HubSpot CMS: The Complete Guide to Building and Managing Your Website in 2021

Just about every business needs a website. There’s really no way around it. Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers and imagine how they might discover your brand these days. 

There’s a buyer’s journey that takes place for each and every service or product provided by businesses. Adding an item to a cart and making a purchase – in a figurative sense – is simply the end of this journey. 

Buyers have to be met with a series of logical and emotional appeals so they can ensure that whatever you’re offering can fulfill their needs. Your content management system (CMS) is one way to guide the user experience through these appeals. 

Although WordPress powers much of the web, HubSpot powers the highest traffic sites, and these are the metrics you want to pay attention to. HubSpot CMS can take you above and beyond when it comes to marketing your content. 

If you’ve reached the same conclusion, then your next step is learning how to build and manage your HubSpot CMS. Well, you’ve come to the right place. The following guide will give you a comprehensive overview of how to use HubSpot CMS to the best of its abilities. Stay tuned!

What Is HubSpot CMS?

A CMS is a system for creating, managing and hosting content online. HubSpot has always specialized in growth when it comes to business and marketing, but it was only this year that loyal users and newcomers alike were introduced to the HubSpot CMS, alternatively called CMS Hub, at the Professional and Enterprise level. 

HubSpot CMS is the proposed solution to other CMS software that admittedly gets the job done but with heavier maintenance and more hoops to jump through. Speed, security, and scalability are some of the main advantages of the HubSpot CMS. 

A traditional CMS can provide a base for publishing tools, user management, themes, media management, compliance, and basic optimization. 

CMS Hub does the same but amps up every process by integrating it with HubSpot’s customer-relationship management (CRM) tool to re-imagine the buyer’s journey. This re-imagining is not only concerned with content management but with marketing, sales, and customer service as well. 

Your customers will be able to access your content on an aesthetically pleasing and easily navigable website. You’ll be able to target them directly for marketing purposes and they’ll have multiple channels from which they can get in touch with you. 

Website management, increasing web traffic, updating your website, is easier than ever thanks to HubSpot CMS. 

 

 

 

 

What Can You Do with HubSpot CMS?

According to a senior developer at Trio, one of the main reasons companies build websites using HubSpot’s CMS is “to empower their marketing teams to work on [their] site without having a developer”. 

With Trio, businesses can hire developers that will give them the tools necessary to get everything they need and have autonomy over their own success. 

While it’s clear that HubSpot CMS promises results, if you care about the details, then this claim needs to be supported by hard facts. Take this opportunity to learn a bit more about the specific features HubSpot CMS can offer.

Create a Website

Before you get down to business, you’ll probably want to make sure you have a website up and running in the first place. This should be the very first step in any HubSpot endeavor. HubSpot developers can use the HubSpot CMS CLI and Node.js to configure local development tools.

Marketers will find that CMS Hub is a flexible space to create pages and publish content, largely due to its simple drag-and-drop features. Templates and modules, which are integral to building a unique website, can also be employed. And developers can create custom themes using CSS files and the aforementioned templates and modules.  ‘

HubSpot CMS gives you the best of front-end development, but you won’t have to start from scratch. This means marketers, developers, and your business can focus on attracting customers rather than building from the bottom up. 

Run A/B Tests On Your Pages

HubSpot doesn’t fall exactly into the realm of software development but developers can be a helpful and sometimes necessary resource to your website development. Similarly, testing – a well-maintained practice for making bug-free, quality software – will hold the same effect for ensuring your HubSpot website is up to standard.

One notable feature, in particular, is A/B testing. This means you can run multiple variants of a web page against each other and present them to web visitors. This also applies to language variants. 

Create Dynamic Content

HubDB, HubSpot’s clever name for its relational database represented in a table much like a spreadsheet, provides the vessel for dynamic content. Like any database, this allows for the storage of data which can drive how and what content is delivered. 

You can query data via the HubDB API or use HubSpot’s HubL markup tags. This is another area where developers will come in handy. 

Create Membership Sites

Personalized content is at the core of a successful marketing strategy. This is the essence of a buyer’s journey. CMS Hub Enterprise permits user membership where you can create content tailored to each site visitor. 

