HubSpot vs. WordPress - why we switched to the HubSpot COS

Posted by Mike Eastwood on 22 April 2017

Mike Eastwood

WordPress has been our favourite CMS (Content Management System) ever since we dropped SilverStripe. We started using HubSpot in 2016 for our marketing system and we kept our WordPress website with the HubSpot Tracking Code embedded. Since then we've migrated to HubSpot COS or "Content Optimisation System".

Over the last decade we worked with several frameworks, systems and Content Management Systems. Every system has it's pros and cons, and like all software every system has some annoying points. 

In the lists below we've excluded obvious pros that have become essential e.g. Mobile Friendly – no point in looking at a Content Management System if it's not Mobile Friendly.

WordPress

WordPress is the most widely Content Management System in the world powering 26% of the worlds websites. There are several advantages using the world's most popular and some unique disadvantages.

Pros

  1. You can find a vast range of plugins available which makes it easy to install plugins that quickly give you specialised functionality for example: backups, security, email capture
  2. You can find thousands of themes available which means you can choose a design without having to spend lots of money on designers (just ensure you buy a theme from a reputable company - see below)
  3. There are numerous companies that can install, manage and host your site and other companies that can build custom functionality
  4. WordPress is extremely well documented and you can find lots of advice online (sometimes too much)
  5. WordPress is well designed and optimised to work well for your visitors and search engines. And, by installing Yoast SEO you'll find it easy to optimise your posts for Search Engines to help you get found. 

Cons

  1. The worlds largest Content Management System attracts the largest number of developers good, bad and ugly. You need to ensure your plugin or theme is produced by a reputable company - sloppy code makes your site vulnerable to attack, some plugins even open special back doors for attackers

  2. Because WordPress is so widely distributed it's regularly attacked to try and gain control. Therefore you must keep WordPress up to date, all your plugins and themes up to date and install additional security (we offer this with all our sites).

  3. Working with HubSpot Forms in WordPress is a bit clumsy. But, we built a WordPress Plugin for HubSpot Forms to make life easier.

HubSpot COS

We've migrated our site from WordPress to the HubSpot COS to leverage all of our marketing and keep everything in the same place. Yes, you can install a plugin to run HubSpot through your WordPress site but here's why we switched.

Pros

  1. Everything is in one place - your site is fully integrated into HubSpots system. You can theoretically save money by using several free or low cost options but, by the time you add up the time and costs it's much easier to have it all in one place with one bill per month.

  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is built right in. Personally I prefer Yoast SEO a free WordPress Plugin but that's probably just because I've been using it for years.

  3. Social Media built right in. This is another time saving feature where you can create a post, schedule it's publish date, then automate Social Media Publishing.

  4. Content Delivery Network (CDN) built into the system. A CDN distributes your content over multiple servers around the globe so that when you visit a website the content travels the least distance making the page load faster. Normally, with a WordPress site, you need to either pay for a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or use a host that has a CDN built in (One of the reasons we choose WP Engine).

  5. You, or your developer, can edit code from inside HubSpot, in a browser. This means you can make quick tweaks, on the fly, from anywhere in the world. 

  6. HubSpot's team take care of server and software maintenance so we can concentrate on tasks that add value rather than operational issues.

Cons

  1. WordPress has way more plugins available, even if you remove all the "less than reputable" plugins and the faulty and/or poorly maintained plugins. This means if you're looking for custom functionality we're probably going to have to build it for you. The good news is that that means you get what you're after, rather than settling for a plugin than mostly works. However, this means it takes longer and requires more investment.

  2. You, or your developer, can edit code from inside HubSpot, in a browser. Super annoying even if it is the best one I've used. Coding Software has come a long way over the last decade and working in a browser is a backwards step for me.

  3. No Version Control. We're looking to overcome this by installing a local HubSpot Server so we can develop and test locally, committing the code to GIT before we deploy it to the production server. 

HubSpot COS vs. WordPress Conclusion

Sorry to say – "well that depends".

We still support and maintain sites on WordPress, with the HubSpot Plugin, and everything works well.

There's less 'risk', from an IT Project Management perspective, if you want to try HubSpot but want to keep your website in WordPress.

However, there are some interesting tools we've been working on that will leverage HubSpot COS integration directly into the HubSpot Marketing System. 


Topics: Website Design, Development, HubSpot

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