and the Hubspot all-in-one solution "A". The goal is tocompare A and B in meaningful ways to make an informeddecision about the platform. There are both soft and hardcosts associated with B. For example wed be trying toanticipate:Additional tools (MailChimp for nurturing and contactmanagement? Custom config of goals in Google Analytics toapproximate conversions tracking and do A/B testing?WordTracker for SEO progress? Hootesuite to manage SMM?Others?)Work process (would a developer be involved in commontasks? for example if youre rolling out a new landing pageand need data to dump to mailchimp, who hooks them upand is it a rapid process?)Support (how to troubleshoot if tools/services arentworking? Im not referring to troubleshooting individual toolsbut rather the entire integration)Purchase cost (what is the base price to get the neededfunctionality?)   4  
  5. 5. Recurring costs (would we pay per email distribution basedon # of contacts, for example?)Look and feel (ability to customize template, forms, etc)Compatability of new marketing system with existingsystems (CRM, online catalogs, etc)TimothyUnfollowTimothy Lorang • I completely understand the frustration ofweb developers to get the look and feel that they want andthis is the most common complaint that I hear. Especially fordesigners who have been working in WP or with HTML5.Although I think that a talented web designer can makesome very nice websites on HS, least 90% of the businesses can make something thatwould be just fine and work very will for them. But the bigadvantage that I see in HS, that Rebekah points out, is howeverything works together. As far as the restrictions of webdesign, if it is an issue, build the website off the HS platformand connect to HS for all the other advantages.   5  
  6. 6. Lisa Ellington • When a potential client comes to me andwants a truly responsive website, which is happening moreand more these days, I have to steer them away fromHubspots CMS. The CMS just doesnt support it.I hear that a newer, better CMS is supposed to be releasedand is in beta but havent been given any details about it nora timeline for its release. If it doesnt have the ability tocreate my own framework, I will be hard pressed to call it anupgrade.There are many good features about the HS CMS and youcan tweak the code to get quite a bit of good detail into asite, but this lack of true responsive support is somethingthat really needs to be changed. Slapping a menu on top ofthe site if the viewport is small is helpful, but as a designer,it makes me want to cry :)Simon Yohe • Comparing HubSpot and WordPress is likecomparing Apples to Oranges. These are not the same typesof systems, not positioned the same, and dont provide thesame services and solutions. HubSpots Core Strength is nota CMS platform for your website. WordPress core strength isnot Marketing Automation / Analytics.WordPress is a blogging tool that has morphed into a CMSthat many uses to build their site. It has an extensive librarythat allows you to add features and services to grow yourfeatures and functionality on your website.HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software solution. Itprovides tools and services to allow clients the ability to   6  
  7. 7. perform all sorts of inbound marketing initiatives, automatedmarketing campaigns, and creates analytics and reports thatconnects all of your marketing efforts into one place.Remove the equation about what a client site needs to bebuilt in, and instead, understand and identify what theywant to achieve from a marketing and sales perspective, anduse that understanding to see if HubSpot is the right choicefor them to succeed to achieve their goals.It also doesnt necessary matter what CMS you use, whetherit is WordPress, Joomla, Expression Engine, MODX, etc...What is important is that no matter what choice you use, itis configured and optimized for optimal organic growth.FYI, we do not use HubSpot CMS for any of our clients atthis time, and our preferred CMS is MODX.Alexandra Gibson • @Rebekah I dont think that its aquestion of not using Hubspot, but it is a question of thecapabilities and robustness of Hubspot as a CMS alone.I agree with the other posters that Hubspots CMS is reallylacking. Its proprietary software which is notorious forhaving slower development times; its just the nature of thebeast. Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla are superior becauseof the ability to quickly add modules/plug-ins and theopensource aspect.Hubspot can still be used with Wordpress or Drupal (we useit with all of our clients) but I think its important toacknowledge that while Hubspot is excellent in many ways,   7  
  8. 8. it is only "fair" as a site platform.You can still use Hubspot for your landing pages, leadmanagement, automation, and the like (integrated withWordpress or Drupal) but I would not recommend puttingclients on Hubspot for everything.Follow RobbRobb Bailey • I second Simons comment - why on Earthwouldnt one use Wordpress AND Hubspot together? We areusing Hubspot for what it was built for together withWordpress, using it for what it was built for.Simple, right?John Reeve • We use both HubSpot and Wordpress. Wewere using Wordpress long before we became a HubSpotcustomer and were not going to transfer 400+ blog postsover to HubSpot. So we use the plugin instead.Anyways, there is a HUGE difference between the two.Wordpress is strictly a CMS. There are some plugins that willgive you visitor stats, and possibly some plugins that will doconversion assisting. But thats it. Wordpress is for writingand delivering content on your web site.   8  