Market segmentation likely plays a big part in how you target customers. Memberships make that targeting all the more worthwhile. You can even create business-specific pages like ‘My Events’ so users can access information about their previous activities. 

Why Should You Use HubSpot CMS?

Unlike other CMS software, the HubSpot CMS works alongside its CRM to recognize and prioritize marketing, sales, and service needs altogether. This is why HubSpot is often touted as an all-in-one inbound marketing software. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s fool-proof. Every great technology is worth proper analysis, and you deserve to know about the disadvantages just as much as the advantages of the HubSpot CMS. 

Advantages of HubSpot CMS

Many of the advantages of CMS Hub affirm the fact that the HubSpot CMS has more than one angle for content management. It aims to make things easier for business managers that don’t only need software for hosting and publishing content, but for marketing as well.

  • Combined Publishing

Popular CMS alternatives like WordPress often need additional software or plugins to post or communicate on different channels. In HubSpot, you can build campaigns and publish content through social media, email, and your blog all from your CMS.

Ultimately, the benefit is a simplified marketing tech stack that will mentally and literally make things easier to manage in the long run. 

  • Responsive Design

HubSpot’s design manager is one of the main reasons developers will take a liking to the CMS. The drag-and-drop tool is the most revered of the bunch, but you can also use the design manager to customize the way your page looks on a mobile device. 

  • Smart Content

For many, smart content is one of HubSpot’s most appealing features. With smart content, you can create smart call-to-actions (CTAs) and smart forms. In other words, you can personalize your content as far as what CTAs appear for specific customers or what information customers must fill out on forms. 

Likewise, global custom modules give you the option to add smart content to your website pages, landing pages, and emails. This content relies on smart rules with criteria types including country, device type, referral source, preferred language, contact list membership, and lifecycle stage. 

Of course, personalization is at the root of targeted advertising so the benefit here should be obvious. You can attract and engage customers based on prior familiarity. 

  • Google-Friendly

HubSpot CMS has support for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). By utilizing special markup language on your pages, Google will load these pages extremely fast ranking them higher than non-AMP pages in its search engine. 

Enabling AMP on your blog or on specific blog posts takes only a minute or two, and you won’t have to mark up your pages manually. 

  • Security Measures

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is one of the measures for maintaining HubSpot’s security. An SSL is a protocol for establishing encrypted links. Usually, this is quite a pain to set up but you can get an SSL encryption with little to no effort in HubSpot. 

HubSpot is also closed-source which some think makes it less vulnerable to attacks from hackers. 

Disadvantages of HubSpot CMS

Don’t be fooled. CMS Hub does have some limitations. And it’s important to be cognizant of those limitations as you choose what CMS will bring your business the most growth. 

  • Limited Themes

The theme library of HubSpot CMS is lacking. Even WordPress beats HubSpot in this regard. A good idea is to develop your own theme from scratch; that’s why HubSpot developers can be a good asset. 

  • Learning Curve

HubL is HubSpot’s template language. It is unique to HubSpot and you can’t avoid learning it. Or at least, your developers will need to be familiar with the syntax. 

You’ll also need to be familiar with a few other things like the design manager, content staging, custom modules, and whatever else might spring up. All this learning may very well be worthwhile, but it will take time. 

  • Weak Recovery

While you can back-up and recover content from your CMS, that doesn’t include everything that comes with it like the page data, templates, stylesheets, files, etc. This can be a disappointment if you want to restore your CMS to a certain point-in-time where everything worked in unison. 

How To Create a HubSpot Website

Believe it or not, creating a HubSpot website is the easy part. Ensuring it performs well, attracts, engages, and delights customers to keep coming back for more, is the hard part.

1. Plan & Strategize

The scientific process holds true to this day. Identifying the problem is always the first step. Knowing what you’re trying to fix is how you start figuring out your goals and planning how to meet them. 

Take some time to create a content strategy that aligns with our business objectives. A content strategy should revolve around your audience and your brand. Think intentionally about the role search engine optimization (SEO) will have in your content. Hopefully, it’s a big one. 

2. Create Metrics

Based on the goals you plan to achieve, you’ll want to get a better idea of what type of metrics you need to measure to track progress. This will look like traffic, leads, reach, click-throughs, and much more. 

