Wordpress vs HubSpot: Every modern-day marketer should choose HubSpot instead of industry favorite Wordpress

[fa icon="calendar"] 14-Nov-2017 08:38:00 / by Etiënne Lof

Etiënne Lof

“Should we choose HubSpot or Wordpress?” It’s a question we answer on a regular basis. And we get it. Both platforms belong to the most popular content management systems. We build websites on both platforms, we love both. 
What is the main difference between HubSpot and Wordpress?
In its core, Wordpress is built as a blogging platform. Its purpose is to publish webpages through a what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ editor for easily changing fonts, adding images, categorizing the articles and so on. As Wordpress is free, open-source and quite easy to set-up, it quickly became the go-to solution for millions of website owners. To the point that almost 30 percent of all websites are driven by Wordpress. Due to its popularity and open-source character, it’s nowadays possible to find and install a Wordpress plugin for almost every task. Making it possible to use Wordpress for almost every purpose - instead of only writing articles - from selling products, publishing a corporate website, to maintaining a database-driven wiki. 
HubSpot is built as a marketing automation platform. HubSpot is built from a holistic point of view - around the inbound marketing methodology. Inbound marketing is focused on providing relevant and helpful content in the whole ecosystem of your company - website, blog, social media, newsletter and e-mails - throughout your customer’s buying journey. HubSpot enables you to publish blogs and webpages, push or schedule updates through your social media channels, send out newsletters via e-mail and maintain your contacts in a CRM. Furthermore, HubSpot gives you the analytics and insights about the activities of your visitors across all these channels. 
HubSpot and Wordpress difference
Why HubSpot - always - is the best choice as a CMS for your website from a marketing and sales perspective
As a marketer, you want the most accurate information as possible about your lead. In fact, you want the website to behave like you would in real life. When you are speaking with someone, you quickly get a grasp of the person and try to make your story most engaging for them. (Who wants to be boring, right!?). You continuously adjust the given information about yourself, your work and your company based on what benefits you both. 

This is essentially how your website with HubSpot can behave. When a visitor enters your website, it shows certain user behavior based on the pages visited, the buttons he or she is clicking and - if you’ve done it right - the subscription to your newsletter, the follow of your social media channel or the download of a whitepaper. Based on these interactions, your HubSpot website gets to know your visitor and can present the information which is most valuable to that visitor. And therefore, become engaging for that person. 
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Can’t Wordpress do the same?
Isn’t the power of Wordpress that it’s highly versatile and you can also use it for marketing automation? And yes, it’s true. You can use Wordpress as a marketing automation tool. There are numerous tools to make it happen. 

But….they work merely as standalone plugins and are very hard to connect with each other. You’ll have to tie up all the data from different plugins. The analytics plugins tells you which pages are best visited. The social media monitoring plugin tells you which posts are most engaging. The lead generation plugin tells you which contacts you’ve generated. And of course all these plugins let you export the results, or give you insights, to analyze and measure and make decisions.
So, this is great data. And here comes the big difference between Wordpress and HubSpot; it is almost impossible to find out which user engaged with which social media update or who converted to a lead based on an interaction with your website. Try to really think of how to connect those separate bulks of data so you can create a clear, insightful overview of all this engagement. It’s quite difficult to do this in a sustainable manner.
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Don’t get us wrong, we love Wordpress. But for marketers, it’s a no-brainer when evaluating both.
HubSpot was built with marketing automation features in its core. HubSpot is designed to track your visitor across different touch points as they engage with your organisation. It gives you in-depth data - out of the box - about every step of your visitor's journey. It shows you the first visit to your website from its source. What pages were visited. Which newsletters they opened. The clicks, likes or comments on your blogs and social media posts. And eventually keeping track of e-mails, chats, or phone calls with your visitor as they convert from visitor to prospect to customer.
HubSpot provides insights at an individual contact level across different touch points and over the whole customer journey from first visit to your web platform through to close of sale - showing you the value of your entire ecosystem. Insights are not only limited to the action or campaign. Can you imagine the impact you have as a marketer when you deliver this deep level of information to sales teams or to management? HubSpot gives you a huge advantage by enabling you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts to be relevant to each visitor and to his or her specific buying interests, considerations and decisions. HubSpot's intuitive platform helps you see what your website visitors actually want, instead of you needing to assume it. 
So, instead of considering Wordpress or HubSpot as my websites CMS, my question should be…
Is my objective to generate sales qualified leads through the website? And if so, do I want to work according inbound marketing philosophy? Because when a company chooses HubSpot, it makes a commitment to build your marketing practice in a fundamentally different way.  
Why to choose HubSpot should be clear by now. We still want to elaborate about some differences.
Based on our experience, we want to highlight a few feature topics.
First, the costs of HubSpot
Costs are important, of course. For the basic version of HubSpot with website hosting, your monthly license fee will be starting from €275 (Website is €90 and Marketing Basic is €185). Wordpress is free to install and use. Take notice that you probably have costs for things like templates, plugins, hosting and further customization. Wordpress also doesn't include a marketing automation platform. 
However, looking at HubSpot as the premium option and Wordpress as the low-budget option is not entirely the case. It depends on your goals. HubSpot is an all-in-one platform with integrated CRM, analytics, SEO and marketing automation features. Investing in HubSpot means having the tools and insights to generate high quality leads through the website and help understand the return on investment of your marketing efforts.
How do HubSpot and Wordpress compare in SEO results?
SEO is vital for your business in attracting visitors to your website (read more about improving your inbound traffic by 40-50%). Although Wordpress doesn't have out-of-the-box features for optimizing your SEO results, this is possible with the installation of plugins. Yoast is by far the most popular. It gives you great feedback about on-page SEO (good use of titles, images, meta description, keyword density) results like having a good keyword density, good use of headings and quality meta information. A great feature is that Yoast also adds social graph tags to your pages. This way you can determine which thumbnail and page description appears in the post when shared on the social media channels. 
HubSpot has SEO features built-in and takes it some steps further than Wordpress. The HubSpot SEO features are embedded in different sections of the platform. This makes communicability possible between different factors that weigh-in on your SEO results. For example, you can upload a list of relevant keywords for your business. HubSpot uses this list to give you insights on which pages are ranking for a certain keyword, what is the ranking in the results of search engines, how many visitors it’s generating and even compares your scores with your competitors. HubSpot also uses this list to scan the content in your website pages. So when editing a webpage, it provides a summary of keywords for which the webpage is ranking. Making it very easy to optimize your content and measure the impact.
Next to on-page SEO optimization, HubSpot also accounts for important factors like the page load time and the linking off your webpages. HubSpot measures the page load time of each webpage and provides you the insights. Visitors visit fewer webpages and leave earlier when the website isn’t loading quick enough. It’s also commonly known that Google takes page load time as a significant component in their algorithm. HubSpot provides you with insights on the internal and external linking of each webpage. Which is crucial for good SEO results.