  9. 9. HubSpot, on the other hand, is so much more. Its a CMSwith advanced tracking bolted onto it. We can use HubSpotto analyze site visitors to see what they are doing beforethey convert. We can A/B test Landing Pages and Calls-to-Action. We can segment and send emails to our contacts tofollow up with them after theyve signed up for our services.But the advanced tracking is really the primary differentiatorfor us. We had theories on how our customers interactedwith our site before they would sign up. HubSpot hasconfirmed many of those theories and has helped us reviseareas of our site to help increase those conversions.If you are going to use HubSpot for just a CMS, dontbother. Use WordPress instead. But if you need advancedanalytics, tracking and conversion assisting / lead nurturing,you will need something like HubSpot.John Campbell • Im a new partner and was asked this sameexact question by a WordPress developer. It took me about2 minutes to explain the OBVIOUS difference between thetwo on what I would consider limited product knowledge atthe time. As stated previously, one is a marketingautomation tool, the other is not. Is this seriously somethingthat partners are facing and having trouble explaining toclients?   9  
  10. 10. Rhonda Hurwitz • @John, if you feel like being specific, Idlove to know more about what you meant here:"... the advanced tracking is really the primary differentiatorfor us. We had theories on how our customers interactedwith our site before they would sign up. HubSpot hasconfirmed many of those theories and has helped us reviseareas of our site to help increase those conversions".Ellie Becker • This is a timely conversation. We are workinghard to understand what we gain and lose for clients invarious WordPress/HubSpot integrations in terms of theanalytics capabilities. And in terms of CMS...From myexperience, its not always a piece of cake to build out pagesand landing pages in Wordpress without IT help in verydesigned sites. There are other issues too. For example, theYoast SEO plugin for Wordpress is very robust. But in myopinion, it doesnt provide the value of the Keywordscapabilities in HubSpot with regard to integrating andmeasuring SEO as it relates to all online marketing efforts.For a number of Wordpress-based companies I speak withthey are pretty happy with their segmented inboundmarketing efforts and its hard to get them to see the valueof integrating with HubSpot. Glad to see that this debate iscoming up for other Partners. And Im looking forward tolearning how others are combining the two.   10  
  11. 11. Sara Helmy • I second John - big time. We are very new tohubspot and it is wonderful and exciting, in our experienceso far, the Wordpress CMS allows us to do more when youfocus purely on CMS. As soon as you add in Hubspotscapabilities, you literally have it all! I actually really wishthat Hubspot would allow outside CMS integration in everypackage they offer, rather than in strictly professional andenterprise. Even though we are new, I strongly feel that ifthey did we could sell double and make many more of ourpartners extremely happy - happy with their web design andhappy with their data!John Reeve • I would love to elaborate. We offer an onlinetime, task and project management app called Intervals. Wegive a free 30 day free trial. Weve been trying to attributepaying customers back to the original ad they saw onGoogle.There are two reasons why this has proven a difficult task.First, roughly 20% of our paying customers create morethan one trial account before they convert. This makes themhard to track. Second, they do a ton of research beforesigning up for a trial account. Again, making them hard totrack.We were sure this was the case but couldnt prove it.HubSpot helped prove this is what was going on andarticulated what they are doing before signing up. It showedus that some contacts are creating multiple accounts. It alsoshowed us how much research they were doing beforesigning up for a trial.   11  
  12. 12. HubSpot shows us which pages are viewed most right beforesigning up for a trial. It also shows us what content they arereading during their trial account. Now we can optimizethose pages and generate more content to address thesetrends.Rebekah Donaldson • Remember the postedquestion/comment was about struggling to articulate thedifferences between Wordpress and Hubspot. The CMS wascited as a reason to switch. Thats what I was objecting to.-- We all agree that design and conversions are related.Clearly every client website must meet a high standard forusability and professionalism.-- I also agree that in rare cases the lack of responsivenessis a dealbreaker.-- I cant, however, think of a case in which lack of CMSflexibility should ever be a dealbreaker.If my team were bumping up against Hubspots CMSlimitations, Id think wed gotten off track. We shouldnt be -- and please excuse my french -- wanking too much ondesign.Again, yes every client website must meet a high standardfor usability and professionalism. Hubspots CMS has theelements and flexibility sufficient to meet and exceed thatstandard - except if responsiveness is a *requirement*.So Im curious Timothy... has the following changed in light   12  
  13. 13. of the above discussion?>> I have been struggling with articulating the differencesbetween online marketing with a tool like HubSpot that hasa subscription fee and using free tools like WordPressRebekah Donaldson • @Robb -- akums razorTimothyUnfollowTimothy Lorang • Rebekah, that’s a good question. Thiswhole discussion, which has been very interesting, remindsme of the story of the seven blind men who were asked todescribe an elephant. Well it’s either like a tree trunk or aslim vine depending whether you encounter the leg or thetail. A big part of this depends on what your job is and whatyou are trying to accomplish. For example this wholediscussion about the CMS, I’m not an advanced webdesigner so I tend to stick to the simpler WordPress themesand I think, from my perspective, that the CMS in HubSpotis great. On those occasions when I can’t get something toline up just right or something is acting funky I just call upHubSpot tech support and they are always a great help.That is not something you can do with WP. On the otherhand I’ve heard others complain that they are frustrated bysome of the pre-formatted styles in HS. It seems that is partof the CSS and there are plenty of companies in the servicessection now that fix those things if it really bugs them so   13  