3. Pick a Template

HubSpot has many templates. You can choose from the abundance but if not, you can also create your own template. Keeping your website pleasing to the eye should be of primary importance to sustaining the integrity of your business. 

Building a website is about building brand awareness. But your brand must be unique. Use HubSpot CMS to create an original and aesthetic website for your content. 

4. Add Content

This is probably the most important part. HubSpot CMS is, after all, a content management system. It’s a bit difficult to get specific here because the type of content you produce depends entirely on your industry. 

Something else to consider is how your writing will come across in terms of diction, tone, style, and other literary elements that might affect how readers interpret your content. 

Some blogs aim to be straight up salesy. Others are a hub of expert knowledge through a professional tone. And a good amount of blogs use informality to relate to readers but still get their point across. 

5. Integrate the CRM

Most if not all of HubSpot’s premier advantages are brought about through its CRM. Though you have the option to integrate the HubSpot CMS with other CRM software like Salesforce or Marketo, most HubSpot connoisseurs will contest that you can get the best of both worlds right at home with HubSpot. 

Whichever way, CRMs are an excellent way to know what’s going on in the sales and marketing world of your business. Needless to say, it’s a necessity if you want growth for your business. 

6. Refine & Test

HubSpot has a content staging area for testing your website before it even goes live. Ideally, you want everything to be functional. What’s more, once you start publishing, you’ll have a sense of what works and what doesn’t as far as your website’s performance is concerned. Adjust accordingly. 

How To Migrate Content From Another CMS To HubSpot

HubSpot is getting more and more popular by the day. Still, there are quite a few stragglers who want to enjoy the benefits of HubSpot CMS but don’t know how to migrate their content. 

The process is complicated. There are multiple things to keep in check such as:

  • maintaining URL structures on websites 
  • redirecting URLs to new sites
  • keeping pages uniform and their descriptions matching
  • keeping the same HTML markups like alt text and header types
  • implementing domain forwarding

In contrast, the actual migration process is fairly simple. Leastways, it looks like that on paper. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Set up a HubSpot template for your website whether you choose from the premade ones available or hire a developer to make a custom one. 
  2. Export data from your existing CMS into an XML file. This document should include all the metadata of your content including the title, post, URL, author, data, tags, categories, meta description, featured image, and comments
  3. Finally, import your blog posts to your HubSpot CMS. 

Despite the migration process being comprised of only three steps, there is some heavy lifting that needs to be done in each step. More often than not, businesses employ developers to handle this part and mitigate any risk. 

HubSpot CMS Alternatives

Just so you know, HubSpot isn’t your only choice. If for some reason, HubSpot doesn’t excite you, there are more CMS platforms to go around. These are some popular contenders along with HubSpot CMS that are taking over the market. 

WordPress

WordPress powers at least a third of the web. This stat has been flaunted just about everywhere as a testament to its powerful nature. So what exactly can WordPress do?

Like HubSpot, WordPress is a CMS that can be used as a blog, e-commerce website, business website, event website or anything else you might like. You should note that WordPress does not have a CRM attached so it doesn’t have the same marketing features as HubSpot. 

Many WordPress features are not built-in but can be garnered with approximately 58,000 plugins – which can be credited to WordPress’s dedicated contributors. As WordPress is open-source, there’s a lot of room for modification whether that’s a plugin, theme, or something else to help you refine your website. 

Joomla! 

Joomla! isn’t as popular as WordPress but it can do the same things for your business. Plus it’s free and open-source! Based on PHP and MySQL, the learning curve for Joomla! is said to be small.

The Joomla! Framework is available for developers to use the CMS in a more advanced way. With it, developers can build communication tools, business directories, data reporting tools, application bridges, product catalogs, etc. 

One of the notable features of Joomla! is more flexibility for different content types and themes in addition to better user management. 

Drupal

Drupal is a CMS platform that boasts speed, scalability, and innovation. Though Drupal takes up less space on the web than its counterparts, it is associated with popular websites like NBCUniversal and Weather.com. 

Drupal is considered to be more extensible than other CMS software and to that end, more complex. The trade-off is truly scalable web content management. Commerce is common usage for Drupal too. 

How Much Does HubSpot CMS Cost?

