Since the early 2000s, businesses that are seeking to claim a spot online have opted to build their websites on open-source and closed-source shops like WordPress and HubSpot.
These two are the most popular CMS/COS platforms for companies that give a damn about digital marketing, and they can conveniently satisfy your business needs based on your industry and resources.
In this article, we will take a look at the different components that make these platforms unique, so that you can make the best choice for your business.
If you already develop content online, then you may be familiar with CMS, which stands for content marketing system.
A CMS makes it possible for users to easily create content without any coding experience and it is popular with platforms like WordPress, Joomla, etc. So what, then, is HubSpot COS?
HubSpot COS is essentially HubSpot’s own CMS, except that the COS stands for content optimization system.
Because it is an all-in-one solution, which means that it caters to other needs beyond content management, you will not need to concern yourself about other stuff like marketing and automation.
If you already have your marketing plans laid out and do not need an automation tool to implement your strategy, then WordPress and other CMS platforms may be better suited to you.
Of course, HubSpot performs similar functions as any CMS platform would, but it goes way beyond that, so if you are not using it for all that it is meant for, it can only amount to a waste of funds.
HubSpot allows you to personalize experiences and content based on demographics.
This means that different visitors that come to your website will see different content depending on their location, previous to your content, and other factors.
HubSpot houses a series of tools that will enable you to develop a holistic approach to your marketing.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the planet as it powers more than 30% of websites on the internet, and it continues to grow rapidly.
It uses PHP and MySQL, which means that it is supported for all kinds of browsers.
Originally, WordPress was meant for creating blogging sites, but now it can be used to create a variety of powerful websites such as ecommerce stores, newspapers, job boards, and almost any other thing that you can think of.
It is intuitive and has a user-friendly interface, which means that you do not need to be a tech guru to use it. In fact, if you can find your way around Microsoft Word, then you shouldn’t have any problem using WordPress.
Anyone can use WordPress irrespective of their budget because it is an open-source platform, which means that it is free to use.
These two websites are owned by the same company, but they serve different user bases.
WordPress.com is a platform that uses a CMS to host only blog sites and it is free by default, although it has certain limitations.
On the other hand, WordPress.org lets you run a self-hosted website and provides you with an array of tools, including themes and plugins that will enable you to get the best out of your website.
Ease of use
When it comes to site builders or automation software, one of the things that potential users are looking for is its ease of use, and for the most part, HubSpot has got that locked down.
If you are just getting started with HubSpot, you will think that it is designed for newbies and non-techy people to get their website up and running, and you won’t be wrong.
The platform provides nicely designed pre-built templates that you can deploy immediately to your site without probing your mind on what to add.
However, if you have a really creative mind or you know a few things about design, then there’s also an option that lets you build your site from scratch.
Another great thing about HubSpot is that it is already optimized for mobile devices straight out of the box, so you will have a lot of built-in marketing tools at your disposal right from the start.
Its on-page editor and design manager are extremely user-friendly, so you can make quick edits as you browse through your website and you can see those changes in real-time.
One thing that is noteworthy is that HubSpot templates will not give you the most professional functionalities, which means that you may not be able to integrate with complex systems as you’d like, but in terms of ease of use, HubSpot can get you a website with built-in marketing tools faster and easier than most of the other platforms.
Is WordPress easy to use? Well, yes and no.
Let’s just say that WordPress is an easy partner when everything is running as it should be, and a real pain when things don’t play out as you intend.
Think of WordPress as a kit-car that has all the pieces in front of you, now all you need to do is assemble them.
If you want to build even a single-page website with WordPress, you need to have some level of expertise from watching or reading through tutorials, otherwise, you could get stuck.
When you first install WordPress, the first thing you will see is a basic front-end theme, and this is where it could get tricky.
Ideally, the next thing to do will be to create a custom feel and look that aligns with your business requirements. In other words, you will have to install a custom theme.
WordPress has an administration area, which is where you go to manage and update the content of your site.