  14. 14. much.This discussion has been very helpful because it has shownthose areas where experienced minds have come toagreement and where there is some honest disagreement.Often times objections come via a second source such as aprospect who was told by a “web designer” that HubSpot istoo expensive. So it has given me a clearer idea of the typesof objects and how others are feeling and reacting to it.In the end we really need to concentrate on the client’sneeds. Do they want conversions and sales? Then they needto follow this process. Do they want to do it with fewerheadaches and measurable results? Then they needHubSpot.Rebekah Donaldson • p.s. I want to post about this...anyone not want to be quoted (if need be - not sure what Illpick out) and linked to? Id position you as a thoughtful HSpartner making a useful point (even if we disagree, thatsalways the case!).John McTigue • We have a responsive design for our websitecoming out on the HubSpot CMS this month. It can be done.We are also doing client sites that way now too. Stay tunedfor examples.   14  
  15. 15. The other consideration is the new HS CMS coming out laterthis year (I assume - somebody correct me if Im wrong).Im also assuming thats going to be responsive (HTML5?).To me this debate boils down to inertia. How much of aneffort would it be to move from an old CMS to a new CMS,and what are the costs/benefits? Sometimes we recommendmoving the main site, sometimes not. In either case, themost important thing is NOT the design, its the content. Youare definitely wasting your time and money if you do aredesign without giving a high priority to increasing the flowof high quality content.Jon Nugent | Business Intelligence Solutions • The cost ofmoving from an old CMS to a new CMS is more than justabout money. As I posted earlier we moved from HS CMS toa Joomla CMS with a WordPress blog.We put the project out to bid and the most expensive bid wereceived was for $12,000 and included site redesign, SEO,and a number of other things that were important.We ultimately chose to migrate our site to Joomla, whichcost $500 and purchased a Joomla template for $59. We didsome minor redesign on our site to take advantage of thenew HTML5 and responsive technology that is so importantfor smart phones and tablets.What we gained by moving off of HS CMS is versatility.Were changing our blog layout again this weekend byreplacing the old template with a new template that cost   15  
  16. 16. $29.What we lost in the migration were the landing pages wecreated on HS and the SEO value of those landing pages.But those landing pages are being replace by more stylishHTML5 and responsive technology landing pages.We still rank in the top 1 million sites and for a companythat has less than 25 people that is pretty good ranking.When you migrate to a new design or a new CMS, HS has alot of white papers that offers advice on what to considerduring the migration. Also HS has developer notes on how tomigrate off their CMS.We also saved $3,000 a year moving off HS CMS that wasassociated with HS hosting our site. Were hosting our siteon bluehost for less than a $100 a year. The whole migrationfrom the HS CMS to the new CMS took a month to complete.Steven Moody • Hubspot was fundamentally a white-hatSEO CMS. Theyve built out some great features over theyears to move into the marketing automation market, andIve heard promises of the CMS overhaul, but perhaps itstime they abandon this completely? Marketo, for example,doesnt offer a CMS feature and it doesnt arise inconversations, partly because the target buyers are largerand have separate people focused on conversion versusgeneral website UX.Wordpress and Joomla are incredibly robust tools. Wouldntit be better if Hubspot stopped competing with them for the   16  
  17. 17. CMS while still maintaining fantastic prospect tracking andconversion accessories like the dynamic CTA?Lisa Ellington • @John McTigue Im curious as to how muchtime/effort it took to build a responsive HS CMS.and FYI all -- if you are curious about the "bones" of theCMS, it seems that it is built of off DNN (Dot net nuke). Afree, open source CMS. At least some of the code(references to the RAD menu, etc.) has clued me into that.John McTigue • I would say it probably took ourdesigner/developer a couple of weeks to figure everythingout the first time. Going forward I would say it probablyadds 30-40% onto the normal web design cycle. Designers,developers, usability experts and content managers need tospend some time figuring out what should be shown on thedifferent devices and how to scale things appropriately.Simple design is a real plus.             17  
  18. 18. Lisa Ellington • Thanks, John!Is this built off of foxboro? 30-40% is pretty high.John McTigue • Lisa, our sites on Brighton. I think 30-40%is not high, since you are basically designing your site andcontent for multiple platforms. Theres a lot to consider, anda lot to lose potentially if you dont. Its not about having anattractive look, its about which content is going to give youthe best chance to convert leads on a smartphone, tablet ordesktop. How do you deploy that content naturally? How doyou present forms that are easy to read and fill out? Takes alot of planning and (as George Bush would put it)"strategery".   18  
