One of the biggest questions any enterprise faces happens right at the beginning:
“Do we want HubSpot or WordPress for our website?"
The back end software that you use to create your website has a tremendous impact on its future. Every content management system (CMS) comes packaged with its own built-in capabilities – as well as its own design assumptions – that influence your entire workflow.
A CMS is a software suite that allows you to build, manage, and update your website. Most CMS suites can help you achieve most web goals you're working toward, but each one has their own pros and cons.
Picking a CMS that doesn’t match your goals can add a lot of extra work for certain results that you could have gotten in a few clicks.
No matter what CMS you use, its chief goal is to reduce design and maintenance overhead while giving you the power to produce targeted content and deliver it through a beautiful, intuitive site.
At the very beginning, most digital marketing teams will narrow down their options to a couple of the most commonly used suites: HubSpot and WordPress.
Informed marketers generally agree these are the top selections out there.
However, they are very different – and choosing the right one is difficult if you're not fully informed on each option.
What the Hell Is the Difference Between HubSpot and WordPress?
Let's start with WordPress, which currently powers about 30% of all websites. This amounts to more than 75 million websites, giving it market share about 10x bigger than the nearest rival.
It originally started as a blogging platform over 15 years ago before transforming into an open source CMS platform. Users can start creating content instantly once they sign up, but it often requires various integrations and additional software programs to fully build out a website.
HubSpot CMS, on the other hand, combines the features of WordPress with a complete customer relationship management (CRM) system. Full CRM integration is essential for business websites. When it's combined with a CMS, you can convert visitors into leads who are immediately stored in the HubSpot CRM.
Essentially, HubSpot operates as a fully integrated digital marketing solution. The HubSpot team introduced the inbound marketing philosophy. Their award-winning CRM software reflects and accelerates that philosophy.
Now that we covered the origins of both of these CMSs, let's look at how both of these stack up in eight different areas:
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: BloggingArguably the most obvious feature of a CMS, you want to find a software that makes blogging as easy as possible. A blog interface can either streamline your creative process or bog you down with poor usability and overly complex tools.
HubSpot’s interface for blogging is clean and user friendly. It helps you focus on crafting a digital content marketing strategy where every piece of content plays a part.
It has a wide range of integrated features to design and optimize your blog post quickly as you write. So while you can enjoy the fundamentals of a blogging platform, like a distraction free blog editor, social media posting abilities, and scheduling options, you also get plenty of other awesome features, such as:
- Mobile optimization
- SEO tools
- Content calendar
- Content collaboration
- AMP support
- Call to action (CTA) creator
WordPress was conceived as a blogging solution for people with lightweight, text-focused sites. This is still the strongest element of its platform. Blogging is fast and easy.
However, virtually anything you want to do beyond plain text blogs requires a separate software plugin or additional theme. For example, if you want to ensure each article is fully optimized for search engines, you will need to download a search engine optimization (SEO) plugin.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: Landing PagesBusinesses obviously need landing pages. They're essential for turning visitors into leads, so you want a landing page creation tool that is both easy and flexible to your needs.
Both HubSpot and WordPress recognize the different functions of “pages” and “posts.” Only HubSpot, however, provides a full set of tools for designing a landing page that gets visitors to convert.
All of the HubSpot design templates are responsive, and you can customize with a drag and drop UI. Additionally, you can create forms to capture lead information, use an optimizer tool to boost SEO value, and A/B test your landing pages.
WordPress is extensible with a wide range of custom themes and software plugins. Some of these can help you develop professional looking landing pages.
However, most of the truly versatile landing page plugins require pricey subscriptions. In most cases, not all features you need will play nicely together.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: Website Management
In the digital age, your website is your best salesperson. With the right CMS, you should be able to manage and maintain a great looking website with awesome user experience (UX).
As with most HubSpot tools, simplicity reigns supreme for website management. The drag and drop interface can be extended to create custom experiences on individual pages
Plus, you can either choose from thousands of templates within the HubSpot marketplace or craft a custom theme without needing tech help.
Most people can spot a WordPress site immediately. Sites built using this CMS tend to look very similar, likely because it takes a lot more legwork to customize and build a unique site that stands out amongst the crowd of other WordPressers.
WordPress provides you with basic tools for keeping your content organized and accessible. Updating a page is relatively simple, and updates are visible to site users right away.
If you want robust options for the design of individual pages, however, you’ll need specialized site building software.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: SEO
Your company website without SEO is like opening a store without a door. You need your audience to find you when they're searching for solutions to their unique problems.
Unfortunately, a lot of CMS options don't provide enough SEO features to help you attract people to your awesome content.
Inbound digital marketing is built on a strong foundation of keyword research and on-page SEO optimization. HubSpot comes with enterprise-grade SEO tools packed in.
These tools will help you evaluate and tweak each page as you write them – and can even teach key SEO concepts. Some other noteworthy SEO features available in HubSpot include:
- Inbound link tracking
- Google Search Console integration
- Page performance tracking
- Competitor tracking
When you first sign up for WordPress, you don't get any native SEO functionality. However, you can access both free and paid SEO plugins. In fact, the vast majority of bloggers and marketers using WordPress rely on a handful of third party SEO tools.
