WordPress vs. HubSpot: What's the Difference?

By Sarah Seward | Inbound Marketing Specialist

As the newest member to the TREW Crew, I’m also a new HubSpot user. My roots in website design and development began in WordPress more than seven years ago. I have advised companies and individuals to use WordPress as their content management system because of its popularity and the endless resources available. But after joining the TREW crew two months ago, I have been introduced to HubSpot's unique marketing platform, and my allegiance to WordPress is starting to dwindle. 

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If you’ve ever wondered "What's the difference between WordPress and HubSpot", this blog post is here to answer all your questions and break down key differences and features between HubSpot and WordPress.

The Basics

WordPress: WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that started out as a blogging platform and has grown to become one of the most popular online publishing platforms. Today, over 26% of websites worldwide are powered by WordPress. The key benefits of WordPress include cost-effective pricing, a wide array of resources and tons of plugins that integrate with marketing and business software.

HubSpot: To compare, HubSpot is a marketing automation platform with a CMS built-in. With HubSpot, you can have your website, blog, landing pages, email marketing, CRM, marketing automation, social media and analytics all housed in one location.

HubSpot is a great platform for companies with a content marketing strategy in place. For companies who are just starting out in digital marketing and don’t have content built up, HubSpot may be too costly and advanced for your specific needs.

Design

WordPress: Your WordPress site’s design begins with the theme you choose. This is both the good news and the bad news with WordPress. Many WordPress themes will fence you in on design aspects for your website when you pick your theme.

As far as customization goes in WordPress, you will need to understand some basic CSS and HTML coding to customize your theme and website. It's a necessary to have a trusted web developer in your corner to help with custom design needs for your site.

HubSpot: HubSpot gives you much more freedom when it comes to the design of your website. You can pick templates for each page in the HubSpot Marketplace or you can design the framework of each web page on your own in HubSpot's Design Manager. Any template that you purchase through HubSpot can be easily customized and changed, unlike most WordPress themes.

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Here's a preview of HubSpot's Design Manager screen

With HubSpot, you will also need to know basic CSS and HTML coding to customize your website.

Both HubSpot and WordPress allow you to do on-page editing. This is a fairly new feature for WordPress, and I expect it will only get better with time.

In my opinion, HubSpot’s on-page edits are easier to use than WordPress’s. That being said, there are WordPress themes, such as Divi by Elegant Themes, that come with their own on-page editor that is easy-to-use and looks very high-end. But like I said earlier, it’s all about your theme when it comes to WordPress.

Ease of Use

WordPress: WordPress is awesome when everything runs as it should, but can be a real pain when things don’t work properly. If you’ve worked with WordPress long enough, you understand what I am talking about, and you probably have an experienced developer on call for when these problems pop up.

With WordPress, you run into many problems with plugins and updates affecting your website. This can be frustrating and costly because the problem isn't always apparent. Be sure to routinely back up your site when updating your plugins.  

HubSpot: HubSpot is extremely user friendly with its on-page editor and design manager. You can easily make edits as you browse through your own website. 

I have only been a HubSpot user for two months and I can say that I have had a much easier time learning how to do custom web design on HubSpot than with WordPress. 

SEO

Google and other search engines do not base page rankings on what platform your site is built on. SEO best practices can be applied to any site. There many plugins and resources in both WordPress and HubSpot for marketers who need help elevating themselves on SERPs. 

WordPress: To optimize your SERP ranking on WordPress, you need to download a SEO plugin. I am most familiar with Yoast, which is a free plugin that allows you to set your keyword on each page then breaks down areas to improve rankings on each of your keywords. 

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Here is an example of Yoast's SEO page breakdown in WordPress.

HubSpot: Because HubSpot was created to help digital marketers, it's more focused on SEO optimization than WordPress. HubSpot can scan your entire site and give you feedback on what areas you need to improve to rank better.

HubSpot also shows you how you're ranking on each of your focused keywords. Recently, Hubspot added a SEO strategy tool that allows you to incorporate topic clusters--the latest trend in SEO optimization.

When it comes down to it, you can't blame your SERP rankings on WordPress or HubSpot--you're in charge of incorporating SEO best practices. But in my opinion, HubSpot allows you to integrate SEO best practices easily into each of your web pages, while WordPress makes you work a little harder when it comes to SEO optimization. 