  19. 19. Lisa Ellington • Thanks, John!Is this built off of foxboro? 30-40% is pretty high.John McTigue • Lisa, our sites on Brighton. I think 30-40%is not high, since you are basically designing your site andcontent for multiple platforms. Theres a lot to consider, anda lot to lose potentially if you dont. Its not about having anattractive look, its about which content is going to give youthe best chance to convert leads on a smartphone, tablet ordesktop. How do you deploy that content naturally? How doyou present forms that are easy to read and fill out? Takes alot of planning and (as George Bush would put it)"strategery".Robb Bailey • @Steven Moody, my thoughts exactly. I askedHubspot about why they provide an integrated CMS vssuggesting WP or Joomla.They replied that less sophisticated Hubspot subscribers askto have the CMS integrated into the dashboard, so the result   19  
  20. 20. is a true all-in-one point and click solution. This preventsthem from having to hire a developer, etc. - which is a bigdeal for DIYers according to Hubspot. Apparently theres abig enough market to justify keeping the Hubspot CMS, atleast for now.Im thinking that Hubspot users with a budget of around$10,000 per year (or under) will likely use the Hubspot CMSfor the reasons described above. But for users that canafford to build an open source based site with all the robustfeatures they come with, Hubspots CMS quickly disappearsfrom the conversation (at least the conversations Imhaving). :)As Steven pointed out, the open source CMS combined witha CMS-less Hubspot account gives users an ideal setup withtons of leverage.Peter Caputa • What do you guys value about the opensource CMSs?As many of you know, we are redeveloping the CMScurrently and plan to launch mid-year. The leadership andproduct managers are reading this thread. If you guys couldbe more specific about what features/benefits you get fromother CMSs, that would be helpful. Real stories about realclient situations would be helpful   20  
  21. 21. Lawrence Berezin • Dear Peter,First, let me share my bias...I am a Hubspot "True Believer,"and have been for many years. My main business usesHubspot. I have a WP lawyers blog. What I like about WP is:1. Choice of themes. For example, I love the kinda recentHubspot website re-design. I would have to hire aprofessional website designer to recreate a similar lookingdesign on my Hubspot website. With WP, I can purchase apremium theme, install it for $70 or less, and customize itmyself. I love the look of my lawyers blog on WP.Other than that feature, I cant image my business withoutHubspot :- Jetpack for WP is a useful tool, but cannot come near thefeature rich marketing and SEO (old term) analytics offeredby Hubspot. I have both sites hooked up to Google, butHubspots analytics are a joy to use.-The Call-to-Action tool keeps getting better and better-The ability to build a form, or landing page to offer adownload to a potential lead is totally wonderful (I dont likethe "download" plugins Ive found for WP).-Social sharing and monitoring- mahvelous!-I love sneaking a peek behind the scenes of mycompetitors websites-Incredible Hubspot "Academy"-Super Tech support-And much more...   21  
  22. 22. WP is a wonderful open CMS,that is available to all for aminimal investment. If affordable to me and my client,Hubspot is by far-and-away my absolute first choice.I would love any thing Hubspot could do to make its designmore customizable would be terrific.Peter Caputa • Thanks for the thorough response, Lawrence.As many of you know, we are working on re-architecting ourCMS. Weve been rolling this out. The new email tools andnew landing page tools are live for some customers. Thesetwo things are built on the new CMS. (Blog tool is next.Then, full CMS with page manager, etc.)This new COS is architect-ed much like other CMSs wheredesigns can be implemented much more smoothly. With thelaunch, we are launching a "template marketplace". You cansee the beginnings of it here: else are we missing to make you guys consider usingthe HubSpot CMS over other alternatives?Lawrence Berezin • My take on Hubspot vs. WP   22  
  23. 23. Follow JonJon Nugent | Business Intelligence Solutions • What I valueabout open source CMS is the ability to use high quality andvisually appealing templates that take advantage of the fastmoving mobile landscape.For example, sinced we moved off of HS CMS in Decemberweve changed our blog template twice to help our clientsuse the content we provide in a more purposeful and mobileway. For example, our new blog site, takes advantage of the versitilityof WordPress templates and technology that wasnt availableto us before.Another value I see in open source CMS is the thousands ofopen source developers whose sole purpose is to make theirtemplates more visually and technically appealing.The other marketing automation vendors as stated beforehave not built a CMS but have developed capabiliites tobetter use and connect with open source software.Since you mentioned that the leadership and productmanagers have been reading this thread, I would imaginethat the cost of building and maintaining a proprietary CMSalong with a marketing automation applicaiton have crossedtheir minds. To me this will result in added development,hiring and operational cost which will be passed on to thecustomer and add little value.I understand that HS could recoup the cost of developiing a   23  
  24. 24. CMS by convincing customers to host their site with HS butits not long before customers realize that they are payingan extreamly high cost for a proprietary CMS hosted by HS.Lastly Joomla and WordPress are free. The templates areanywhere between free and $100 and business people lovefree.Lisa Ellington • When I am building custom websites, I dontuse an open source CMS, I use Expression Engine. Here aresome of the top features in EE, which Id put on my wish listfor the Hubspot CMS.1. Multiple templates without having to jump through hoops.2. The ability to have complete control of the framework. Iwant to create a truly responsive website and control thegrid design completely.3. Id like to be able to version the site or at the very leastcreate a sandbox duplicate the site so that its easy for me tomake changes without affecting the live site.If anyone has done a complete re-design to an existing HSsite that is over 50+ pages and it hasnt been horriblypainful, I would love to hear how they did it.   24  
