WordPress, as a web design platform, has ruled the web design industry for many years. Starting out solely as a blogging platform, the software has evolved to its current iteration as a full-featured and very popular platform.Fueled by the gazillion templates and plugins available (many are free), the software has steadily grown in popularity.
But does free, or popular, or trendy always equate to best? The question I’m always asking is: Will my choice or decision grow my business by getting me more leads or making my online marketing any easier?
This debate is not new. Savvy marketers are always on the lookout for the best tools to solve their marketing challenges. Don’t take my word as the end-all of the debate. Do a Google search for “Hubspot vs WordPress” and see what you find. After you do your research, please share your comments below!
We’ve been WP fans for many years. We’ve developed many WordPress websites, have modded templates, built one plugin and have CSS modded a great many others, but now we are questioning if WP is the best CMS choice for those who want to grow their businesses.
Here are 8 reasons why we think why Hubspot is a better choice than WordPress from the perspective of business growth.
WordPress is a free, open source software platform built through a collaborative effort of many contributors from all over the world. This sounds really good, doesn’t it?
The Hubspot COS, on the other hand, is owned by *guess who* Hubspot. They build it, they design it, they sell it (it’s not free).
Which ideology is better? While open source sounds great, I question whether it's sustainable. Think Linux. Linux is an open source environment that, ten years ago, I thought would soon overtake both Microsoft and Apple. It hasn’t. While it’s found its way into some server environments, it has lost the war in the PC realms. Instead, folks like Google have cloned it into their own operating systems: Chrome (Google) OS and Android. (Nice to offer stuff for free until someone offers to pay you to mod it.) According to Mashable, a closed source CMS offers more security (like Hubspot), but comes at a higher price tag.
But in my thinking, the single reason a closed-source software vertical, like Hubspot, will always overtake an open source environment is because the vertical can be more agile.
WordPress comes as a package that includes a set of core files. It won’t work out of the box, so you must build, buy, or download a template. Shockingly, a great many of the templates on the market either are broken when you get them, or they’re bloatware and bog down your website’s page loading times.
“Broken” is subjective. By “broken,” I mean some elements won’t align properly, you may not be able to upload your logo, some back-end selections won’t work, or you have to create a child theme to get rid of the persistent theme maker’s branding in the footer. So before you starting adding a lot of content, make sure you run a WP template through its paces first.
Even with a template, WordPress is stripped out. To add functionality, you must install add-on apps called “plugins” — and lots of them.
When WordPress updates core files, you must update your plugins also. Since most plugins are developed by third party software developers, if the plugin vendor fails to update, your website may break, or lose the functionality that was driven by the plugin. While an event like this is rare, it's happend under our watch a number of times.
Plugin issues could cause you to run to your developer and, at significant expense, have them install a new plugin and configure it.
Hubspot doesn’t operate with templates. It comes with one template that can be modded to create your unique theme or skin. Since there are no free plugins, fancy widgets need to be developed, and you’ll need to pay for those add-ons, but they’ll be stable, and will do what you want them to do.
Out of the box, WordPress’ SEO is broken. The software will create an unlimited number of archive-type "attachment" pages—exact duplicates of any existing page, on real URLs. The only way to fix this is to install the Yoast SEO plugin and check off one, specific menu selection in Yoast's settings panel.
WP’s duplicate content issues are well-known. While we debate if they're considered SEO issues now, there is some debate whether they will become issues in the future. All it takes is Google to roll out a new algorithm and panic sets in the very next day. Anyone who remembers the “mobilegeddon” debacle will know what I’m talking about.
What about the Hubspot COS? Everything SEO is built-in, including a cool SEO checker to make sure you’re using keywords, META tags, and about 8 other SEO-specific tasks. No fuss, no plugins needed to fix anything.
4) What You See is Not What You Get
This topic may seem a little entertaining, but if you’ve ever been frustrated with editing your website, you’ll read this. All CMS' including WordPress claim that you can edit pages using the famous, “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface. But in actually, it's, “what you see is almost what you get.” In WordPress, for example, you have to click on the “preview” button to see, more or less, what the actual page will look like. Most other CMS platforms are similar.