But with more plugins come more potential headaches. Not only can you add more cost, but you're also at the mercy of other plugin developers. Software management and general maintenance can be problematic.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: Data Analytics
A CMS with limited analytics won't give you much context on how your content is performing and what parts of your strategy need to be adjusted. Not all analytics features are created equal, so it's important to find a CMS that provides enough data to empower you to improve your strategy and hit your goals.
HubSpot helps you keep marketing scientific by centralizing, visualizing, and reporting data. It gives you the total view of your sales funnel, working hand in hand with best in class CRM tools.
The best part about HubSpot's analytics tool is that it's comprehensive and well organized, so all the data you need is in one place.
You have access to both basic and advanced content analytics to help you track everything from sessions and visits to conversions. Additionally, you have access to search analytics, competitor tracking, and contact timelines.
Measuring content performance with WordPress is a little more complex. While you get access to the basic metrics, like sessions, you have to put in a little more effort to get a full view of your performance in a way that's comparable to what HubSpot delivers.
You usually need to introduce a third party software widget that allows your site to communicate with Google Analytics. Additionally, depending on your goals and needs, you might need to integrate paid analytics tools.
Ultimately, this introduces more complexity to your site, reducing performance and often creating new security holes.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
Email is vital to most businesses that are building their online presence. You can use email marketing and automation tools to streamline your processes for vital components of your marketing strategy, like lead nurturing email campaigns or newsletters.
Without the right automation tools in place, your team will likely spend countless hours writing emails, scoring leads, and keeping contact properties up to date in the CRM.
Marketing automation is HubSpot's bread and butter. They provide several awesome tools to simplify many tedious tasks.
In terms of email, you can run simple A/B tests and add personalization tokens to customize your messaging to recipients. Plus, your CMS integrates seamlessly with email tools, so you can automate newsletters as you publish your content.
One of the best marketing automation features included in HubSpot is workflows. You can create targeted workflows using list segmentation to personalize your emails to each contact in your database.
As with most CMS platforms, WordPress does not have any native email marketing or marketing automation capabilities to speak of. When you want to deliver true relationship building to all of your inbound marketing leads, you’ll have to rely on secondary tools.
MailChimp and AWeber integrations are popular, but once again, you rely on third parties. This can lead to more headaches with software management and potential integration hiccups.
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: Social Media
Social media and your content go hand in hand. Or at least, they should. Without proper integration, you and your team might have to spend a lot of time and energy distributing your content and connecting with your community.
HubSpot emphasizes seamless social media management. You’re able to keep your eye on the social conversation and on overall trends in sentiment.
When it’s time to chime in on popular social platforms or schedule out your social messages, you never have to leave your digital marketing “command center.” You can also measure and assess how your social media strategy is faring by looking at social media analytics.
WordPress has started to edge toward some design concessions that make social media sharing a bit easier.
However, you’ll still need third party tools to maximize sharing, and you won’t be able to monitor your social reach from within WordPress. That’s a lot of extra software to oversee!
HubSpot vs. Wordpress: CMS Essentials
No matter what CMS you're looking at, you know you want all the basic needs covered, including speed, stability, and uptime.
HubSpot is constantly evolving and getting better. HubSpot’s team of expert software engineers ensure the software’s code is always up to date.
You don’t have to lose sleep patching a dozen different items as you would with the average WordPress installation. Your website security is covered, thanks to all the great features, such as the following:
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection
- Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Mitigation
WordPress is notorious for its security holes and flaws. The open source community does keep the core software fairly stable.
However, all those extra plugins and widgets mean you’ll often end up with tons of vulnerabilities to exploit. Nobody can keep track of them all!
The Verdict: HubSpot Wins
For hobbyists and bloggers who plan to maintain a small, niche site, WordPress does what it’s intended to do. However, if you're a business with a digital marketing team, HubSpot stands out as the hands down choice.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a small startup or a giant multinational. HubSpot will give you all of what you need and none of what you don’t. Since it’s informed by the big brains at HubSpot, it’s always going to be aligned with the absolute highest standards in inbound marketing.
We’ll admit it: The right WordPress build can do a lot of neat stuff. However, even its best solutions are a distant second place compared to HubSpot. By the time you snap in all the different software add-ons, you end up with a bloated site that loads far too slowly for today’s time-pressed web users.
WordPress puts you in the position of having to learn, manage, and maintain your platform.
On the other hand, HubSpot abstracts all that extra stuff away. It’s like magic: It just works.
Instead of wasting your time fiddling with technical details, you can stay focused on finding the best ways to use integrated, user-friendly tools to achieve greater marketing ROI.
When your company starts using HubSpot, you also get the benefit of a vibrant community full of digital marketing dynamos just like the ones in your team. Combined with the excellent training materials HubSpot provides, you really can take your marketing to the next level.
That’s a far cry from the “do it yourself” WordPress approach.
For businesses that want to attract leads, nurture relationships, and win conversions, there’s simply no reason to choose WordPress when HubSpot is out there waiting.