Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!
They’re two heavy-hitters in the world of Content Management Systems (CMS), but only one can wear the ultimate crown. In one corner: WordPress, built as blogging software but fought its way up the marketing ladder. In the other corner: HubSpot, groomed from the start for marketers and developers to create amazing websites.
Okay, so these two CMS leaders may not actually be duking it out in the ring, but as a business owner, you may find yourself battling over which one is right for your company. Your website is an essential tool for educating prospects about your products or services, driving awareness, and generating leads and sales. In fact, we believe your website should be your best salesperson. So, which CMS of the two will help you do just that? Let’s break this down in the ultimate Hubspot vs WordPress comparison.
Meet the Fighters: Hubspot vs WordPress
WordPress is an open-source content management system that must be installed or configured on an internal server or through a hosting provider. As mentioned above, it was originally built as blogging software but has evolved into a full CMS. According to WordCamp, over 75 million websites run on WordPress in 2021—or 30% of all active sites—with over 500 new sites created daily. WordPress is an extremely versatile tool for building websites, but one that can be a bit overwhelming for the inexperienced. Its sites can be custom-built or template-based, and the WordPress ecosystem includes thousands of plugins designed to enhance your site’s functionality. With WordPress, the sky is the limit, assuming you have the requisite time and technical expertise.
CMS Hub is a cloud-based CMS, which, unlike WordPress, was built for marketers and developers from the get-go. It provides them with all the tools needed to create websites that are equally strong in engaging users and empowering companies, with reporting, diagnostic, and SEO tools, all in one platform. CMS Hub’s user-base is playing catch-up to WordPress but it continues to grow; there are over 100,000 users worldwide and, as the company continues to improve its software, with major updates to the CMS, its popularity is expected to skyrocket.
The Tale of the Tape
Before we take a deeper dive into the capabilities of each Content Management System, here’s a quick feature comparison of the two, which may give added reasons why CMS Hub’s popularity continues to grow:
|User-friendly, drag-and-drop editor||Depends on which builder you use|
|Does not require a web developer||Requires a web developer|
|Hosting is included||Hosting additional|
|SSL is included||SSL additional|
|Very secure, no plugins needed.||Requires security plugins like Sucuri or Wordfence|
|Advanced analytics||Requires analytics plugins|
|SEO tools included||Requires plugins|
|Have to work with HS coding language||Allows for custom PHP|
|Free fully functional CRM||No CRM|
Strengths and Weaknesses
Full disclosure: As a web development agency, we at Brainstorm are fans of both CMS Hub and WordPress and, depending on the specific needs of our clients—whether it’s for web development, web design, or branding—we have used both software packages. Let’s compare some of the content creation capabilities of both:
With WordPress, ease-of-use is one of its key benefits. It offers thousands of themes and you can build and design a great looking site without having to learn how to code. But, while you can easily create text-based content, adding layout changes or software to your site—like live chat or A/B testing—requires plugins or subscriptions. CMS Hub allows you to easily create or modify your site, with drag-and-drop layouts and thousands of themes to choose from (you can build your site from scratch, too). HubSpot websites are also built for conversions, featuring built-in tools like calls-to-action and forms to help you generate leads, sales, and interact better with users.
Posting engaging content on your website is only half the battle. You need to attract visitors to the content you create as well, and not all content management systems are built to do that…not without plug-ins. WordPress, for example, does not come with native SEO functionality -although there are plenty of SEO plugins you can install. CMS Hub on the other hand, has SEO tools built-in, and can even scan web pages and offer suggestions on ways to optimize your content to improve search results. The bottom-line: SEO tools come standard in HubSpot; in WordPress you must add plugins to your site (though some can be downloaded for free).
As a marketing agency, it’s imperative that we get clear analytics on such tactics as organic search, paid search, social media, and other numbers in order to maximize lead generation and measure ROI for our clients. But really, any growing company should be able to track its visitors throughout the buyer’s journey, and in our opinion, HubSpot’s analytics are second to none. It allows you to measure the performance of all your marketing campaigns in one place with built-in diagnostics, reports, and dashboards. While WordPress does include some reporting on content—such as page views—deeper analysis requires the addition of paid analytics tool or Google Analytics.
With Hubspot, your site is protected, thanks to a host of security features, ranging from SSL protection, intrusion detection system (IDS), 24/7 threat monitoring, and more. WordPress, as part of the open-source community, keeps the core software mainly stable, but adding all of the extra plugins could lead to vulnerabilities. It ultimately comes down to the host you choose and ensuring it offers security features, such as a firewall, an SSL certificate, malware scanning, and backups.
Comparing the prices of HubSpot and WordPress can get a little tricky. WordPress is free…in principle, but you have to pay for a web developer, hosting and SSL along with the necessary plugins to get all the functionality you get with HubSpot. HubSpot CMS does come with a fee, but it’s all-inclusive, with prices starting at $300 per month, and sites can be built without paying for a developer.
For the team here at Brainstorm, the decision on which CMS to use really comes down to the requirements of the project. If the website is a simple one that will not be integrated with HubSpot then a barebones WordPress build may be in order. Also on the WordPress side of the ledger are those sites that require highly specialized functionality or integrations best achieved through WordPress plugins. However, if the client’s needs are primarily focused on marketing and sales and the major goal of their website is lead generation, then our vote almost always goes to HubSpot.
Still fighting over which CMS is right for you? We’re in your corner and ready to help. Brainstorm is a HubSpot certified agency partner, but we also are well-versed with WordPress. Visit our web development portfolio to learn more about how our design and programming experts can help create a website that effectively tells your story, engages your viewers, and helps you generate leads.