  25. 25. Ellie Becker • For Pete...Thinking of HS hosted sites/Basicusers/sites custom built on the HS CMS...When the new HSCMS launches, will existing sites be upgradeable?Dharmesh Shah • Fascinating thread. I was riveted thewhole way through.A couple of quick notes:1. Im generally a huge fan of open source and also a big fanof WordPress. Its great for a lot of things. The challengewith WP for much of the market that we sell to is that thereare *so* many options. Great options for templates. Greatplugins for SEO. Great plugins for forms. The reason wedecided to build something as part of HubSpot is that we canthen simplify so much of this.2. The other BIG advantage of having a CMS that is part ofthe platform is that we can then integrate functionality inmuch smoother ways. Though some of that is possible viathe HubSpot WordPress plugin, since we dont control the UXof WP, there are limits to what we can do.3. Yes, the new Content Optimization System in HubSpothas been designed from the get-go to be responsive,designer-friendly and much, much cleaner.There are trade-offs and pros and cons to both sides(WordPress vs. HubSpot). If youre solving for raw flexibilityas the primary consideration, its hard to argue againstWordPress. If youre taking a broader, business-orientedview, HubSpot likely has the edge.   25  
  26. 26. But, as the CTO of HubSpot, Im understandably biased.Follow SimonSimon Yohe • I think the one point that was just hit was"simplify"...When the new CMS rolls out, those companies who simplyneed to have a simple corporate, marketing site, theHubSpot platform would make the most sense. The ability tointegrate HubSpot features is a huge advantage as it willsimplify their ability to update content on their site.However...For websites where there needs to be additional functionalitythat a general CMS cannot provide outside of its core, itmakes it difficult not to go with a 3rd party platform andinstead look to integrate HubSpot features manually orthrough other tools.For many, you need to simply weight the pros and cons ofeach, and decide what action you must take for your clients.On a separate note... I think another thing that should bebrought up in this discussion it is simply not "WordPress vsHubSpot". WordPress is just one of many CMS platformsthat can be used. It is important to understand that the corepart of this conversation is not simply whether to useWordPress or HubSpot, it was more about understanding thedifferences between using an outside CMS and integratingwith HubSpot then simply using the built in CMS with   26  
  27. 27. HubSpot.As previously mentioned in another comment earlier on, wecurrently do not use the internal CMS for our clients sites,and use MODX as our choice of CMS, but I am open andinterested in seeing the development of the new internalHubSpot CMS. We have been very happy with what we haveseen rolled out with Optimized Landing Pages and believethat HubSpot is on the right path.Remington Begg • I think that you can achieve just aboutanything with the existing Hubspot CMS that you can withOpen Source such as Joomla, Wordpress etc And if thats notthe case, then value of the Pro level of Hubspot Comes toMind... That Handy tracking code is exactly what somepeople is built in joomla, and integrates withhubspot pro nicely in our opinion.When I talk with clients about "why Hubspot" the Hubspot vsWordpress debate doesnt really happen because thefeatures (and benefits) of Hubspot are the "reason to be onHubspot"If the client wants "both Wordpress and Hubspotfunctionality" then they need to go Pro, if they can onlyafford the basic plan, then they have to choose whats moreimportant to them at that time. Upgrading to Hubspot maybe in their best interest later down the road.Hubspot is built for companies who see value havingeverything in one place, who WILL USE THE TOOLS, and   27  
  28. 28. who have the budget for it.Wordpress in my opinion, is for those that dont have thebudget, or that want to "tinker" and make it work "almost asgood" as what Hubspot provides out of the box (unless theyuse the hubspot code)Personally we have not had any issue with Communicatingthe difference between the options. It really is Apples andOranges (as mentioned above)PS: For those that have questions about the "mobile versionof hubspot" we wrote a brief blog post on how to tweak thelayout to achieve your goals.Heres the link: days ago • Like • • •2Rhonda Hurwitz • @dharmesh, What is the ETA for the newCMS? Q2 or Q3?   28  
  29. 29. Follow RebekahRebekah Donaldson • Feedback to Dharmesh, Simon, Pete,Lisa, Remington, and Jon here:Dharmesh* Yes "If youre taking a broader, business-oriented view,HubSpot likely has the edge." Well put. The business-oriented view takes account of *risk.* And what I outlinedas solution "B" (see above in thread) is higher risk for ourclient than for us.Lisa* Re redo on HS with 50+ pages, yes. One just now rollingout now is (might be able to view oldsite at but its about to beredirected).* I second your wish listRobb* You make an interesting point about budget affectinginterest in an alternate CMS. I dont know the overallbreakdown but all our clients budgets are quite a bit morethan $10k/year and if they have a HS subscription we usethe HS CMS. Maybe it boils down to: The total value of all-in-one is higher than the total value of a hybrid solutionproviding greater flexibility.Jon, Simon and JohnThank you for your detailed responses... Im learning alotfrom them! Simon - your responses are dead on IMHO.PeteThanks for your questions to us. This is cool.5 days ago • Like •   29  
