The content management system (CMS) revolutionised the way websites are built. No longer did you need to learn coding to build a website – all you needed to do was provide the content. Sites like GeoCities popularised the concept, but it was the arrival of WordPress in 2003 that really changed the game. It gave bloggers flexibility to express themselves, and it wasn’t long before it became the go-to CMS for businesses too.
HubSpot came along just three years later, in 2006. By then, WordPress was well established, and an ecosystem of themes and plugins was building up around it. The concept behind HubSpot was different though: you could combine all your digital marketing assets – your website, email, analytics and customer relationship manager (CRM) under one umbrella.
That’s why HubSpot isn’t technically a CMS – it’s a one-stop marketing tool, of which a CMS is just one part. You can use it to design and build your website, and then integrate it with your entire marketing effort, all under one platform. The idea is to make marketing seamless and more efficient.
HubSpot’s benefits over WordPress
The main benefit HubSpot boasts is that it brings you closer to your customers and partners. Its powerful CRM deals with that, and because it’s integrated with email, analytics and your website, you can be responsive and give customers the personal touches they notice, like follow-up emails after a sale, and lets you have full visibility of the customer funnel so you can fine-tune your site to its optimum performance.
Many of the features that come with HubSpot as standard can be obtained through WordPress plugins, but therein lies the problem. The plugins are made by third parties, not WordPress itself or its owners, Automattic. That means that there are good and bad ones, free and paid ones, and they sometimes conflict with each other, slowing down or breaking your website. It’s a bit like having Microsoft Word but having to go to separate companies to get your bold and italics.
HubSpot doesn’t suffer from this at all because it’s all integrated. Although third party apps and themes are available, the core functionality is designed by HubSpot, so a bare bones installation will always work perfectly, integrating all your business marketing needs.
Are there any drawbacks?
It’s fair to say that despite being about the same age as WordPress, HubSpot has nowhere near the number of users. WordPress has about 70% market share in the web CMS space, while HubSpot has about 0.2%. That in itself doesn’t make it worse, but it does mean that developers of plugins and themes focus much more on WordPress, so there’s much more choice.
Also, the community surrounding WordPress is much larger, so if you have an issue, you’ll probably get an answer minutes after posting it on a forum. With HubSpot, you could have a longer wait.
Finally, WordPress has matured into a more powerful platform that lets you build a site to virtually any design. It’s flexible and scalable, and can easily integrate ecommerce solutions. And because it’s so common, it’s easier to find WordPress developers than HubSpot developers.
HubSpot is a brilliant tool, encompassing the full marketing suite you need when running an online business. If having your site and CRM integrated would be advantageous to you, there’s probably no more streamlined way to do it.
If you already have a CRM or don’t feel like you need one, but want a website for promotion or ecommerce, you’d probably get more functionality and flexibility from something like WordPress, Magento or Shopify.
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