The newest iteration of the Hubspot COS is the only platform that allows you to edit a page or post in real time, to the point where you only know that you're in an editing screen by the presence of a menu.
To get a free demo and see for yourself, plus get a free competitive analysis, click here!
All websites reside on the Internet so they must be hosted somewhere. The $10 per month hosting plans everyone advertises may seem attractive until you actually use one. Put a WordPress website on Godaddy’s shared hosting, edit some pages, and you’ll think you’re on dial-up again. Seriously.
So then what? Maybe put it on a Rackspace cloud server for $150 a month? That will be faster, but before you buy, you should ask about things like:
- Simultaneous connections. (How many people can use your website at the same time without getting server overload errors?)
- Bandwidth. (What if your traffic builds over time? You want that right? Do you want to pay extra for that?)
- Backups. (Ah yes, you can use a WP plugin to backup. But have you ever tried restoring from a plugin?)
Or you can put your WP site on an $800 / month dedicated server. Does this idea sound ridiculous? I think so.
Because the Hubspot COS is a software as a service (SaaS) platform (like Gmail), you don’t have any of these worries. And the hosting is on a CDN. No problem if you're a multi-national company worried about page-load times in various countries.
The SaaS concept is not exclusive to Hubspot. Many ecommerce vendors such as Big Commerce and Volusion also are built on SaaS platforms and run very smoothly as a result.
Tip: Don't use any WP data caching plugins. And don't use any CDN add-ons to try to boost speed. Despite the sales hype, you'll regret it.
You can add a CTA or a landing page to a WP site or any other web platform. It's not that hard. But you have to ask yourself, "If I'm using my website for marketing, how am I going to measure my results?"
The Hubspot platform is a full-featured marketing suite. If you need marketing automation, email automation, nearly unlimited reporting (so you can impress your boss), you’ve got it—all.
Hubspot comes with a number of very cool tools for both SEO and reporting. The core purpose of having a website in the first place is to grow your business. Those tools will help you do just that.
One of the tools we like and use all the time is Hubspot’s keyword tool. We find it super easy to use, and very accurate. If you’re going to develop SEO content for site pages or blog posts, you’ll need a good keyword tool—if you want to be found. Getting found is the precursor to getting leads. The more visitors you have, the more leads you’ll have.
8) Templates and Growth-Driven Design
WP relies on a template structure and so does Hubspot to display an actual website. In both platforms, the template contains all the coding necessary to display a website in a presentable way. But this is where all similarities disappear.
Here’s an example of how this works in WordPress:
- You get a new website and install a template.
- But what if you want to change or update the look of it in a few years, or have a unique home page that's distinct from your inner pages?
- A WordPress template contains a high percentage of the files that generate the actual website. The alignment and structure of all of your content within that template is driven by a single, global, CSS stylesheet (file).
- Change the template, and you change that CSS file. The result? The new look of your website is a mess because the content created under the old styles cannot conform to the new ones.
Hubspot only comes with one template, so implementing a process like Growth-Driven Design, is much more feasible. Growth-Driven Design is a vital, new process that keeps your website fresh, up to date, and generating new business for you.
If you want to change the look of your website in Hubspot, you change the theme or skin. Changing this skin won’t break the website so it’s easier to “upgrade” your website, or create a different look for a home page, site pages, blog page, or landing page. While you may need to make content changes, those changes will be logical and fluid.
What is the tech behind this functionality in Hubspot? Instead of having just one core CSS file, Hubspot can have up to four. The core CSS file drives the (domain-level) base website, and the additional CSS files are attached at either the template level or the page level. This CSS structure drives the look of collections of pages or individual pages. Many style changes can be done with little knowledge of CSS and no knowledge of PHP, since the HubL, the programming language in Hubspot, is not PHP in the first place.