  30. 30. • •3Follow RobbRobb Bailey • Responses to Rebekah, Dharmesh, and Peter:Rebekah*In regards to the budget mindset, our experience with thisdecision (from our clients perspective) to use WP CMS vs HSCMS has been largely a budgetary one. The low end(Hubspot Starter) offers the fully hosted, CMS integratedversion of HS. For clients who can afford the $200/month forthe software, and dont have an extra several thousand tomake a fully integrated Wordpress site, the decision seemsto be made by budget more than "can I get the most out ofthis tool long-term once it starts working for me". We arerecommending that our clients start off with HS Professionalcombined with a site and CMS developed in WP so they donthave to re-tool after they figure out that they have reachedthe HS CMSs limits - which is more expensive for them inthe long-run.Dharmesh & Peter*With regards to Peters request: We have a recent clientwho was set up on the Hubspot CMS (Pro account) for overa year when they came to us, and they love it. They hired usfor some monthly SEO best practices (on-page, tuning,internal linking, etc.)... But they effectively have 2 websites.The "front end", which has about 11 pages on the rootdomain, and a Hubspot subdomain thats integrated with HS   30  
  31. 31. CMS (a couple hundred blog posts live there). They hired usto optimize their website, but we basically have to optimize2 sites since the blog is hosted on a subdomain. Not ideal atall. The root domain and subdomain are effectively separatewebsites, doubling the amount of maintenance and tuningneeded to fully optimize the site(s). We cleaned up the 11pages on the root domain with relative ease and weregetting a clean crawl and index on it. The subdomain (HSCMS) is an absolute mess when it comes to optimizing for aclean crawl. Lots of jumbled CSS, duplicate title andduplicate content issues throughout. Our SEO software isconstantly finding errors are unfixable because the HS CMSis not flexible enough to tweak fully. I realize that this is anadvanced issue, but this type of thing matters a lot when theclients per-transaction value is high and they want the mostvisibility possible from their content publishing. Comparethis to WP CMS based sites with HS tracking code installed,and the difference is night and day from an SEOsperspective. On another note, Ive noticed client sites withHS CMS having trouble ranking locally since all their local-targeted content lives on a HS blog subdomain. Google+Local is not connecting the HS subdomains with the rootdomains well at all right now. If you have any insight there,Im all ears. :)Dharmesh*To chime in on Dharmeshs comments: Budgetary concernsaside, I guess the application of the tool depends on if theuser wants simpler, but limited. Or robust, but capable ofmore. I agree that this shouldnt be looked at as Hubspot VSWordpress, but rather, which combination is right for you:(Hubspot CMS + Hubspot software) vs. (Wordpress CMS +Hubspot software)?Notice both of those options include Hubspot trackingsoftware. :) I should write a blog post about that very topic.   31  
  32. 32. Thanks to Rebekah for the comment formatting example!RobbGeorge Thomas • I feel like Hubspot is a great tool, but withserious shortcomings in terms of how some of the featureswere developed, integrated and are presented. More oftenthan not, my troubles arise when Im doing work in the CMS.Its quite obvious this platform was built around DotNetNuke(another open source CMS similar to Wordpress), inparticular the blogging functionality seems very like a DNNmodule called Articles (I think?).Our lead dev has used both Wordpress and Hubspots CMS(in addition to others and even building out a licensableASP.NET MVC-based e-commerce CMS) so Id say he has alot of experience in this domain. Heres are some bulletpoints he gave me:* DotNetNuke used to be fairly terrible to use compared toother CMSes, but they were the only viable ASP.NET CMS.Hubspot used DotNetNuke to jump start their platform.* Its clear that Hubspots weakness is their CMS. They seemto realize it (I hope) and are actively trying new solutions(probably integrating something DNN 6.x or 7.x-based intotheir platform, which is closer in terms of ease-of-use inskinning and the back-end to something like Wordpress).Im just guessing here though. *Dharmesh?** Hubspots analytics are amazing. Almost magical tosomeone who has never used something like it before.   32  
  33. 33. * Wordpresss built-in analytics suck.* Wordpress is a fantastic CMS. But, if youre using thestandalone version, you now have to maintain a server.Good luck when you have unexpected traffic spikes!* Using a standalone Wordpress install, however, offersconsiderable opportunity in terms of being able to muckaround in the system and change whatever you need tochange. With great power comes great responsibility. If youcan handle that power, you can do great things.* You can get somewhat close to Hubspot using free toolslike Wordpress, Google Analytics, et al. Youre gonna spenda lot of time getting that to a workable solution, although ifyou do it right, you should be able to re-use it for othersites. Its complicated though; Im not downplaying that.* Youre not going to match what Hubspot has withoutdevelopment. Its possible, but be prepared to spend monthsdoing it.* Every design, application, tool, etc. has compromisessomewhere. Nothing is perfect.* Hubspots compromise is the CMS. Their analytics aregreat. But, they have an out-of-the-box CMS engine (withconsiderable modification) rather than building another onefrom scratch themselves. Its not a good technical CMS (itsclear some things were bolted on to the blogging module, inparticular).* Hubspots strength: they have an easy-to-use and highly-integrated package. Wordpress doesnt offer you title writingtips for the keywords youre targeting, for example. Theyvedone the legwork for most of us and 80% will do great withwhat they have to offer. Try to recreate their Prospectsfeature!   33  