Now, if you are not a web developer, you are likely to find this backend area a bit challenging.
Of course, hiring a professional web developer can make the difference as they can configure the backend with easy-to-navigate systems that you can access without stress, but not everyone has the budget to hire a developer.
The bottom line is that if you can overcome the problems of theme customization, plugins, and updates that can affect your website, then the rest is easy.
Design and customization
When you are picking a website builder, it is imperative that you check for ones that will give you a reasonable amount of freedom to design your pages, and HubSpot is one of those platforms that delivers.
It comes with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor straight out of the box, which means that you can customize your pages without any coding.
With HubSpot, you can pick templates for the pages on your website, or you can leverage the framework to create your own designs.
This way, you can get the dream look for your website, regardless of whether you are a design expert or a newbie.
One thing that you will find interesting is that even when you purchase a template from HubSpot, you can still make different tweaks to them, unlike WordPress that places limitations on what you can edit on most of its themes.
However, there’s a catch.
If you want to customize your themes thoroughly on HubSpot, then you will need to know at least the basics of HTML and CSS.
HubSpot allows you to do on-page editing, which means that you can customize your pages as you browse through them, and you can preview the changes before you publish them.
WordPress gives you the opportunity to design your website however you want and it begins with the theme that you pick.
The web builder has some great themes that have been designed specifically for the purpose that you want to use it for.
For example, if your business is a digital marketing agency, you will find that themes like Exponent, Seocify, Pofo, and many more, have already been equipped with most of the features and functionalities that your agency needs.
There are a couple of thousands of these pre-made themes in WordPress that cut across different niches, so chances are that you will find a match for whatever purpose you need a website for.
The different themes have different settings from where you can customize your website. Some themes have more customization options than others and there are thousands of free themes as well as premium ones.
It goes without saying that this comes with the good and the not so good news.
The good news is what we have already talked about, that the theme is already preset with almost all what you need, and so you can launch your website right away
On the other hand, WordPress themes do fence you in design-wise, so there’s a possibility that you will not be able to make changes once you have chosen a theme.
However, WordPress does not generally limit you if you are not using a template, but you will have to be proficient in HTML and CSS, or you will hire a designer to bring your imagination to life.
You don’t really own your HubSpot website, even when you pay for the most expensive subscription plan.
Don’t get me wrong, you own all the content on your website, but since HubSpot is closed-source, you do not own it.
Think of it as an apartment building that you rent inside a nice beautiful estate.
You can bring in all your furniture and properties as you like, but it’s still not your house at the end of the day.
Now, for the most part of it, this will hardly be a problem, until you decide it’s time to call it quits with HubSpot and want to move to a different platform like WordPress or Drupal.
You will find it more difficult to move compared to when you build your website on an open-source platform.
Other than that, HubSpot can be a great solution for your business with its standard functions that you will hardly find elsewhere, especially if you run a small company.
Even if you are running on a small startup cost, HubSpot built-in features compliment many of the roles that you may not be able to afford to fill with a team of staff.
For example, you will not need an in-house development team or a marketing team and that will save you a ton of money.
Unlike HubSpot, WordPress runs on an open-source system, which means that when you build your site on the platform, it is truly yours.
Think about it like buying a piece of land in a secure and serene estate, building your house according to your specific needs and capacity, and designing the house as you want.
At the end of the day, everything concerning the house is yours.
This means that you will have no problem whenever you decide to move from one host to another.
Your WordPress site is an asset and is not dependent on the amount of money you pay for it like with closed-source platforms like HubSpot
Another perk of building your website on an open-source system is that you will have access to the millions of tech support and solutions that are available, and also be part of a very large community.
This means that there will be only very few problems you will encounter that you will not find the solution to.
Moreover, you will have a lot of options in terms of the different price points and service providers that you will want to be subscribed to, and since WordPress offers a plethora of solutions, the possibilities of what your website can become are endless.
SEO is a vital part of any online business. If you want to attract a lot of people to your website, then you must take it seriously.