All good things come at a price. But if it helps grow your business, then it’s an investment, not a cost. Still, you might want to know the details of your investment.

Professional 

At the Professional tier, HubSpot CMS costs $300 a month with a 10% discount if you decide to pay upfront for the year. With this investment, you get the following:

Web Page Optimization

  • a drag-and-drop editor
  • website themes (which you can customize through HubSpot CLI)
  • multi-language content creation and testing (where different languages can be tested as variations)
  • dynamic content with HubDB (a relational data store)

Lead Generation & Organic Traffic Inflation

  • SEO recommendations
  • Live chatbots
  • Smart content and sales reporting (about your website’s performance)
  • Contact attribution report builder (to gain insight on what’s performing well)

Website Security

  • a content delivery network (CDN) (for minimizing delays)
  • high availability (equivalent to 99.99% network uptime)
  • standard Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate (to secure and encrypt your website)

Enterprise

HubSpot CMS costs $900 a month or $10,800 a year at the Enterprise tier. Expect what you get from the Professional tier and then some, including:

Enhanced User Experiences 

  • custom objects
  • serverless functions (which will speed up load times)
  • reverse proxy support (to increase security and reliability on the network)
  • memberships (giving website visitors specialized access to certain features)

Increased Security Protocols

  • partitioning (which serves as a type of access control)
  • hierarchical teams (to help organize your administrators) 
  • activity logging 
  • custom CDN configuration (for security purposes)
  • code alerts (to examine changes)
  • single sign-on

Brand Expansion

  • an additional brand domain (with unlimited subdomains)
  • adaptive testing (where you can see how small changes affect performance) 
  • multiple currencies

How To Hire a HubSpot Developer

You’ve probably noticed a few ways in which a developer can be useful to you in using the HubSpot CMS. They can develop apps with HubSpot’s APIs, create a theme, migrate your website, and really do anything else that comes to mind when software development is on the table. There’s no doubt about it: HubSpot developers are a good idea. 

That said if you don’t have experience in HubSpot or technical experience in general, finding a developer can be a difficult task. Anybody can list off skills on a piece of paper, but whether they can actually do the work and perform up to standard requires further evaluation. 

Hiring developers is an important but exhaustive process. But if you need some help, Trio is here. There’s a useful guide available just for your pleasure!

How Much Is a HubSpot Developer?

According to recent Glassdoor reports, the average HubSpot developer makes $117,086 annually. Overall, salaries for HubSpot developers can range between $88,000 and $150,000. 

Naturally, outsourcing your development needs is one way to lower costs and mitigate risk. This has been a popular way of meeting project goals in the past few years. And Trio is proud to support this method. 

Hire a HubSpot Developer with Trio

Developers at Trio are well-versed in HubSpot technology. Integrating your CRM or migrating your website to HubSpot are a few examples of how Trio can help you. 

Trio HubSpot developers are web developers trained to make custom websites and templates towards customer satisfaction. They’ve also thoroughly familiarized themselves with APIs and that of third-parties. 

At Trio, our HubSpot developers have your back. We want to make HubSpot work for you. Not through trial and error, but with heavily trained and vetted developers who are right at your fingertips. Hire a HubSpot developer with Trio to start developing now.  

 

 

 

 

Cordenne Brewster

Content Marketing

About

A tech enthusiast whose ardor is best expressed through the written word.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for some information, but can’t find it here, please contact us.

Go to FAQ Arrow Left

HubSpot CMS is the proposed solution to other CMS software that admittedly gets the job done but with heavier maintenance and more hoops to jump through. Speed, security, and scalability are some of the main advantages of the HubSpot CMS.

According to a senior developer at Trio, one of the main reasons companies build websites using HubSpot’s CMS is “to empower their marketing teams to work on [their] site without having a developer”.

Unlike other CMS software, the HubSpot CMS works alongside its CRM to recognize and prioritize marketing, sales, and service needs altogether. This is why HubSpot is often touted as an all-in-one inbound marketing software.

At the Professional tier, HubSpot CMS costs $300 a month. HubSpot CMS costs $900 a month or $10,800 a year at the Enterprise tier.

Overall, salaries for HubSpot developers can range between $88,000 and $150,000.