Good internal linking
- establishing text links between relevant pages on your website - helps search engines crawl and index as many webpages as possible. It also supports the crawlers on determing the topics of a webpage. If done right, it can really boost the visibility of a webpage on a certain keyword.
External linking - links to your webpages from other websites - has always been one of the most important factors in good search visibility. It’s basically like real life; would you do business with a company which has no referrals or would you rather choose the company which is recommended by multiple people? So, by providing the external links for each webpage, HubSpot gives you insights into more oppurtunities for external linking.
What about design and customization of HubSpot vs. Wordpress?
Wordpress has the upper hand on designing and customizing the design of your website. HubSpot also comes with a set of its own pre-designed templates. Although HubSpot has a simpler interface and therefore is easier to use, it generates more generic looking websites because it doesn't have the extensive customization possibilities out-of-the-box. Most of the available pre-designed Wordpress templates have great customization possibilities, giving you the tools to create a page that fits your idea.
However, in our experience you’ll encounter the limitations of working with templates quite soon, regardless of the choice for HubSpot or Wordpress. Although the templates provide customization possibilities, it still requires basic knowledge of HTML and CSS to truly put them to your use. Setting up a website with a template isn’t just a few clicks and then you’re good to go. Ultimately, you’ll need a development agency when you want a professional look and to make a serious impact with your marketing and communication.
Which platform is more secure; HubSpot or Wordpress?
With both Wordpress and HubSpot, you are able to build and maintain a secure website. And in this case, it’s a good debate about which is more secure: open-source versus closed-source. Wordpress is open-source software, and therefore it’s possible for everyone to check the source code. It’s easier for thousands of developers to detect vulnerabilities. Due to it’s huge user base, most detected vulnerabilities - like a bug or broken code - are fixed quickly. On the other hand, this huge user base makes it especially appealing for people with malicious intent who try to think of ways of breaching into Wordpress websites. 
HubSpot is closed-source, and its source code is only accessible for the HubSpot developers. Which argues that - due to this lesser accessibility - it’s more difficult to find out what the vulnerabilities of the platform are for developers with both good and bad intentions. Also, HubSpot has high quality security out-of-the-box, as it hosted on the servers from HubSpot.
Wordpress is self-hosted, so you need to take care of this yourself. So make sure to configure your Wordpress installation in the right manner. Start with choosing a quality hosting provider for your website and ensure the enablement of a SSL-certification, backups and firewall. 
With a Wordpress website it’s also important to limit the use of plugins to the minimum needed. The amount of plugins installed in your Wordpress website can make the website vulnerable. With each plugin, you add pieces of code from different developers to your website, not knowing for sure what the quality of the code is. So make sure to check if a plugin is updated regularly - hackers don’t take time off, so updates are important - and preferably choose paid plugins, because it ensures better support and more frequent updates (most of the time).
Is it easy to move my website from Wordpress to HubSpot?
If you want to move your website from Wordpress to HubSpot or vice versa, you’ll have to build each page again. It’s not possible to migrate the websites from one to another. Both platforms are independent from each other. 
This is because HubSpot uses HubSpot Markup Language (HubL) instead of the common PHP for serving dynamic content to your website. For example, serving dynamic content makes it possible that a new blogpost is automatically added on the blog listing page. So for developers, it requires to learn HubL in order to create unique, customized websites. This is why it’s wise to choose a HubSpot Agency partner for support and/or development on your HubSpot website. Do consider that this is also the case for Wordpress. When installing plugins, you’ll also need to learn how to integrate and use them.
And last. How about the ownership of my website?
As Wordpress is open-source, built on commonly known programming languages, it’s easier to do what you want with the website. With Wordpress you own your website. With HubSpot your website is fully dependent on HubSpot and the features it build into the platform. 
So back to the original dilemna: HubSpot or Wordpress? After considering all of the above factors, you should still go back to what is most important: what is your marketing strategy, what are your goals and what is the purpose of your website? If it is to publish content, Wordpress is a great publishing platform. If your goal is to improve website engagement - generating new contacts, nurturing leads and converting them to customers - then HubSpot is the best choice for you. 
Interested in learning more? We'd love to speak with you. Contact us to discuss this in more detail.
Want to increase website traffic? Check out this blog post.

Topics: Demand Generation, Website

Etiënne Lof

Written by Etiënne Lof

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