  34. 34. * Hubspot: training is great. It doesnt go super-deepsometimes like I would like, but itll get you to anintermediate level of knowledge about inbound marketingand how to use their platform.* Wordpresss strength: they have an easy-to-use CMS thatis very modular. You can get down to the bare metal andchange it around as much as you want.* Wordpresss compromise: their analytics suck and youcant easily recreate Hubspot with outside tools for free.Our Conclusion:Life isnt black and white. Its not one or the other. If wehave a client that wants to pay for it, we recommendHubspot for them. However, we dont always use their CMS.We use Wordpress with tracking codes installed or in somecases, straight HTML/CSS.A lot of clients DONT want to pay for Hubspot though and itis probably overkill for the web presence they want. In thatcase, Wordpress and Google Analytics are usually enough toget by.Hubspots platform is designed with a clear user in mind. Itsprobably 80% of people out there.5 days ago • Like • • •1   34  
  35. 35. Dharmesh Shah • George: Thanks for the detailed comment.Will respond to a few of the points/questions in your post:1. You are correct. The early version of HubSpots platformmade quite a bit of use of DotNetNuke. But we chose adifferent direction years ago. Our primary platform now is acombination of Java and Python (not ASP.NET).2. The CMS has been our weakness. Its the one piece of thesystem that has not yet the major overhaul needed (likeweve done with other parts of our platform). But, its themost important project being worked on *right now* atHubSpot. An entire team devoted to the effort. The bloggingapp is first, which will be followed by the websitemanagement system.3. We are determined to change from having the CMS be aweakness to it being a strength. Were serious about it(investing millions). We have some ideas about how to takethe best practices from products like WordPress andcombine them with our knowledge of marketing and createwhat we think will be a system marketers, designers anddevelopers will love. Its a tall order, but were passionateabout it.I just saw an updated demo of the HubSpot CMS yesterday.Its starting to really come together. Nice, clean HTML that isresponsive, super-cool template editing, open access to CSSfor key parts. Global modules. Its really getting there.5 days ago • Like   35  
  36. 36. MarkUnfollowMark Kilens • Fantastic breakdown, George! On the trainingside. I agree with your assessment. The good news is werecurrently developing a lot more intermediate and advancedtraining. Youll be able to find the training right inside youraccount under the HubSpot Academy drop-down.Were also going to be creating a new certification programfor our new CMS. It will include classes, workshops and acertification process/exam. The certification will mean youhave demonstrated that you can create HubSpot CMStemplates for email, landing pages, blogs and pages.Let me know if youd like to talk about training or the newCMS certification.All the best,MarkLisa Ellington • Mark, Id like to know more about the CMSCertification.   36  
  37. 37. MarkUnfollowMark Kilens • Lisa, its still being developed and will launchwhen we launch our new CMS.Feel free to send me an InMail and we can setup a timechat. Would love to hear your ideas!Thanks,MarkGeorge Thomas • I love the idea of advanced training! I amvery excited to see what the next steps are for that as wellas the new COS HS will be launching. I and my team are allabout being the best we can be for our clients and theirneeds. Simplicity for them and yet delivering an effectivestrategy is always the best route. Thank you Dharmesh andMark for taking the time to post on this matter.   37  
  38. 38. Rebekah Donaldson • Excellent continuing exchange here.Shut me down if this takes us too far sideways but anyglimmer of hope that an updated CMS might support anykind of server-side scripting... at say Enterprise level?Two of our clients need to integrate with a catalog with tensof thousands of SKUs thats going live soon. Wevesuggested handling this by hosting a few pages on aseparate system, like WP, using a separate subdomain ( to point to those pages. Shoppingcart is TBD.The client asked, "to simplify things and use the better CMS,why not migrate us entirely to WP?" I went onsite to presenton what that means in terms of managing moreplatforms/tools, not fewer; lack of comprehensive support,etc.Net net heres a company with significant resources needingall-in-one marketing software that works with their catalog.This week we are testing Volusions Enterprise solution todecide if thats the answer.p.s. open to hiring a pro from this forum to consult on this(platform choice, migration, new systems config...)Peter Caputa • @RebekahI asked our Chief Product Officer when we might enableserver side scripting. His response was something like"ooomph" in an exasperated tone. I wouldnt count on us   38  
  39. 39. enabling this anytime soon.Have you spoken to the team at Ektron?4 days ago • Like • • •Follow RickRick Kranz • My firm doesnt come from the world of websitecreation. So when a client is focused on how their websitelooks and feels instead of how it performs that is a red flagfor us.To me the HubSpot tool is about making your webmarketing perform and not about making your website lookgreat. The simplicity of the CMS helps to keep us focused onperformance.I agree that the HS CMS which we use for ourselves andmost of our clients is not as slick as WP or Joomla but youcan create some very professional looking sites from it. Andwe always have the choice to use HS Professional and be onanother platform.Having said all that I am looking forward to seeing theimprovements in the CMS.4 days ago • Like   39  
