Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your next website project is a very important decision to make. Once you commit to one then it is very difficult to switch and transfer to another, so I’ll break down the pros and cons of two popular options: HubSpot’s CMS Hub vs WordPress.
What is the HubSpot CMS Hub?
HubSpot’s CMS Hub is a new offering from HubSpot which allows marketers to easily create and edit pages on their own without a developer. This is achievable with the use of flexible themes which integrates your website, landing pages and blog all in one place. CMS Hub customers get a secure, personalised experience which is easy to use and all in one easy-to-manage place.
What is WordPress?
WordPress powers roughly 33% of the entire internet and is the most well-known free open source CMS platform in the world. With a massive community and so much customisation available, it is hard to ignore when choosing a CMS for a new website.
Hubspot CMS Hub vs WordPress comparison
Here are the separate categories I will be comparing:
- Ease of use and uniqueness
- Customer support
- Security & maintenance
Ease of use and uniqueness
The biggest selling point of CMS Hub is its ease of use. Not having to rely on a developer to make a specific page edit or build an entire landing page is a big plus. Anyone can operate it using the drag and drop page builder.
The uniqueness of CMS Hub is that it is an all-in-one platform with so many different tools on offer, all from one single location. This can save a lot of time as you’re not jumping between different platforms or having to piecemeal it together, which you have to do with WordPress. Check out just some of the things that come integrated within CMS Hub:
- Landing page creation
- Blogging tools
- Drag and drop editor
- Website themes
- A/B testing
- Detailed analytics
- Content collaboration
- CDN services
- SEO recommendations & optimisation
- AMP support
- 24/7 security monitoring & threat detection
- And much more
In comparison, WordPress is not easy to use for a complete beginner. There is a lot of setting up to do beforehand with your server which can be a big hurdle for some. With the recent introduction of Gutenberg WordPress is gradually making improvements but with so many options available within WordPress, it can take some time getting used to. In my opinion, a developer is definitely needed at the start of a WordPress website build as there are many vital plugins to install for SEO, site speed, security which don’t come as standard, unlike with CMS Hub.
Winner: HubSpot’s CMS Hub
With any HubSpot subscription there’s always a top tier dedicated support service team on hand. Hub CMS provides customers with access to a 24/7 support team through either chat, email or phone at no extra cost. There are also lots of help documentation articles and free access to the HubSpot Developer community forum and slack community.
With WordPress, you will discover that Google is your best friend for uncovering solutions to your problems. Although there’s no direct support as such, because the WordPress community is so vast, it is guaranteed someone else has had the same problem as you.
Winner: HubSpot’s CMS Hub
Security & maintenance
Security is all taken care of with CMS Hub which frees your time and makes you feel reassured your site won’t be hacked and compromised. A built-in firewall, global CDN and no plugins to keep up to date means you can concentrate on what matters for your business.
However, WordPress is prone to security breaches and has a bad reputation for this. The most common way for your site to be compromised is through a vulnerable plugin. With so many plugins to choose from, it is hard to know which ones are the most secure and have been built by an experienced plugin creator. Also it puts you in a never-ending cycle of having to constantly update your plugins and the version of WordPress, which is a forgotten maintenance cost to consider.
Winner: HubSpot’s CMS Hub
Hubspot has integrated SEO tools which provide recommendations on how to optimise your website ranking, including identifying duplicate and thin content. All of the important meta tags are taken care of automatically but can also be easily edited. CMS Hub also includes the necessary schema which is a big bonus point for HubSpot.
In contrast, WordPress is not great at SEO straight out of the box. At FINALLY we always recommend installing the popular Yoast SEO plugin to handle everything such as generating sitemaps, meta tags, no indexing unnecessary pages etc.
Winner: HubSpot’s CMS Hub
The CMS Hub professional package is the cheapest plan available which starts at £245 per month. This provides access to the product itself and doesn’t include any time needed to be spent on building the site or the developer or agency costs required to build a custom website design for your business. I personally feel it is a big monthly commitment to make but for a business using other HubSpot services, it is definitely worth the investment.
Even though WordPress is free, there are other costs involved which can quickly add up. You will need to take into account initial development, ongoing support, maintenance, web hosting, purchasing custom designs, themes, and premium plugins. However, in spite of all those costs, there’s much more flexibility with WordPress. You could create a website really cheaply by purchasing a theme at £60 and then just have the monthly hosting fees to deal with, which is roughly £10 a month, if you felt comfortable building and maintaining it yourself.
One of the main concerns around HubSpot is that you are locked in to the platform once you have built your website -- you can’t move it away from HubSpot. This means if you ever wanted to move away from HubSpot you would have to build your website from scratch again.
Unlike HubSpot’s CMS Hub, WordPress allows you to have a lot more freedom, enabling you to move to a new hosting provider if your website is starting to grow. If you already have a WordPress website, it’s easy to export all of your existing content and import it to the new WordPress website.
Whilst HubSpot is very flexible with what you can do within their CMS Hub platform, unfortunately you can’t customise or build new functionality that doesn’t already exist in CMS Hub. It is possible to set up custom integrations though, but a developer would be needed for this which will come at an additional cost.
WordPress, however, is very customisable and allows you to configure the backend however you wish. Creating custom post types is a popular customisation to make in WordPress. This will separate out your content into different sections to easily manage in the backend. Although a developer is needed for these types of customisation, this feature is a big plus for WordPress as the options are endless.
Verdict: no clear winner?
Before deciding which CMS is for you, you have to take into account your business’ needs. CMS Hub and WordPress each have a lot to offer and are both unique in their own way.
If you already love the other HubSpot marketing tools, have neither the time or patience to build a website, or are looking for a more hands off approach to digital marketing, CMS Hub is a great choice for you. It comes with everything you need to create a modern website and is forever improving with new features regularly released.
If your business is new or very small then I would recommend going for WordPress as it will be more affordable and you will have more control over what you choose to invest, and you won’t be locked in.
If you are still unsure about which CMS to choose then FINALLY can help. Just book a meeting and we can work out which is best for your business.