If you don’t have any experience using HubSpot, one question you will be asking is whether HubSpot is good for SEO?
Well, HubSpot isn’t good for SEO; it is great for it.
SEO itself is a broad subject, which means that there are so many aspects of it that you may or may not delve into when creating content for your website, but keywords are non-negotiable.
Keywords are the tiny words and phrases that make your website visible on the web.
It is the type of keywords you use that will determine how well your website will rank for something on search engines.
A typical keyword describes what a page or piece of content is about in a few words, and they are usually placed within the page or content title, meta description, and the main content.
There are many keyword finders you can lay your hands on, but HubSpot has its own built-in keyword tool that allows you to find, manage, and implement keywords right from your dashboard.
There, you can store your keywords to see which ones you have used previously and how many times you have used them.
The platform ensures that you are properly optimized for Google by performing a few checks to see if you have added specific keywords to your content, if you have added links, how many times have you used a keyword, if you have added calls-to-action, etc.
WordPress gives you a broad option when it comes to SEO.
Why would anyone want to use a ‘less effective’ means to optimize their website? Well, maybe because SEO plugins have more features than they need.
If you can code PHP or use HTACCESS files, then you may have no need for plugins, but those themselves require a lot of technical skills.
If you are opting to do SEO without a plugin, then there are a couple of things that you will need to implement such as schema metadata, adding nofollow attributes, breadcrumbs, removing the category base, etc.
With plugins, it is a whole different game.
Plugins do most of the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is point them in the right direction.
For example, Yoast allows you to set a focus keyword on a page and then tells you the areas to improve on that keyword.
HubSpot has airtight security because it is a closed-source software, which means that only HubSpot developers have access to the code.
Their operational team monitors the software behavior around the clock and the components of the platform are distributed across at least three different data center availability zones as a fail-safe.
Some people worry that since WordPress is not a closed-source software like HubSpot, it will be more susceptible to security breaches.
In reality, neither one nor the other is clearly more secure.
They just have different systems.
The truth is that you, as the developer, have the power to determine how secure your WordPress website is and you can do that by ensuring that you choose a hosting company that has reputable strong security features such as firewalls, malware scanning, SSL certificates, etc.
Community and Support
HubSpot has a competent team of engineers and other support staff from a pool of US-based professionals to help out active account owners whenever they hit a brick wall.
More than that, the company also has dedicated resource websites (inbound.org and HubSpot academy) where they provide top marketing tips and hacks.
Their online community is popular for providing solutions for any marketing problem, but you may not find what you are looking for when it comes to technical advice.
WordPress is perhaps the most popular website building platform that has ever existed and so it is not surprising that they have a very large support community.
Unless you are liaising via your hosting company, you will hardly find a WordPress engineer to connect with directly, but their online community almost makes up for it.
The community is made up of developers and other technical users, so the chances that you won’t find a solution to your website-related issues there are almost nonexistent.
You can also find tips and advice from their documentation, thousands of YouTube videos on WordPress, and on WordPress.tv.
HubSpot is a great content management tool, but its high prices are some of its biggest drawbacks.
Its cheapest marketing plan starts at $50 dollars, but only allows you access to a few of its features and limits your contacts to 1000.
The other options are the Professional plan that starts at $800 per month and the Enterprise plan, which cost $3,200 per month.
If you consider the cost of the website itself, plus any of the marketing plans, you will be charged no less than $1,000 every month.
Using WordPress is a lot more economical.
The cost of a domain name varies based on the extension that you want.
Hosting plans are determined by a number of factors, especially the size of bandwidth that you want, plus some other add-ons.
You can get a lot of themes and plugins for free, but if you want more advanced features, then you will be charged for them.
Both WordPress and HubSpot are undoubtedly the two best CMS platforms on the market, so it is not always easy to decide on one over the other.
They have a number of similar features that make them unique, but WordPress slightly comes out on top over HubSpot COS, primarily because of the cost and ownership factor.