  40. 40. • • •Follow BillBill Cava • Agree with Dharmesh largely regarding HubSpotvs Wordpress; would also add another option to consider.Ektron (company I work for) is both a HubSpot partner andan Enterprise Web Content Management vendor. As aHubSpot customer, Id like to think we get it. This HubSpotcase study does a pretty good job of backing that statementup, captures some highlights over the past year: It also means were ina pretty unique situation where we can take our ownexperiences with HubSpot and turn them into capabilitiesthat our joint customers can use directly.A straight-forward example of one such integration point-- acustomized editing experience that enables content creatorsto evaluate keywords for SEO as theyre authoring: redesigned corporate website ( is alsoa pretty good example too; we recently drank our ownchampagne and used our Ektron HubSpot integrationthroughout, particularly for delivering targeted content forunauthenticated visitors.   40  
  41. 41. 4 days ago • Like • • •1PeterUnfollowPeter Caputa • Ektron is a step ahead of the market oncontent personalization.Well enable it for our SMB and MB business in the comingyear in HubSpots new CMS. But, Ektron already has it (andwill enhance it as we launch more APIs) for Enterprisecustomers.There are a lot of other great features and capabilities thatEktron has that make it a robust Mid-market and EnterpriseCMS. With HubSpot integrated, its the best of both worldsfor more sophisticated customers.Ive also really enjoyed working with the team at Ektron.They have new sales and marketing leadership, Chip Greer,that is in tune with how to build a modern sales andmarketing system and hes very pro-partner.4 days ago • Like • • •   41  
  42. 42. Follow ChipChip Greer • Thanks Pete!Weve been working since the summer on building best inclass integration with Hubspot, delivering (as Bill statesabove) our own website using the advanced features of bothEktron and Hubspot and on supporting our joint partners inthe field on integrated projects. In any projects where thereare advanced requirements, wed love to help.4 days ago • Like • • •Follow TomTom Wentworth • Im a big fan of HubSpot, and a long timeCMS guy. Going to be interesting to see this productdevelop.The definition of CMS has almost become too broad to beuseful - Wordpress solves a much different set of problemsthan something like Drupal or Ektron. Blogging is prettyeasy, and a good first step for HubSpot because its a prettysimple content type and the governance processes around   42  
  43. 43. blog publishing are often pretty simple.For HubSpot to try and tackle the hard problems of CMS (atscale) may be a stretch. I do think the "All-in-one"marketing platform is a noble goal and HubSpot solves manyof the hard problems in marketing, but a CMS isnt purely atool for marketing. I wonder if CMS falls a bit outside ofHubSpots core mission?Will be watching closely :)4 days ago • Like • • •2PeterUnfollowPeter Caputa • Wowsa. This is quite a conversation. I dontthink there are too many places on the web where peoplefrom so many companies in the same space have such aconstructive conversation. Thanks for joining in Tom.I agree with you, Tom. There is a big difference between asimple CMS and an enterprise CMS. Our mission is to be "allthe marketing software you need". We think we do that verywell with SMB and MBs. Our experience on the sales side isthat large companies arent looking for "one piece ofsoftware for all of their marketing". Integration andinteroperability is more important to them. The fact that wehave lots of tools that already integrate helps us drive usage   43  
  44. 44. of many of our tools within an organization, but itsunrealistic to think that all of our capabilities are perfect forevery large org.As far as a CMS being outside of our core mission, we thinkthat enabling customers to create, optimize, distribute,personalize delivery, mobilize, analyze, socialize, ize-iz-ize,etc "content" is actually the key to our mission.4 days ago • Like • • •1Follow LisaLisa Ellington • That makes a ton of sense, Peter. I wonderwhy the basic package users should get penalized, though,and be forced to use the CMS. Why not open up the codehook for all levels of product?4 days ago • Like • • •2   44  
  45. 45. Doug Kirk • Fascinating conversation here! As a HS VAR fora couple years Ive lived the WP (or other CMS) vs. Hubspotenigma on more than a few occasions. One consistent themethat pops up on the con side is less about the technologyand more of an emotional response. Inevitably, the idea thata site living on the HS CMS completely is translated into "Ican never get my site back and will be locked into paying HSforever." Be it naive or otherwise, this is a hurdle for anybusiness owner and for the VAR selling an integratedsolution. Selfishly, from an operational standpoint, it isalways, always better to have the whole site on the HS CMS(Im not going into the look and feel debate). Otherwise, itsup to the VAR to manage across two CMS platforms, or farworse, rely on the clients internal team to integrate code onthe root domain.If theres a feature that can be added going forward it woulda tool (not unlike httaccess, but more straightforward) thatallows a HS hosted site to be very easily migrated to anotherCMS. Now, if were doing our jobs that should never happen,but upfront the "peace of mind" value is considerable. Shortof a migration tool, clear, easily understood migrationinstructions would be meaningful first step.   45  
  46. 46. Why delay? Call Larry today to help you with your “blogging” challenges 800-249-5048   46