HubSpot vs. WordPress: Which CMS Is Better for Your Business in 2020?

Both WordPress and HubSpot are powerful examples of CMS software, but which CMS is better for your business?

Having an online presence is crucial to any marketing strategy. Although globally, the majority of sales happen in physical stores, 97% of consumers find businesses via the internet

Sure, you can shoot a couple of emails here and there and maybe make an Instagram account, but websites are ultimately the most authoritative way to prove you’re an established and reliable business entity. 

Using a CMS is the most streamlined way to build a website for your business. In your quest for the best of the best in CMS software, you’ve probably come across quite a few names. But it’s likely HubSpot and WordPress were snugly situated near the top of the list. 

Keep reading for a detailed take on HubSpot vs. WordPress, and learn more about what each CMS can offer!

What Is a CMS? 

A content management system (CMS) is a software solution giving businesses and individuals alike the means to build and manage a website with ease.

As the name suggests, those using a CMS will be able to manage any content they post which will subsequently appear in search engines like any other website.

Before easily accessible CMS software like HubSpot and WordPress, website management was often left up to professional web developers who were skilled in web technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

On the contrary, using WordPress and HubSpot requires no prior familiarity with programming languages. 

But as businesses become more and more competitive, some still go out of their way to hire WordPress developers or HubSpot developers who are familiar with those respective CMS platforms as well as traditional web technologies to make the best of their expertise.

The expertise in question usually comes in the form of search engine optimization (SEO). The best CMS platforms have embedded features to help get your website high ranking in search engines which will inevitably result in more leads. 

CMS platforms are best suited for hosting a blog for your business which can lure potential customers in with information your target demographic will find relevant. To this effect, any given CMS platform will carry a number of templates that will make starting a blog tremendously stress-free. 

 

 

 

What Is HubSpot?

While you can very well choose to only use the CMS Hub that HubSpot provides, HubSpot is actually an all-in-one inbound marketing solution with not only a CMS but a CRM platform to boot. 

HubSpot CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is, unsurprisingly, a technology for managing how you relate to customers who use your website and buy your products. To some, this is the most important part of the process. 

Completing a sale, at first, might seem super important. But unsatisfied customers will tell any living thing in sight about how unprofessional your business is. And until you ensure that they have a good impression of your business, they have every right to. 

Keeping this in mind, HubSpot’s CMS must speak for itself. Though a CRM comes with obvious benefits, the matter at hand is what you will use to host your content – as this is the first step in making sales. So for the purposes of this HubSpot vs. WordPress skirmish, let’s zero in on HubSpot’s CMS alone. 

CMS Hub 

CMS Hub – the formal name for HubSpot’s cloud-based CMS – comes with all the traditional features of a CMS like publishing tools, user management, media management, and themes. But CMS Hub has a few more popular tools. 

Aside from easy integration with HubSpot’s CRM, one of the most popular features of CMS Hub is combined publishing. Traditional CMS software like WordPress relies on third-party tools for email, social media, analytics reports, hosting videos, ad management, and link trackers. 

These external add-ons can really slow down a website, making a frustrating experience for the website visitor and not to mention worse SEO rankings. In contrast, CMS Hub puts everything in one place

Hub

What’s more, through application programming interfaces (APIs), developers can integrate useful tools into CMS Hub as needed, empowering the platform

Content personalization is another unique feature of HubSpot. CMS Hub lets businesses to personalize their content in three distinct ways.

The first is through smart CTAs. A call-to-action (CTA) is the part in the buyer’s journey when you urge a potential customer to take any action, customarily profitable, using an image or line of text.

Smart CTAs in CMS Hub is guided by a user’s previous activity. They dynamically change according to behavior. For instance, if a lead already bought an ebook you were advertising, the next CTA they will see is a pop-up encouraging them to buy another ebook with similar but new content.

Similarly, smart content customizes on-page content for the specific buyer persona accessing it. If a buyer persona is interested in web design, for example, that type of content can be pushed on the home page.

Lastly, there are smart forms. These forms remember user data so it does not need to be re-typed again and again. This simplifies form completion for the user and makes it more likely that they will go through the entire process. 

On your end, these forms gather more information over time. The first time the form may have asked for the website visitor’s name and email address. The second time around it may ask for the size of their company. 

To put it one way, while HubSpot performs as a CMS like any other, it is also a superb marketing tool that was designed to generate and close leads

What Is WordPress?

Before HubSpot’s big break with its CMS in recent years, WordPress was the go-to CMS solution for businesses. WordPress powers 38% of all websites.