Email Marketing

WordPress: WordPress does not offer email marketing services. But with WordPress you can easily integrate your website and your email marketing platform. WordPress works with popular email marketing services, like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.

HubSpot: With the HubSpot Basic plan, you get email marketing that is integrated into your website. This makes it easy to capture user's email information then add users to email marketing automation strategies. 

HubSpot's email marketing is very similar to Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and other email marketing services. It's simple to create email templates and segment your subscriber lists with HubSpot. I really love that you have your email marketing in the same place as your website content so you're not switching between two separate platforms.

Analytics

WordPress: WordPress gives you its own analytics on your website in the main dashboard, but you're better off using Google Analytics and plugins to understand how users interact with your site. There are many plugins available that seamlessly install Google's tracking code onto your web pages.

HubSpot: HubSpot offers more insight into your site's marketing and sales analytics. With HubSpot, you have all of your analytics from web pages, landing pages, social media, email marketing and CRM all in one place making it easy to create reports on your marketing campaigns. 

Hubspot marketing dashboard.jpegHere's a view into HubSpot's Marketing Dashboard 

Even with HubSpot's analytics and reports, you still will want to track your site's performance in Google Analytics. For those who don't have a big marketing focus, analytics might not be a priority for you. If you want useful data and insight into your marketing efforts and spending--HubSpot has the advantage over WordPress. 

CRM

WordPress: WordPress is not a CRM tool, but you can integrate your site with most CRMs. There are a ton of CRMs out there, so there is a small chance your CRM won't integrate with WordPress, if you're on a less popular CRM. 

HubSpot: HubSpot comes with a free CRM, and they even promise that it will always be free. HubSpot's CRM is user-friendly and comparable to other CRMs out there. It's beneficial to have all of your contacts and leads in the same platform as your website. 

Support

WordPress: WordPress has a support community where you can post questions to get help with issues. You can try to submit an issue to WordPress, but in my experience, it takes awhile for WordPress to reply back to you. You can typically find a solution by searching or posting in WordPress's support community. 

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Here's an example of a support thread on Wordpress

Many times, WordPress issues stem from problems with your theme or plugins. Most paid themes and plugins offer support for these kinds of issues. This is the benefit to purchasing a theme or plugin in WordPress. 

HubSpot: I've been impressed with the support that HubSpot has offered me so far. Support tickets are replied to within a few hours of submission and HubSpot's support team seems to know exactly how to fix the problem or can give you easy-to-follow directions.

HubSpot also offers training and certification on inbound marketing, design, email, CRM, marketing automation and more. I also use HubSpot's blog as a valuable resource for troubleshooting or to implement a custom design.

Price

WordPress: You can set up a very basic website in WordPress for free. To get a customized and professional looking WordPress site, you will need to pay for: domain registration, hosting, premium theme, premium plugins, security services, and storage and backups services. You also need to budget money for developer services for advanced custom designs and in case of an emergency. All of these costs associated with WordPress come lower than the price of HubSpot. 

HubSpot: With HubSpot, you get all of your marketing software in one platform, but this comes with a higher price tag. To get your website on HubSpot, you will need to pay for the Basic ($100/month) subscription. The Professional plan, which includes marketing automation and advanced reporting, increases to $800/month. There may also be additional charges based on the number of contacts in your CRM and whether or not you add on the sales software.

HubSpot is definitely the higher-priced option, but you get what you pay for--which includes your website, blog, email marketing, CRM, analytics and social media all in one easy-to-use platform. 

And the Winner Is... 

At the end of the day, it really depends on your specific needs when it comes to picking a CMS.

If you are a small company without many resources or a focus on content marketing, HubSpot may be too advanced and costly for you at this time. WordPress offers a cost-effective solution to your digital marketing needs. 

For those companies with dedicated resources and marketing employees, HubSpot offers more support and resources for building an effective content marketing strategy. This comes with a higher price tag, but the cost of integrated marketing data--that helps drive and nurture leads through your sales and marketing funnel--is well worth the cost.

Are you ready to re-design your website? Download our newly updated eBook, A Guide to B2B Website Redesignnow.

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Sarah Seward

Inbound Marketing Specialist

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