Here’s the thing, though. There are two WordPress sites. That’s right. It’s confusing, but it’ll only take a minute to parse out. Don’t fret.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a website builder. You can set up a site completely for free but it’s far more commercial and less customizable than its counterpart WordPress.org.

On WordPress.com heed that:

  • there is limited disk space
  • you cannot remove WordPress ads and branding
  • is not possible to monetize your blog or website
  • you are unable to install plugins or themes that are not default
  • you can only place your site under a subdomain (e.g. businesswebsite.wordpress.com)

The only outstanding advantage of WordPress.com is that you don’t have to bother about hosting or maintaining your site. There are annual costs associated with the commercial use of WordPress.com. 

WordPress.org

What you should really focus on, however, is WordPress.org. Granted, you will need a hosting provider, but there are much better options for customization.

You can use your own domain name and have full control over your website. As this is considered the ‘real WordPress’ this is the CMS you’ll be learning about. 

So what can WordPress do? Well, it does what you’d expect from a CMS. But it does its job extremely well. With WordPress, you’ll gain access to thousands of themes and nearly 60 thousand plugins.

Unlike HubSpot, WordPress is open-source software that must be installed or configured on your servers unless you’re using a third-party hosting provider. Note that its open-source capacity means that WordPress is by definition flexible and contributors can work to refine the platform towards their needs.

At the same time, WordPress is designed to be easy as pie – CMS pie. The right plugins allow you to publish, revise, and edit your content with a couple of invested clicks. It’s so easy that HubSpot’s CRM is made to integrate with WordPress, as it is a well-established software for business needs. 

One plugin in particular that drives businesses toward WordPress is their free WooCommerce plugin. Using this, your business can create a mobile-friendly, easily navigable catalog for customers to buy your products. 

In essence, WordPress gives you all the basics you need for a practical CMS right out-the-box. And it’s a great contender as far as e-commerce platforms go. 

HubSpot vs. WordPress

There are several factors that will tip the scales in terms of HubSpot vs. WordPress. Going through each factor would take a lot of your time and you probably want to get back to business.

Instead, you can take a close look at this summarization of the most important factors in choosing a CMS, especially when it comes to HubSpot vs. WordPress.

Ease of Use

Needless to say, things that are overly complicated tend to be less fun and more draining to use. And this tends to lead to less than optimal results. No matter how professional you are, ‘easy’ is always appreciated.

Similarly, WordPress gets its reputation from its simplicity. Its many themes make setting up a functional but original site a simple task – without needing to learn how to code. Because WordPress has sustained its popularity for a number of years, there are tons of tutorials online to help you, which makes it even easier to use. 

HubSpot was designed to be easy too. Equipped with a plethora of built-in marketing tools, you don’t need plugin after plugin to get CMS Hub up and running with your latest marketing strategy. 

In WordPress mobile optimization and even A/B testing – where you can test the success of one page versus another and its effect on customers – requires additional software and developer skills. These features come with HubSpot from the start, so you can worry about optimization over implementation. 

To add, user-friendly features like an on-page editor and design manager enable you to make edits on the spot as you scroll through your own website. HubSpot also includes support and security updates with its service. 

It is worth noting that you or your developers will need to be familiar with HubSpot Markup Language (HubL) whenever you want to use dynamic content. HTML and CSS are essential for efficient customization as well in order to add or change functionality. 

This, of course, is not an anti-learning manifesto. Good developers will ascertain that you have the tools you need for using your CMS sufficiently. As a matter of fact, in spite of the tidbit of code, you’ll need to use, most still agree that HubSpot is easier to use. 

You can preview pages in the same window, apply HTML/CSS smoothly, utilize a built-in environment for testing and staging, and enjoy the best of HubSpot’s organic features for design and flexibility. 

WordPress is easy when it wants to be, but the abundance of third-party plugins can be the cause of unwanted circumstances. At the end of the day, HubSpot has your back.

TLDR: Between HubSpot and WordPress for ease of use, HubSpot wins.

Blogging

Blogging is a central aspect of the history of CMS software. WordPress started as a mere blogging platform back in 2003. With HubSpot, it’s hard to tell what came first since their 2004 origins, but blogging is an integral part of the software. 

If it wasn’t obvious, blogging helps drive traffic to your business and gets you recognized. That traffic will then turn into leads. This is why knowing which CMS does this best is important. 

HubSpot and WordPress can both handle blogs and landing pages without so much as a second thought. Although you should note that WordPress needs a plugin to make forms, unlike HubSpot. 

But for the sake of this category, you should be less concerned with what WordPress and HubSpot can do, but how they do it. 

HubSpot and WordPress come nearly head to head in this category. WordPress is built for business blogging. From installation, you can make quick navigation to the ‘Posts’ tab and you’re next to done! 

But maybe it’s too effortless if that’s possible. Writing a post is easy enough. But what about everything else that goes into business blogging? In WordPress, going beyond basic requires a lot of extras. That is more plugins, additional themes, and just a bit more work to optimize your blog for search engines with modern formats and CTAs. 

In contrast, HubSpot has SEO baked into its software – no need for extras. Likewise, where WordPress would require plugins, the HubStop ecosystem extends functions for adding CTAs, social media icons, workflows, and more. 

TLDR: When it comes to blogging, between HubSpot and WordPress, HubSpot wins again

Customization

You’re about to hear more disappointing news if you’re a die-hard WordPress fan. Sure, WordPress comes with quite a few themes. But without editing code, they’re hardly customizable and they can be frustrating to work with. The plus side: they’re free.

For a paid WordPress theme, you’ll also get a theme editor that will alleviate the workload of making your own theme. HubSpot has something similar – a template marketplace with pre-built templates and modules. 

Some other things that HubSpot has might pique your interest too and have you changing sides:  As mentioned, their on-page editor is objectively impressive. You don’t have to get technical at all to make important edits as needed. But if you want to get technical you have that option too. 

To add, HubSpot websites are automated to be mobile-friendly. This is theme-dependent in WordPress. 

You can do just as much damage with WordPress. Yet it’s more effort to implement. HubSpot has everything built-in. 

TLDR: For customization between HubSpot and WordPress, HubSpot wins once more. 

Extensibility

Perhaps just as much as customization, it’s crucial to understand how the features of WordPress and HubSpot can be extended to accommodate business needs. 

To start both HubSpot and WordPress can be integrated with Salesforce and Marketo, fully-featured CRMs that can enhance the nature of your lead generation. 

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t have a codebase or tech stack that would be optimal for improving page performance, where accessibility, load speeds, and other factors come into play. And as you’ll learn more about shortly, WordPress’s capacity for SEO is limited to what plugins are available. 

Custom reporting and site analytics, which will give you a good idea of the dimensions and metrics of your site for things like bounce rate and pageviews among other details, is available for WordPress and HubSpot. But WordPress requires additional software for custom reporting. 

In short, WordPress and HubSpot offer similar options for extensibility, but HubSpot’s options are, on the whole, easier to implement. 

TLDR: In regards to extensible features and integrations for HubSpot and WordPress, HubSpot wins

SEO

You’ll need a WordPress plugin to get what you want out of SEO in the WordPress CMS. Yoast is a popular one and to be frank, it’ll do just as much as HubSpot, sometimes more. Taking control of your metadata on a per-post or per-page basis is one meaningful feature that WordPress offers and HubSpot neglects. 

Although HubSpot centers marketing above all, there are some setbacks. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce site and want the information to be pulled from a database, HubSpot won’t do you any good. What HubSpot will do is scan whatever web pages you do have and give you feedback on where SEO can be better applied. 

The point is, there are gains and losses on both sides. It’s up to you to call this one. 

TLDR: HubSpot and WordPress both have good SEO features, therefore it’s a tie. 

Analytics 

You’re probably tired of hearing this broken record that has some obscure lyrics about WordPress and plugins. Fine, you get a break. A few extra clicks and your welcome to the analytics of your website from your WordPress dashboard. 

By the same token, HubSpot is all about insights. You’ll know how your landing pages, social media, email marketing, and whatever else is performing all in one place. 

Whichever way, the best way to find out how well you’re doing on the world wide web is to integrate Google Analytics to track your site’s performance. This goes for both WordPress and HubSpot. 

TLDR: It’s another tie for WordPress and HubSpot where analytics are concerned. 

Marketing

Now, this isn’t a fair battle in the HubSpot vs. WordPress war. HubSpot is quite literally an inbound marketing tool. To compare, WordPress is at its heart just a CMS. That’s not a bad thing. Still, WordPress is designed to do a whole lot less. 

On CMS Hub, interactions from the CMS are sent to the CRM – that tool that has been kept under wraps until now. And any leads from your website are saved into the CRM as contacts. 

This kind of tooling pinpoints the potential customers whom you can further target and turn into leads over time. WordPress, unfortunately, cannot do the same although a variety of plugins can prompt richer optimization for SEO, landing pages, broken links, etc.

TLDR: Comparing how WordPress fares against HubSpot in marketing isn’t exactly a fair fight, but HubSpot wins regardless.

Security

There’s no question that security is a big concern for any business. WordPress is open-source. The less tech-savvy of the world may trust proprietary software more because it’s deemed more corporate. 

On the other hand, your average software developer or tech enthusiast stands by the notion that open-source is more secure because they can peek in and check the code for themselves. 

You’re responsible for choosing your own hosting provider with WordPress which can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you research you do. Moreover, sometimes the security of your website comes down to the developer of your theme and their dedication to providing updates. 

With WordPress, you’re privy to an SSL certificate with additional software and a secure CDN depending on your hosting provider. 

For context:

  • a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate protects sensitive data like usernames, credit card information, and passwords;
  • a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a group of servers working to deliver content through the internet. Obviously, this is best done in a secure fashion.

HubSpot can guarantee you the same features without any external tweaking plus reliable tech support and a knowledge center. In addition, HubSpot is a closed-source platform so access is limited. Many people enjoy this fact and consider it to be more secure for this reason. Website security is handled for you and less prone to attacks. 

Overall HubSpot vs. WordPress security is a matter of opinions.

Business managers who want to be closely involved with tackling any security risk might prefer an open-source platform like WordPress and hire WordPress developers to strengthen their security. Others might trust a corporate entity like HubSpot more.

TLDR: HubSpot and WordPress have different security protections but which performs better in this category is a matter of opinion. It’s a tie here. 

Miscellaneous 

There are some additional features that are worth mentioning but not integral to the infrastructure of a CMS.

As an illustration, HubSpot has video hosting, chat capabilities, password-protected pages, and site management in multiple languages. 

Most of these features except for video hosting can be obtained on WordPress as well with plugins and/or additional software. 

And both WordPress and HubSpot have a convenient marketplace to browse apps and plugins to integrate into your CMS.

TLDR: Considering the aforementioned features of WordPress and HubSpot are nice to have, but not mandatory, it’s a tie between the two

Cost

At first glance, WordPress looks like a less financially risky decision. After all, it’s free compared to over 200 bucks a month for CMS Hub. But prices start to hike up with WordPress when you start adding all the plugins and tools you’re gonna need for successful marketing. 

Not to take sides, but HubSpot is also a pretty worthwhile investment because you get more than just a CMS. You get a CRM and many other tools to boost your marketing strategy. Given this, comparing prices isn’t a one-on-one scrimmage with HubSpot vs. WordPress. 

TLDR: As CMS software alone, comparing the costs of HubSpot and WordPress is a give and take game. But when you include HubSpot’s free CRM in the picture, it’s clear that HubSpot gives you more bang for your buck. HubSpot wins

Conclusion

It’s totally okay to be disappointed with these results. No one likes ties. And half of the answers you got were. That’s not being honest, however.

Glancing at these results, it’s clear that HubSpot has an advantage over WordPress. To be fair, HubSpot is hardly a CMS. It is a fully comprehensive inbound marketing tool and should be used as such. 

For WordPress’s sake, you should take into account that if you want to set up an online store or some sort of e-commerce space, WordPress is your ticket. WordPress also won’t let you down if you want to stay grounded and don’t need all the fancy marketing tools. 

Even if you did, if you for some reason prefer WordPress, you can use HubSpot’s CRM and integrate it with the WordPress CMS. The best of both worlds is at your fingertips.

Actually, not quite. Both WordPress and HubSpot can be useful to you. But those perks are only multiplied by employing qualified software developers to make the best of them.su

At Trio, just like a WordPress plugin or HubSpot module, we can integrate our developers into your team and meet your business needs without disrupting day-to-day operations. 

Shooting for something more traditional? Our WordPress developers may be of help.

Want to go above and beyond? We can make it happen with our highly trained HubSpot developers.

Stop searching and start developing.

Cordenne Brewster

Content Marketing

About

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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A content management system (CMS) is a software solution giving businesses and individuals alike the means to build and manage a website with ease.

While you can very well choose to only use the CMS Hub that HubSpot provides, HubSpot is actually an all-in-one inbound marketing solution with not only a CMS but a CRM platform to boot.

Before HubSpot’s big break with its CMS in recent years, WordPress was the go-to CMS solution for businesses. WordPress powers 38% of all websites.